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Initiative to Bridge Digital Divide
Source: The Brunei Times
Source Date: Friday, November 05, 2010
Focus: Knowledge Management in Government
Country: Brunei Darussalam
Created: Nov 06, 2010

The multinational company is collaborating with non-profit organisation Infocom Federation of Brunei to bring IT training and assessment to the doorsteps of those in rural areas.

Microsoft Country Manager Azizah Ali said that they will start the training sessions in January next year to improve digital literacy in Brunei.

"If you look at what the government is doing around e-government, in the future, they will be enabling online services," she told reporters on the sidelines of the launch of the first TechXpo at the International Convention Centre (ICC) yesterday.

The country manager said that if a citizen does not know how to use the computer or access the Internet, they will lose out on whatever government initiative is introduced online.

"It will not be used by the citizens," said Azizah.

Microsoft will also be looking to see who will collaborate with them on the training programme, and provide the content for free.

"We will provide the trainers and encourage the people to really get used to this digital world and digital lifestyle that's coming," she said. The company is also conducting a number of tests and training for four days at the inaugural TechXpo 2010, where individuals can determine whether they know how to use computers and are aware of the risks of going online.

A total of 50 computers have been set up for the training at ICC. Those who drop by the ICC will also be able to learn about the ethics of using the Internet, an aspect that is particularly important for first time users, especially the younger generation. "These are the various curriculum that we actually have, and over the next four days we will be running this curriculum, and we would like to encourage the citizens, from the younger to the elder generations," said Azizah. (IZAM SAID YA'AKUB)
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