Total Access Communication (DTAC), the country’s third largest mobile operator by subscribers, has joined the Digital Economy Promotion Agency (Depa) and the Thai Media Fund in rolling out an e-learning platform to enhance digital literacy among youth.
The move aims to turn youths susceptible to online abuse into agents promoting digital literacy among friends.
The platform was introduced yesterday by Nuttapon Nimmanphatcharin, president of Depa; Thanakorn Srisuksai, manager of the Thai Media Fund; Marcus Adaktusson, chief corporate affairs officer of DTAC; and Srida Tanta-atipanit, manager of the Internet Foundation for the Development of Thailand.
“One in three kids in Thailand have faced cyberbullying according to a recent survey of 15,348 respondents aged 6-18,” said Ms Srida.
She said 25% of respondents engaged in online meetings and they faced fraud, attempts to lure them into illicit gangs, stalking as well as sexual harassment.
The survey found 73% view pornographic content, nearly 50% see child pornography and 5.5% own child pornography, while 12.1% see gambling advertising and 2.8% gamble online.
Mr Nuttapon said children own digital devices quite early in Thailand, which is among the top five countries in Asia-Pacific for youth ownership, but they lack sufficient digital literacy.
Thai youngsters spend 5-10 hours a day online.
He said Thailand needs to fill 40,000 digital skill positions per year, but only 20,000 graduates are able to fill them and 13,000 of them are likely to work in corporations.
Referring to children’s digital literacy, he said it is important to equip children with this skill to protect them against online abuse.
“Proactive new skill sets are needed as Thailand gears up for digital transformation, particularly in the real sectors,” said Mr Nuttapon.
Mr Adaktusson said young people need to have digital resilience and literacy in order to leverage digital tools for national and social development.
“Youth are on a rapid digital transformation journey that has challenges and opportunities. The Covid-19 outbreak has changed the learning and teaching landscape, with online classes becoming much more common,” he said.
Children can learn about digital literacy via https://learn.safeinternet.camp.
The website has topics such as online privacy and sexual abuse, ways to stop cyberbullying and identifying fake news.
The digital upskilling course includes artificial intelligence-powered chatbots, data visualisation, storytelling and gamification.