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Empowering Thailand’s Elderly: Digital Literacy for an Inclusive Society

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Mr Teerawut Thongphak, Deputy Secretary-General of the National Digital Economy and Society Committee, chaired the opening of training activities to enhance the digital competency of Thai citizens, preparing them for the demands of digital citizenship. The event, held at Tha Thong Subdistrict Elderly School in Phitsanulok Province, featured a special lecture titled “Digital and Raising the Standard of People’s Quality of Life”.

Image credits: onde.go.th

The training focused on the Digital Literacy curriculum tailored for the elderly, emphasising the importance of adapting skills for quality ageing in the digital era. The morning sessions were dedicated to theoretical training, covering topics such as digital understanding for Thai citizens, comprehension skills, digital technology, cybersecurity, digital savvy, information literacy, and the use of social media for the elderly. The afternoon sessions provided practical training, allowing participants to engage hands-on with applications designed to support their daily lives in the digital age.

The Strategic Development Committee’s (SDC’s) ambitious goal is to elevate the digital competency of Thai citizens to an average evaluation score of 80 by 2027. This training programme is a critical step towards achieving this target. By focusing on digital literacy for all target groups, the SDC aims to enhance people’s knowledge and understanding of digital technologies, ultimately improving their quality of life. This initiative underscores the Civil Society Organisation’s (CSO) commitment to empowering citizens to become proficient digital citizens.

Digital technology is at the essence of this initiative, reflecting the importance of equipping the population with the necessary skills to navigate an increasingly digital world. Participants learned about the fundamentals of digital technology, including its applications in everyday life and the importance of cybersecurity. They were introduced to digital tools and platforms that can enhance their daily activities, making them more efficient and connected.

One key component of the training was the focus on cybersecurity. As digital technology becomes more integrated into daily life, understanding how to protect personal information and navigate the digital landscape safely is crucial. The training provided participants with practical tips and best practices for maintaining digital security, ensuring they are well-prepared to protect themselves in the digital age.

Another significant aspect of the training was emphasising social media literacy for the elderly. Social media platforms can be powerful tools for staying connected with family and friends, accessing information, and engaging with the community.

The practical sessions allowed participants to apply what they had learned in real-time. They were introduced to various applications and digital tools that can support their daily activities, from communication apps to health monitoring tools. These hands-on experiences were designed to reinforce the theoretical knowledge gained in the morning sessions, ensuring that participants could immediately apply their new skills to improve their quality of life.

The broader goal of the SDC is to ensure that all citizens, regardless of age, are equipped to thrive in the digital era. By focusing on digital literacy and competency, the initiative aims to bridge the digital divide and ensure that everyone can benefit from the advancements in digital technology. This training programme is vital to that mission, providing participants with the skills and knowledge they need to become active, informed, and engaged digital citizens.

The training activities led by Mr Teerawut Thongphak and supported by the SDC are a significant step towards enhancing the digital competency of Thai citizens. By focusing on digital literacy for the elderly, the initiative improves the quality of life for this demographic and contributes to the broader goal of creating a digitally literate society.

The comprehensive curriculum, covering both theoretical and practical aspects of digital technology, ensures that participants can navigate the digital landscape confidently and safely. This initiative is a testament to the CSO’s commitment to empowering citizens and fostering a digitally inclusive society.

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