THE government’s vision for a digital Pakistan is extensive. It encompasses infrastructure, e-governance, fin-tech, digital skills and training, and innovation and entrepreneurship.

A multitude of mobile applications for facilitation of citizens has also been launched in this regard. This digitalisation will no doubt also help in providing jobs to the youth and spur their creative abilities. But how many of us are actually able to take advantage of these endeavours?

The answer is quite depressing and the reason even more so. Lack of education and the low literacy, especially digital literacy rate — are all hurdles for the common man to take benefit from the introduced technologies.

For example, beneficiaries of the Benazir Income Support Programme continue to be taken advantage of by middlemen who exploit their illiteracy.

I believe that the government should also focus on the provision of core digital literacy to the masses. This can be done by either making it a part of the school curriculum, introducing more learning portals like DigiSkills, or give hands on trainings through NAVTTEC. It is only then that the country and its citizens can truly benefit from the digital era.

Kanwal Ashraf
Islamabad

Published in Dawn, January 26th, 2020

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