Connectivity has become, more than a luxury, a basic human need, since to currently enjoy the right to information, freedom of expression, health, education or employment, this service is required.
However, it is not just about internet access, the pandemic revealed a bigger challenge about digital skills, which, in turn, gave rise to the idea of a new 21st century illiteracy.
In Colombia, the digital divide is one of the great challenges of the country and, although there are several factors that must be worked on, the main ones must be access and the lack of capacity of different sectors of the population to use Information Technology. Information and Communications (ICT) effectively.
Even, according to a report released by the MinTIC, digital skills are, with 34.4%, the main reason for the digital divide that currently exists in the country, above material access (32.6% ), achievement (29.4%) and motivation (3%).
According to Diana Arenas, an ICT reference in Bogotá and in charge of developing projects that promote the closing of digital gaps in the District’s localitiestechnologies play a fundamental role in the lives of all people, both on a personal, professional and social level.
Digital tools have transformed the way we communicate, interact, work, learn and consume information and products. For this reason, it is important to continue promoting their responsible and ethical use.
“I am convinced that the projects that we develop from the Secretary of Government and those led by other entities, such as the District High Council of ICT, the Secretary of Economic Development, the Secretary of Women and local mayors, are a key proposal to close the digital gaps that continue to be wide in Colombia”, assured Arenas.
He added: “From the public and private sectors, we must work together to promote the responsible and ethical use of ICTs, guarantee that they are available and accessible to all. If we achieve this, we can move as a society towards a more prosperous and inclusive future.”
Taking this into account, announced four of them that are in the District and that they are an opportunity that should be taken into account to make a program articulated that allows the technological appropriation, especially in the communities:
- Local ICT: It is a project that seeks to generate actions for labor inclusion, improve productive activities, contribute to citizen participation and strengthen networks and communication channels in different population sectors through the use of technological tools. Furthermore, it is divided into three components. The first, ‘Digital Ambassadors’, an option that seeks to empower older adults through training and strengthening digital and communication skills. The second is ‘Digital Locality’, the purpose of which is to provide ICT knowledge and tools such as training in programming languages, English and design based on innovation to increase the possibilities of employment for young people. The third is ‘Entrepreneurship Acceleration’, an alternative to promote the strengthening of different economic activities through the intensive use of ICT and which is focused on entrepreneurs.
- Digital Inclusion Centers of the District Secretariat for Women: This project, which is part of the District Care System, seeks to empower and create job opportunities for women through access to technology and training processes. In this way, it promotes, through environments of equity and inclusion, physical spaces in which women, based on three pillars (giving them time, minimizing their digital gaps and generating timely information for decision-making) can find a wide virtual training offer.
- “Everyone to the U, train in digital”: A program led by the Ministry of Economic Development, the District Agency for Higher Education, Science and Technology, Atenea and Grupo Energía Bogotá (GEB), which offers scholarships to study short professional training courses, also known as bootcamps, virtually, completely free and certified. These courses have an estimated duration of six months. The first call is aimed at residents of Bogotá and it is expected that 7,400 people will benefit from these scholarships starting in 2023. The courses will focus on areas such as the development of softwareprogramming, marketing digital, data analytics, cybersecurity and other topics related to the digital sector and information technology. In addition, each course will include modules dedicated to soft or socio-emotional skills and the teaching of the English language.
- Digital nodes: It is another free training program that is more focused on improving local labor skills through courses that are certified by Sena and other allies. In this sense, you can see classes both in digital tools and in other options such as photography, post-production, Excel, programming, English and even entrepreneurial behavior, being the one in the town of Suba the best known for these offers.