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    Computer skills: a new source of illiteracy

    © Belga
    © Belga

    “Many people are not ready to follow the government and private companies on the road of IT,” was a conclusion in a survey on computer literacy presented jointly Tuesday by Gezinsbond and Ligue des familles. The two organizations seek a more inclusive society with regards to the digitalization of services.

    “Public entities and companies are becoming more and more digital, while one in five households cannot make a money transfer. Our role is not to confront digitalization, but to accompany citizens in this growing trend,” stated Delphine Chabbert, Politics Secretary of Ligue des familles.

    The minister in charge of the digital agenda, Alexander De Croo (Open Vld), estimates that it is also necessary to reinforce everyone’s computer skills. “It is essential that everyone benefit from digitalization,” the minister’s office informed Belga, stating that a large-scale survey was requested las year by federal authorities in order to see what is behind digital exclusion. “According to a study, we know that only six out of ten workers possess sufficient digital skills, while in the future nine out of ten jobs will demand digital competencies.” Mr. De Croo insists moreover on the need to train citizens in order that they “find their digital route.”

    “It is a joint mission of the authorities, the private sector, schools and civil society organizations who have already taken several initiatives,” concluded De Croo’s office. According to the Gezinsbond survey of 1,015 persons, lack of computer skills affects families mainly at the financial level. “Half of respondents do not know how to make an on-line payment, one quarter cannot make payments with a debit or credit card and half of Belgian homes are unable to fill out forms on-line for obtaining social benefits.”

    Jason Bennett (Source: Belga)