DIGITAL LITERACY INCREASES TO 57%

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Sri Lanka’s digital literacy rate grew at a moderate pace to 57.2 per cent last year (2021) compared to 56.2 per cent by the end of the first half (1H) of 2021, from 50.1 per cent registered as at end 2020, Census and Statistics Department (CSD) data released on Tuesday (19) showed.

However, computer literacy shrank to 34.3 per cent last year, from a higher rate of 35 per cent at the end of the 1H of 2021, from 32.3 per cent as at end 2020, statistics showed.

 “The reason behind high digital literacy is that the majority of the population is switching over to devices such as smartphones, rather than laptops and desktop computers for connectivity,” it said.

Nonetheless, computer literacy among the employed population who are aware of computers in Sri Lanka was around 66.3 per cent last year, CSD said.

CSD also said that household use for internet or email connectivity by using smart phones vis-à-vis a desktop computers or laptops, moderately increased to 77.1 per cent last year, compared to 76.3 per cent in the 1H of last year and from 75.4 per cent as at end 2020, while such connectivity obtained via either a desktop or a laptop computer contracted to 20.1 per cent, from 21 per cent as at the end of the 1H of last year and from 21.8 per cent as at end 2020. 

CSD also said that in this connection, internet usage among households last year increased to 44.5 per cent, from 42.7 per cent in the 1H of last year, from 36 per cent recorded as at end 2020, while e-mail usage in households continued to lag behind at 17.8 per cent last year, from 17.4 per cent in the 1H of last year, though higher than the 14 per cent registered as at 2020 end.

BY Paneetha Ameresekere