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Improving digital literacy of all communities in Indonesia

Image credit: kominfo.go.in

Director-General of Information Applications of the Ministry of Communication and Information, Semuel Abrijani Pangerapan, has encouraged all parties and stakeholders to participate in improving the digital literacy of the wider community. He is especially keen to create more awareness around the protection of personal data and misinformation during the current pandemic. “Participation can be in the form of cross-party collaboration through various initiatives and innovations,” he said at the National Seminar on Maintaining Privacy and Against COVID-19 Hoaxes.

Citing a survey conducted by the Directorate General of Aptika and Katadata in 2020, Indonesia is at 3.47 on a scale of 4. These results indicate that Indonesia’s digital literacy rate is still below a “good level” said the director. This status must be addressed together considering that Indonesia is accelerating its digital transformation activities.

Currently, the Ministry of Communication and Information is discussing the Personal Data Protection Bill with the Indonesian Parliament. With the bill,  Indonesia will have a more comprehensive legal umbrella for protecting personal data. However, regulation alone is not enough without the awareness and skills of the digital community, he was quick to point out. “Therefore, let’s maintain the spirit of optimism in enhancing a digital ecosystem that is safe, healthy, cultured, ethical and beneficial while adhering to health protocols,” he explained.

Dr M. Fajri Adda’i said it was important to increase the digital literacy of the community around the health sector through social media. Personally, he routinely has to provide correct information regarding COVID-19 which often is a hoax. More recently, misinformation and fake news have been circulating about vaccines. There must be a central point or someone who provides the right information to offset the hoax.

According to him, everyone can be involved digitally in uncomplicated and easy to understand language. It is enough for us to convey it simply and use digital media that is easily accessible to the general public.

Meanwhile, a senior executive of a digital messaging platform in Indonesia acknowledged that it had done a lot to protect the personal data of its users. Because it was being used so comprehensively, it was important to ensure that both the personal data of users was safe as well as the platform itself. “We have been using end-to-end encryption security as a default. This means that only we and the people we send messages to can read it,” he confirmed.

The Ministry of Communication and Informatics is targeting digital literacy to reach all districts and cities in Indonesia by 2024.  the Directorate General of Informatics Applications of the Ministry of Communication and Information is working with related partners.

“By 2024, the ministry and its partners will carry out digital literacy in all 514 districts/cities in Indonesia,” explained Plt. Director of Informatics Empowerment of the Ministry of Communication and Information, Mariam Fatimah Barata in the Digital Literacy Webinar Towards Indonesia Digital Nation.

Mariam acknowledged that the use of the internet is currently so massive that it cannot be separated from everyday life. Therefore, digital literacy plays an important role in the journey towards the Indonesia Digital Nation.  In terms of the number, the goal is to have 50 million literate Indonesians. Going in a phase-wise manner, they plan to reach the first 12.5 million people by 2021.

According to him, this should be an introspection for the Indonesian nation to be able to continue to improve digital literacy skills. Digital technology must also have added value for the Indonesian people. Technology is not only for fun or safety but should also be an incentive to be productive.

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