Digital Literacy

VoicenData Bureau
New Update


South Korea tops the chart of household broadband usage in the world (95%

penetration), with the assistance of government backed policies. In the top

twenty list, none of the SAARC countries has found any place. Some of the

developed economies are there. The US is at the twentieth position, well behind

Estonia, Singapore, the Middle East, etc.

Resurgence in broadband will assist the developing countries to catapult

their sluggish economies to the pole position. This can happen only with the

assistance of the government.

Broadband, which is still a distant dream for the majority of students in all

SAARC countries, cannot be ignored any more. We need to connect schools with

broadband to ensure that the nation is able to enjoy yet another revolution.


New Zealand will be spending $150 mn to create a digital education network

and to make schools ultra broadband ready. Students, especially those in rural

areas, could get access to education via videoconferencing that they could not

otherwise. Small schools will become a part of big virtual schools.

India is planning to provide broadband connectivity to 5,000 schools and

20,000 colleges in rural and semi-urban areas to promote e-learning.


Bangladesh has recently made the use of broadband Internet services free for

nearly 40,000 state-run primary schools, and has cut tariffs by 75% for

thousands of state-run high schools, colleges, madrassas, and universities.

The International Telecommunications Union is encouraging its member states

to adopt school based community broadband to bring information and communication

technologies (ICT) access to disadvantaged and vulnerable groups.

Promoting connectivity in schools with the aim of boosting the economy faces

a number of challenges. These include selecting and implementing the right

broadband technology; removing entry barriers by offering cost-effective

end-user equipments, such as computing devices; basic ICT training for teachers

in association with private players; offering a safe online and physical

environment for children; and developing and accessing content for education

that can be used by our future generation.


It is the right time for the SAARC nations to speed up broadband penetration.

A connected school can provide the platform for the government's nation-building

efforts. But the government and operators need a long-term vision to make this a

reality. We must look at creating a SAARC level fund to steer the digital

literacy mission.

Baburajan K