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Seoul sets up education centres to close digital divide

The government is increasing the number of education centres so anyone can learn how to use digital devices, such as smartphones and kiosks, in their daily lives.

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Attendees of the education programmes will learn how to use digital devices
Attendees of the education programmes will learn how to use digital devices

The Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) is boosting the number of Digital Literacy Education Centres in the South Korean capital in a bid to narrow the digital divide.

 

Until mid-June 2021, SMG will increase the number of education centres by eight to 14 so anyone can learn how to use digital devices, such as smartphones and kiosks, in their daily lives.

 

Residential areas

 

The centres will open near residential areas for citizens to have easier access to them and education programmes will be provided by level – beginner, elementary, and intermediate.

 

In addition to the education centres, SMG reports it has selected a total of 36 literacy education programmes which began operating this year with a view to prevent low-educated and illiterate people from being left out in the digital world where people use digital communication methods, such as the use of text messages.

 

Attendees of the literacy education programmes can learn how to read Hangeul, the Korean alphabet, use digital devices, use public transportation, and others that are needed for daily living.

“We will continue to support the operation of literacy education programmes to improve the living ability of the underprivileged and expand the opportunity for them to participate in social activities”

Multicultural family members and disabled people will also be provided with customised literacy programmes: multicultural families can learn through traditional fairy tales and proverbs, and the disabled can learn digital life literacy and customised classes to enter society.

 

“We will continue to support the operation of literacy education programmes to improve the living ability of the underprivileged and expand the opportunity for them to participate in social activities,” said Lee Dae-hyeon, director-general for lifelong learning at Seoul Metropolitan Government.

 

“We will promote literacy education so that there are no people who are excluded in the digitalised world, especially due to the Covid-19 pandemic.”

 

Individuals who take the level 1 (beginner) class will learn how to use a smartphone – from how to save contact information in an address book to how to make a phone call and send a text.

 

At level 2 (elementary) attendees will learn how to install KakaoTalk, the most popular mobile messaging app in South Korea, on their smartphones and how to have a chat with their contacts.

 

Meanwhile, at level 3 (intermediate), one can learn how to use a kiosk to place an order at a café or fast-food chain restaurant or purchase bus or train tickets at a transit station.

 

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