Digital Literacy Accelerates by 14.5% Computer Literacy up too

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By 2017-12-07

BY Paneetha Ameresekere

Sri Lanka's digital and computer literacy rates have accelerated in the first half of this year as opposed to 2016 with males ahead of females in both categories.

Sri Lanka's digital literacy rate at the end of last year to the end of the first half of this year increased by 14.5 per cent to 38.7 per cent, a Census and Statistics Department (CSD) report released on Tuesday (5) showed.

Male digital literacy rates in the review period increased from 36.7 per cent to 42.5 per cent and female digital literacy, from 31.2 per cent to 35.2 per cent.

Urban sector digital literacy rate in the review period increased from 49.1 per cent to 54.5 percent, while rural sector digital literacy rates increased from 31.6 per cent to 36.4 per cent. The Estate Sector digital literacy rate rose from 13.1 per cent to 16.4 per cent, in the review period.

Digital literacy rate definition includes the ability to use a device such as a smartphone.

Meanwhile, household digital literacy rates led by smartphone usage in the review period increased from 43.4 per cent to 56.9 per cent, an increase of 13.5 percentage points (31.11 per cent) in the review period, of which men 'led' digitally literate households increased from 44.9 per cent to 58.4 per cent and women 'led' from 41.5 per cent to 55 per cent.

Sector wise, in digital literacy, the urban sector led the way, increasing from 41.1 per cent to 55.4 per cent and rural, from 44.3 per cent to 57.7 per cent and the Estate sector, from 47.3 per cent to 52.8 per cent.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka's computer literacy rate in the first half of the year marginally increased by 0.8 percentage points (2.91 per cent) to 28.3 per cent, year on year (YoY), CSD data showed.

The definition of computer literacy includes the ability to use a desktop computer, whereas in the case of digital literacy, it's more sophisticated, such as the ability to use a smartphone.

The urban sector computer literacy rate led the way, increasing from 38.5 per cent to 41.1 per cent, rural: 26.1 per cent to 26.5 per cent, whereas in the case of the Estate Sector it fell, declining from 9.9 per cent to 9.5 per cent, a 0.4 percentage point (4.04 per cent) contraction.

Men led the way in computer literacy, increasing from 29.3 per cent to 30.7 per cent in the review period, whereas in the case of women, it was a marginal increase from 26 per cent to 26.1 per cent.

District-wise, vis-à-vis computer literacy, Colombo led the way, recording a computer literacy rate of 48.9 per cent in the review period, whereas the lowest was recorded at Kilinochchi showing a figure of 6.7 per cent.

Meanwhile, the second highest district vis-à-vis computer literacy was Kandy (36.3 per cent), followed by Gampaha (33.4 per cent), Hambantota (31.8 per cent), Galle (31.7 per cent), Kalutara (29.4 per cent), Kurunegala (29.3 per cent), Kegalle (28.4 per cent), Matale (28.2 per cent), Puttalam (26.3 per cent), Ratnapura (25.6 per cent), Matara (23.6 per cent), Polonnaruwa (21.6 per cent), Anuradhapura (20.6 per cent), Nuwara Eliya (20.1 per cent), Jaffna (17.4 per cent), Vavuniya (16.7 per cent), Badulla (16.5 per cent), Ampara (15 per cent), Monaragala (13.6 per cent), Trincomalee (13.5 per cent), Mullaitivu (12.7 per cent), Batticaloa (12.3 per cent) and Mannar (11.5 per cent).

The percentage of such computer usage households, YoY increased from 34.8 per cent to 37.1 per cent in the Western Province (WP) in the first half of the year, in the Central Province (CP), from 22.4 percent to 23.3 percent, whilst declining from 19.2 per cent to 19 per cent in the Southern Province (SP), accelerating from 15.5 per cent to 18.6 per cent in the Northern Province (NP), declining from 12.2 per cent to 11 per cent in the Eastern Province (EP), accelerating from 20.4 per cent to 21.1 per cent in the Wayamba and North Central Province (NCP), accelerating from 13.5 per cent to 16.5 per cent, decelerating from 12.9 per cent to 9.7% in the Uva and accelerating from 18.6 per cent to 20.4 per cent in the Sabaragamuwa.

Meanwhile, household computer literacy rate, in the first half of the year vis-à-vis the first half of 2015, saw such a literacy rate in the WP decelerating from 38.6 per cent to 37.1 per cent; accelerating from 22.7 per cent to 23.3 per cent in the CP and decelerating from 20 per cent to 19 per cent in the SP, from 18.9 per cent to 18.6 per cent in the NP, 12.8 to 11 per cent in the EP, 21.8 to 21.1 percent in Wayamba, 20.3 per cent to 16.5 percent in the NCP and from 10.9 to 9.7 per cent in the Uva Province, while in the case of Sabaragamuwa, it accelerated from 18.2 to 20.4 per cent in the review period.

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