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Facebook launches ‘Digital Tayo’ literacy program in Philippines

Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) - April 25, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Social media company Facebook on Tuesday launched a nationwide digital literacy program that aims to train one million Filipinos by next year. 

Dubbed “Digital Tayo,” the program is a local adaptation of Facebook’s We Think Digital, a global digital literacy program that aims to help people think critically and share thoughtfully online. 

“Digital literacy has traditionally focused on helping people learn to use computers, get jobs or access information from the Internet. But there is a greater need to consider how we are plugging into a global community and connecting with people, not just information,” Facebook director for community affairs in the Asia-Pacific region Clair Deevy said.

“’Digital Tayo’ is more than digital literacy. It is about digital citizenship. It is designed to help Filipinos with vital skills, such as critical thinking, empathy and being adept at using tools for online safety and well-being,” Deevy added.

The program, which may be accessed at https://digitaltayo.fb.com, is composed of four modules that cover various topics, including privacy, safety, security, digital discourse and digital footprint.

Facebook said the program’s learning resources are designed to help people, whether they are new to the internet or a digital native who wants to learn more or improve their digital skills. 

Officials from the Department of Education, Department of Information and Communications Technology and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration joined partners from civil society organizations during Tuesday’s launch in Quezon City.

In a statement read by Undersecretary Alain Del Pascua, Education Secretary Leonor Briones said the partnership would help Filipinos answer the critical question of what it means to be a digital citizen.

“We look forward to working with our partners as we equip our learners, teachers and personnel with the much-needed skills for creating a responsible and safe community online,” Briones added.

Facebook said the program comes at a crucial time as more Filipinos spend time online.

A recent survey showed that an average Filipino spends 10 hours and two minutes online every day, the highest among internet users worldwide.

The same survey showed that Filipinos are the heaviest users of social media, spending an average of four hours and 12 minutes every day, significantly higher than the worldwide average of two hours and 16 minutes.

Facebook said “Digital Tayo” aims to further strengthen Filipinos’ understanding of the online landscape and in turn help them become even more informed digital citizens. 

“The program’s learning modules are designed to equip people with skills, including the ability to think critically about what they see online, how to communicate respectfully and engage in digital discourse,” the company said.

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