BALI – The ASEAN Digital Literacy Programme (DLP), a collaboration between the ASEAN Foundation and Google.org, Google’s philanthropic arm, unveiled its e-learning platform DigitalClassASEAN.org, at its Impact Forum today.
The platform, part of the ASEAN DLP’s commitment to advancing digital literacy across the region, focuses on inclusivity and accessibility, providing essential tools to support individuals with disabilities on their learning journey.
The ASEAN DLP Impact Forum, which was hosted in Bali from 14 to 16 November 2023 on Global Media and Information Literacy Week was themed “Navigating Digital Resilience: Empowering ASEAN Communities through Digital Literacy”.
It spotlighted the achievements as well as the impact of the two-year programme in ten ASEAN member states, which included Singapore, while bringing together local partners and stakeholders with representatives of the ASEAN Secretariat and the ASEAN Foundation as well as Google.org to discuss various key digital literacy topics.
The aim of the forum was to raise awareness about digital literacy, foster collaboration among stakeholders, and equip participants with the necessary tools and strategies to promote digital inclusion and address digital challenges in the ASEAN region.
Over the course of two years, the ASEAN DLP, in partnership with 15 local implementing organisations, conducted 61 Training of Trainers sessions, involving 1,451 Master Trainers across the region. Through this, the programme has reached 193,955 individuals through 2,647 digital literacy workshops, exceeding its initial goal of reaching 100,000 people within two years.
Additionally, the ASEAN Youth Advisory Group (YAG), which operates under the ASEAN DLP and comprises selected youth from ten ASEAN countries, has conducted 12 impactful online and on-site digital literacy campaigns across the region. This has directly benefited 3,881 individuals and achieved a combined social media reach of over 930,000 people.
Executive Director of the ASEAN Foundation, Dr Piti Srisangnam said, “We are delighted with the inroads we have made in Singapore through DoubleCheck, our campaign with ASEAN Youth Advisory Group (YAG), to educate pre-teens and teens. Over the past two years, the work through our implementation partner, Bamboo Builders, has also empowered a new generation of Master Trainers to train new communities and future agents of change.”
“The achievement of ASEAN DLP is a collective accomplishment involving the active participation and dedication of all stakeholders. Having a shared purpose of creating a safer digital space has brought us one step closer to the vision of developing a digitally inclusive Southeast Asia,” he adds.
In Singapore, the programme has trained 50 Master Trainers and 3,098 participants, working alongside Bamboo Builders as a local implementing partner to record significant awareness and active participation among Singaporean youth in the fight against misinformation and disinformation.
Founder of Bamboo Builders Gabriel Tan said, “We are proud to be part of ASEAN DLP in building safer digital spaces. In just a few months, we have trained more than 2,500 beneficiaries, including in-mates from Singapore prison, persons with disabilities, domestic and migrant workers, with digital literacy skills. They will be the agents of change, amplifying digital literacy awareness in their community.”
Along with capacity building, the DoubleCheck campaign aimed to enhance digital literacy among tweens and teens on misinformation and disinformation using a fun edutainment approach. It was spearheaded by Singaporean ASEAN YAG members, Joanne Tan and Esther David.
Lead for Google.org APAC, Marija Ralic said, “The ASEAN Foundation’s Digital Literacy Programme has achieved remarkable results and also touched lives, sparking positive change across Southeast Asia. The commitment, dedication, and passion demonstrated by all participants, trainers, and organisations is truly inspiring and we are proud to support this initiative through Google.org. As we continue on our journey toward a safer internet, let us draw inspiration from these stories of transformation and empowerment,”.
Google.org is supporting the ASEAN Foundation with a US$1.5 million grant to aid the implementation of the ASEAN DLP from 2022 to 2024.
Meanwhile the platform DigitalClassASEAN.org, which was unveiled at the forum, has five core modules covering key aspects of digital literacy -digital citizenship, media, and information literacy, addressing misinformation and disinformation, promoting positive online behaviour, as well as tackling special topics like social media etiquette, digital parenting, and online scam prevention.
These modules were developed through collaboration between the ASEAN Foundation and the Break the Fake Movement, a fact-checking organisation based in the Philippines. They are available in eight ASEAN local languages: Bahasa Malaysia, Bahasa Indonesia, Khmer, Tagalog, Thai, Lao, Burmese, and Vietnamese. Upon completing all modules, learners will receive a downloadable certificate of achievement.
ASEAN DLP’s mission in combating misinformation and disinformation through digital literacy is in alignment with UNESCO’s theme for this year’s Global Media and Information Literacy Week, “Media and Information Literacy in Digital Spaces: A Collective Global Agenda.”
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This press release has also been published on VRITIMES