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Our educated people proved no good when needed: Lack of governance is not new

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15th-Sep-2020       
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Editorial Desk :
Nearly three-quarters of rural households in the country have low level digital access and skills, revealed a study of BRAC Institute of Governance and Development on Saturday. It divulged that about 49 per cent of the households have no access to a computer and 54 per cent do not have access to the internet. Despite commendable progress in digitising many public services during this decade, rural people still are denied access to digital opportunity.
The survey found 96 per cent of rural households own a mobile phone, a majority (59 per cent) do not have access to a Smartphone. Among the respondents, 68 per cent can read and write text messages, 10 per cent can check and send emails, 15 per cent can make video calls, 41 per cent can participate in social media, and 28 per cent can make comments on social media. But when it comes to problem-solving and actual utility, the percentage of households who possess the requisite skills is staggeringly low.  These findings come at a time when the government is struggling to carry out regular online classes for students with uneven access to internet and devices as all educational institutions across the country are closed for an indefinite period due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Digital access, however, is only one of two aspects of digital literacy, the other being the skills that enable people to use these tools to effectively communicate, seek information, and solve problems.
Rural households are still falling behind in the adoption and use of e-services due to lack of proper access to information and communication technology (ICT) and the skills needed to operate devices. This persistent "digital divide" between rural and urban households in Bangladesh continues to hinder the successful expansion of the country's e-government system. To create an e-government system, we need a critical mass of digitally literate people. This literacy should not only reflect on people's access to digital devices but also their behavioural shift.
In course of time the colossal failure of governance will reveal without any serious academic exercise. It is too late for such studies to be helpful. As a nation we have proved that our educated people are no good to do good to the people. ##

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