Tuesday, 11 June 2024 10:41

Sri Lanka’s computer, digital literacy increase to 39% Featured

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The Department of Census and Statistics (DCS) reports that computer literacy in Sri Lanka has increased to 39% in 2023.

In its latest release on computer and digital literacy, the DCS reported that the country's Computer Literacy Rate stands at 39.0% and the Digital Literacy Rate at 63.5%. Additionally, 20.2% of households own either a desktop or laptop computer, with the urban sector demonstrating higher literacy in both computer and digital skills.

Regarding household computer ownership, at least one computer is available in 20.2% of households in the country, meaning one out of every five households owns either a desktop or a laptop. In the urban sector, this percentage is 34.0%, while the rural and estate sectors show 18.1% and 4.6%, respectively.

When considering the provinces, the highest availability of computers is in the Western Province at 33.5%, while the lowest is in the Eastern Province at 8.6%. The percentage of households with a desktop or laptop computer varied between 20% and 23% from 2021 to 2023.

A person aged between 5 and 69 is considered computer literate if they can use a computer independently. For example, a 5-year-old who can play a computer game is also considered computer literate.

The Computer Literacy Rate is the proportion of the computer literate population (aged 5-69 years) expressed as a percentage of the total population within the respective domain.

The percentage of the computer literate population in Sri Lanka has been gradually increasing over recent survey periods, with the overall Computer Literacy Rate reported at 39.0% in 2023. This marks an increase of 4.7 percentage points from 2021 to 2023.

In 2023, the urban sector had the highest computer literacy rate at 52.9%, while the rates for rural and estate sectors were 37.1% and 17.9% respectively. Among the provinces, the Western Province reported the highest computer literacy at 49.9%, while the Uva Province had the lowest at 26.5%.

Males had a higher computer literacy rate (40.9%) compared to females (37.2%) in 2023. The highest computer literacy rate was among the youth aged 15-19 years at 79.4%. Additionally, the survey revealed that computer literacy increases with the level of education, with those having GCE Advanced Level (A/L) or above education showing a rate of 80.1%. Computer literacy was also higher among those literate in English, at 77.4%.

The computer literacy among the employed population who are aware of computers in Sri Lanka is around 72.4 % in 2023. The positions such as Senior Officials and Managers (90.9%), Professionals (96.0%), Technicians and Associate Professionals (94.0%), Clerks and Clerical support workers (94.1%) have higher computer literacy rates. Also, even among the individuals engage in elementary occupations, 39.0 percent are computer literate in 2023.

In 2023, a total of 63.5% of the population aged 5 to 69 demonstrated digital literacy, which is higher than computer literacy across all levels, reflecting a shift from personal computers to smartphones and tablets.

Additionally, 51.2% of individuals in this age group used the internet at least once during the past twelve months. The survey also shows that the urban sector, with more available facilities, had the highest usage of both email and the internet compared to the rural and estate sectors.

Data indicates that individuals aged 20-24 had higher internet and email usage than other age groups. Furthermore, 18.6% of the household population aged 5-69 used email at least once in the past year.


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