Digital Literacy Rises to 50%
By Paneetha Ameresekere
Almost half of Sri Lanka’s population, between the ages of five to 69, are digitally literate, the Census and Statistics Department (CSD) said last Friday (19).
Based on data collected in the first half (1H) of last year (2020), CSD said that Sri Lanka’s digital literacy among five to 69 year olds increased to 49.5 per cent, a 3.5 percentage point (7.61 per cent) increase over the end 2019 figure of 46 per cent.
It further said that as at 1H 2020 end, digital literacy among those between the ages of 5-69 years was highest among the urban sector at 65 per cent, followed by rural (47.6 per cent) and estate (23.1 per cent), respectively. Digital literacy among males was 53 per cent, a rise of 3.7 percentage points (7.44 per cent) over its end 2019 figure of 49.7 per cent, while digital literacy among females was 46.2 per cent, an increase of 3.5 percentage points (8.20 per cent) over this sex’s digital literacy rate of 42.7 per cent as at end 2019.
CSD further said that a household population’s, i.e. of those between the ages of five to 69 only, using a smartphone to connect to the internet/send an e-mail in the first half of 2020 increased to 75.6 per cent by 1H 2020 end compared to 72.2 per cent in 2019 end, an increase of 3.4 percentage points (4.71 per cent).
Similarly, those using a desktop/laptop for like uses, fell to 21.7 per cent by end 2020, from 24.1 per cent in end 2019, a decline of 2.4 percentage points (9.96 per cent), said CSD. “When overall digital literacy rates at 49.5 per cent for those between the ages of five and 69 are concerned, digital literacy is higher than computer literacy for all disaggregated age levels, showing a drift from personal computer to smartphones/tablets, CSD said.
It defined digital literacy as of a person (aged 5-69), who could use a computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone on his/her own. Further, CSD defined computer literacy as a person (aged 5-69) who is able to use a computer on his/her own.