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Digital skills training for special needs students

Students from four special needs schools are to get digital skills training in the following year.

These schools include the Association for Persons with Special Needs (APSN) Delta Senior School, APSN Tanglin School, Grace Orchard School, and Metta School.

They will be taught skills such as:

  • How to search for information over the internet
  • Make e-payments
  • Use e-mail
  • Chat online in their daily lessons

The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) said that the training skills programme is designed to support the learning needs of the students who are mildly intellectually challenged and for 13 to 20-year olds with autism spectrum disorder.

Minister for Communications and Information S. Iswaran made this announcement at the launch of a three-day festival on digital inclusion on Friday, July 26.

He said that the implementation of this initiative comes after the positive feedback from a pilot programme with 70 students earlier this year. As part of the programme, students learned about how to use their SingPass accounts and access government services through them.

Mr Iswaran added that every Singaporean should be skilled in accessing digital platforms and services. He said that building a digitally ready society is also about equipping people with tech skills and adding value to their lives.

He also announced that IMDA and APSN Tanglin School have collaborated and created a Cyber-wellness Adventure Virtual Reality (VR) game. This game teaches students of the different practices to improve their cyber hygiene and the importance of it.

Students will learn to set secure passwords, pick out fake news, deal with cyber bullying and gain awareness on the ethical consequences of their digital footprint said, IMDA.

Mr Iswaran shared on how over 600 organisations have supported the Digital Participation Pledge (DPP). It consists of commitments by organisations to aid in making technology more inclusive.

These commitments include:

  • Equipping employees with digital skills
  • Educating customers/clients/stakeholders on the use of their digital services
  • Offer and design digital services to be inclusive and safe
  • Give and support digital-readiness efforts

Earlier this month, the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) announced that it will be rolling out a programme for primary school pupils to attain coding skills.

Code For Fun was an optional programme introduced in 2014, with the aim of helping students learn computational thinking through basic coding. The programme will be piloted this year at certain schools post the Primary School Leaving Examinations. It will then be implemented across all schools next year.

The next phase of this programme is a 10-hour programme targeted at all upper primary school students. Apart from basic coding skills, this programme will also cover on advancing technologies such as artificial intelligence.

MCI also aims to introduce a new national programme to youths, to guide them in their cybersecurity journey.

The Singapore Cyber Youth programme (SG Cyber Youth) will be implemented across students from secondary to tertiary levels. This programme is targeted at providing students with relevant knowledge and skills on cybersecurity and encourage them to consider a career in it.

The programme aims to reach out to 10,000 youths over the next three years through activities such as training boot camps, learning journeys and competitions.

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