SDG 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
«Obtaining a quality education is the foundation to improving people’s lives and sustainable development.[…] The free circulation of information, freedom of opinion and expression must be guaranteed, while promoting the ability to grasp and process information (principles 7b and 7c).»
Significance of the indicator
The indicator provides information on the share of the population by age that has general digital skills that go beyond basic skills. At a time of adaptation to the changes brought about by digital transformation, the skills level of the population becomes crucial. The level of digital literacy needs to be upgraded fast enough to keep up with the rate of change in order to avoid a part of the population being left behind both on the labour market and in everyday life. An increase in digital literacy, therefore, is a step towards sustainable development.
Help for interpretation
The digital literacy index is based on the assumption that a certain skills level is required to carry out certain activities. The general index is based on four areas of online activity: information, communication, problem solving and the use of software to process content.
This indicator is comparable at European level.
Comments : Assessment impossible because there is no time series.
Digital skills are measured based on a conceptual framework developed at European level. Four skill areas have been defined, each with an indicator showing the number of online activities or specific tasks carried out by internet users. The hypothesis is made that users having carried out an activity have the necessary skills to accomplish that task. A synthesis of the results for each domain provides an indicator of general digital skills.
The aim is to distinguish between people with no skills, those with basic skills and those with more advanced skills. The latter are defined as those who have more than basic skills.
The four skill areas are:
- Information skills enabling users to identify, locate, store and organise information in digital form;
- Communication skills enabling users to establish contacts and to share information, to collaborate with digital tools and to participate in online networks or communities;
- Problem-solving skills enabling users to identify their needs and which digital resources to use, to make informed decisions on the choice of digital tools or to resolve technical problems;
- Software-using skills for creation, which cover the ability to edit and manipulate digital content ranging from text documents and videos to code writing in a programming language.
In 2021, a variable on problem solving was changed. This leads to a break in the time series.
7b Access to information and freedom of opinion
There should be no restriction to the flow of information. The freedom to make and express opinion must be guaranteed.
7c Encouraging learning
The ability to grasp and process information in a sophisticated manner should be promoted.
11a Predictability of changes in the system
The framework of the market system should be shaped in such a manner that a long-term outlook is worthwhile and the social change necessary to adapt to future requirements is facilitated.
11b Socially compatible rate of change
The rapidity or slowness of changes in the framework of the economic system must not jeopardise social peace.
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