RS2: Singapore

Singapore launches Digital Readiness Blueprint to help every last man cross the digital divide

The following summary is of an article about steps the country of Singapore is taking to ensure every “last man is helped to cross the digital divide” (para. 2). It was written by Irene Tham, a Senior Tech Correspondent for the Straits Times, by which it was published. The Digital Readiness Blueprint, “launched…at the Infocomm Media Development Authority’s Tech carnival” (para. 4). It highlights a recommendation of ten steps that will ensure all will have access within the country. Many government authorities are already assisting with the implementation of some of these steps. “The Monetary Authority of Singapore is working with local banks to ensure free [online] bank accounts are also available to people with disabilities, former offenders, and the chronically unemployed” (para. 10). I will now briefly outline the steps. The first two steps “make access to basic digital enablers such as mobile devices…as widespread as possible” and “customize access” to those with special needs (para. 16). Next is the teaching of basic “skills for everyday activities” (para. 16). This will be aided by the following step, which establishes resources to teach citizens how to identify “online falsehood” (para. 16). The fifth step “ensures children in Singapore are taught the essential values to be responsible cyber citizens” (para. 16). This will be followed by businesses ensuring all their employees are trained to be digitally literate. For those without that opportunity, the seventh step will “provide dedicated and regular one-on-one…help at community centers, public libraries, and senior activity centers” (para. 16). The next step would be supporting community projects “that connect needy residents to volunteers, in a move to reduce social isolation” (para. 16). The ninth step is the encouragement of organizations to make their services inclusive to all types of people. The final step is the development of “government apps, websites, and services in the four official languages” (para. 16). If all these steps are taken, the DRB believes that the digital divide will be bridged.

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