Cambodia Investment Review

Research Unveiled by ASEAN Foundation and Google.org Highlights Digital Literacy Gaps in Cambodia and ASEAN

Research Unveiled by ASEAN Foundation and Google.org Highlights Digital Literacy Gaps in Cambodia and ASEAN

Cambodia investment Review

The ASEAN Foundation, supported by Google.org, with a particular focus on the disparities facing underprivileged communities. The findings were presented during the ASEAN Regional Symposium in Bangkok on March 20, 2024, under the title “One Divide or Many Divides? Underprivileged ASEAN Communities’ Meaningful Digital Literacy and Response to Disinformation.” This research initiative forms part of the ASEAN Digital Literacy Programme (ASEAN DLP), which has successfully equipped over 190,000 individuals with crucial digital literacy skills to date.

A significant portion of the research sheds light on Cambodia’s digital literacy landscape. Despite Cambodia’s high rates of internet and mobile phone usage, the study found that only 30% of the Cambodian population has basic media and digital literacy skills. This gap is even more pronounced among indigenous peoples, who often lack both digital skills and access to reliable information, further exacerbating the digital divide.

Fostering A Deeper Understanding Of Digital Literacy

Surprisingly, the research highlights Cambodia’s strengths in critical thinking, with 62.2% of the population demonstrating high abilities in this area. However, this strength is not uniformly distributed, with education levels playing a critical role in individuals’ capacity to navigate and evaluate information effectively.

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Dr. Piti Srisangnam, the Executive Director of the ASEAN Foundation, emphasized the research’s role in fostering a deeper understanding of digital literacy’s importance in combatting disinformation. “By mapping out the current landscape of digital literacy and its challenges, we hope to encourage collaborative efforts to address these gaps across the ASEAN region, with a keen focus on tailored initiatives that meet the diverse needs of Cambodian communities,” he stated.

The study also points to varying levels of competence in critical thinking and privacy protection among ASEAN member states, suggesting a broad spectrum of digital literacy across the region. This variance underscores the necessity for customized digital literacy programs that can address the unique challenges faced by different communities within ASEAN, including Cambodia.

Skills Needed To Navigate The Digital World Safely & Effectively

Google.org’s contribution to the ASEAN Foundation’s digital literacy efforts was highlighted by Marija Ralic, Lead for Google.org APAC. She expressed support for the foundation’s goals, stating, “Our support for the ASEAN Foundation’s digital literacy initiatives, including the significant role Cambodia plays in these efforts, reflects our commitment to empowering communities with the skills needed to navigate the digital world safely and effectively.”

The symposium concluded with discussions on strategies to transition from the current state of digital divide to a more empowered and inclusive digital literacy landscape in ASEAN, with special attention to the needs of underprivileged communities.

This collaborative endeavor between the ASEAN Foundation and Google.org marks a pivotal step towards narrowing the digital literacy gap in Cambodia and across the ASEAN region, aiming to foster a more inclusive and digitally resilient community.

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