Addendum to President's Address: All S'poreans to have basic digital skills and tools to avoid digital divide

SINGAPORE – All Singaporeans will be armed with the required digital skills and literacy to go online safely and confidently, Minister for Communications and Information S. Iswaran has pledged as the country strives to be a smart nation.

His ministry will also make sure they have access to the fundamental digital tools so that no one will be left behind in a “digital divide”.

The especially vulnerable groups he cited are the low-income seniors and families. He gave the assurance: “We will ensure that all Singaporeans have a baseline level of affordable digital access.”

This is among the main aims of the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) given in its addendum to the President’s Address unveiled on Wednesday (Aug 26).

Mr Iswaran highlighted how the SG Digital Office (SDO) has been intensifying its efforts to engage the hardest-to-reach segments of society and encourage them to use digital devices and services, as well as learn digital skills.

The SDO is doing it through its 1,000 Digital Ambassadors, who have traversed the country to help stallholders and seniors learn how to use technological tools.

Two of these ambassadors are father-son pair Clarence Choa Wee Beng, 55, and Elrond Choa Yue Rong, 26.

The younger Mr Choa, who became a digital ambassador in June, said he took up the role after graduating from Nanyang Technological University, because it gave him joy to see a senior master the skill of using technology – something that is almost second-nature to him.

“It is really fulfilling to know that every engagement we carry out benefits the senior in some way, whether we are teaching the basics like how to type on their mobile phones, or assisting them with more advanced apps that make their lives easier,” he added.

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