Meaning and Importance of Digital Inclusion
Digital inclusion is all about possessing digital skills to make the most of the ICT revolution. It empowers individuals to connect with the world better and avail themselves of the facilities possible through the latest innovative technologies.
Today, when the world is facing the challenges of the post-pandemic world, this power of digital inclusion is even bigger than one can imagine!
Why is Digital Inclusion Important?
Digital inclusion is important to make use of the dimensions of digital technologies. This empowerment allows the users to enjoy the benefits of essential digital services and allows them to make their lives more comfortable.
Digital inclusion helps in numerous walks of life. And has a make-or-break effect on the citizens in this Information age.
As per the United Nations (UN-DESA), one-half of the entire world’s population makes use of the internet. While the other half is still deprived of its benefits.
What makes Digital Inclusion helpful in all walks of life?
Let’s take you through some points that highlight the importance of digital inclusion in the present times:
1. Opportunities for the disabled
As per the ‘National Council on Disability’ (NCD), digital inclusion improves workplace participation. And creates new prospects for people with disabilities. ICT is believed to bridge the gap between the employment opportunities of men, women, and disabled employees. And the latter will be able to break free from the hindrance of sticking on to part-time or low-skill-based jobs.
This empowerment of digital skills addresses challenges like socialization for the disabled population. And improves accessibility through the privilege of internet access.
2. Health management
Digital inclusion also helps us to utilize better ways of managing our health and well-being. It has supported us in diagnosing diseases. And even supports the digitally literate population by making them aware of their health risks. With these new and advanced technology-based solutions, health systems are now progressing at an unbeatable speed.
The World Health Organization states that innovative technology has made way for new knowledge sources, and has improved patient management like never before.
It has also facilitated disease monitoring and surveillance. Which leads to a better response for public health emergencies.
3. Accessibility in education
All thanks to modern-day technology, education is no more limited just to the physical structures of traditional schools. Today, entire, K-12 school education is possible through digital schooling. And students can join the best educational systems of the world, without even stepping out of their homes. This benefit of self-paced virtual learning is a boon for modern students. Because they have a wide variety of options available through virtual mediums.
These options are also perfect for students from marginalized societies, with learning disabilities. And even for others who step out of the mainstream education system.
4. Lifelong learning
Another difference that ICT can make is the extension of learning possibilities. Other than improving the regular educational opportunities through an online school, digital technologies also support the idea of continuing education. It is a perfect channel to quench the thirst for knowledge. Which makes an individual more competitive and skilled for the global workforce.
With online education, people of all age groups can now secure a good position in their existing organization. And even explore more attractive job opportunities by the virtue of their advanced skillsets. All this is possible through the boon of technology. Because candidates with better skillsets are always welcomed in the workforce. Lifelong learning also improves the overall life satisfaction of the employees. As they become more capable and productive employees for their organization.
5. Extends job markets with digital opportunities
Digital jobs have extended more opportunities for the youth with options like freelancing, online work, and self-paced projects. These new ways of working are ideal for a huge section of our unemployed or underemployed youth. Because these digital jobs give them a sense of self-worth. And helps them to keep up with the pace of the workforce.
Job seekers can now take up these digital jobs and earn a living outside the traditional labor markets or workforce. These opportunities also help women in rendering support to the economy. Without facing any threats like security or gender biases at the workplace. Digital tools are both affordable and better for these members of society. As they manage to multitask. And earn a living without compromising on their family life.
6. Digital entrepreneurship is the way forward
Digital entrepreneurship is a credible way forward for small businesses in this post-Covid world. It helps in materializing a series of entrepreneurship processes through the power of digital technologies.
Researches have proved that this new paradigm shift serves the societal interest. And certainly has the capability to promote positive outcomes. This new form of entrepreneurship is all about new strategies, risk management, and opportunities.
7. Boosts employment
As per the World Economic Forum, candidates with applied learning opportunities have better prospects in the modern-day, post-Covid job markets. And digital literacy is the savior for candidates in this competitive era of industry-specific skills. With the changing and growing demands of the current times, candidates now need more than just the foundational skillsets. This means that they need to hone their skills even for entry-level jobs in the present times.
Researchers also support the fact, that digital literacy gives a boost to one’s employability. Because the industry is now demanding candidates with more advanced skill sets relevant for the rapidly changing dynamic landscape.
8. Better pay/wages
IT skills and digital inclusion also improves one’s pay packages in the workforce. Because ICT plays a crucial role in business innovation. It is also related to better productivity. As tech-savvy professions have an advanced skill set for overall workplace productivity.
Digital inclusion is the key to unlock an array of opportunities in this fast-paced ‘Information Age’. It is an unbeatable advantage for an individual to reach the pinnacle of success and enjoy a convenient life. Digital inclusion also addresses issues like safety, gender inequality, and accessibility.
Hope this piece of information acquainted you with the dimensions of digital inclusion.