FOR THE SITTING ON 08 JULY 2019
QUESTIONS NO. 17 AND 18 FOR WRITTEN ANSWER
17. Prof Lim Sun Sun: To ask the Minister for Communications and Information (a) how does the Ministry assess the efficacy of the Home Access Programme that provides subsidised broadband access to low income families; and (b) whether these families are tracked in terms of their technology adoption and digital literacy skills and challenges.
18. Prof Lim Sun Sun: To ask the Minister for Communications and Information (a) how does the Ministry assess the efficacy of the NEU PC Plus Programme that provides subsidised personal computer/laptop ownership to low income families; and (b) whether these families' technology usage patterns and digital literacy skills are tracked.
The Home Access Programme and NEU PC Plus Programme are programmes by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) to support low-income households to have access to and use digital technologies.
2 The Home Access Programme provides 2 years of subsidised broadband to the bottom 10% of households without school-going children. More than 12,000 households have benefitted from the programme since Sep 2014, contributing to 98%1 of resident households having internet access at home. In a survey conducted in 2016, 9 in 10 households indicated that they have benefited from the programme, and 7 in 10 stated that they were excited to try out new technology and were confident in using the internet. Another round of survey is being conducted this year.
3 The NEU PC Plus Programme provides a subsidised PC with 3 years of free broadband to the bottom 20% of households with school-going children or with persons with disabilities. More than 40,000 low-income households have benefitted from the programme since Nov 2006, contributing to 98%2 of resident households with school-going children having computer access at home. 9 in 10 households indicated in a 2018 survey that the programme has benefitted them. 7 in 10 primary school students and 8 in 10 secondary school students also shared that the programme has aided their learning process and helped them to complete their school work independently.
4 Beyond the provision of broadband access and PCs, there is also a need to equip individuals with digital literacy skills. To support this need, beneficiaries of the Home Access Programme are offered introductory training to acquire basic digital skills. Additional digital literacy skilling support is also provided through initiatives such as the Silver Infocomm Junctions, as well as Digital Clinics. Our support programmes are regularly refined to keep up with needs of low-income families.
1, 2According to IMDA’s Annual Survey on Infocomm Usage in Households and by Individuals for 2018.