Budget 2021: Singtel helps to bridge digital divide amid Covid-19

SINGAPORE – While the pandemic has helped to accelerate the pace of digitalisation, this may also lead to groups like seniors being marginalised if they do not catch up with the rest.

To bridge this digital gap, Singtel launched its Digital Silvers programme in September last year, where volunteers from the telco help seniors to learn how to use digital devices and go online through weekly hands-on sessions at senior activity centres, among other things.

Such skills include learning how to use apps for messaging and video calls, shopping online and using social media apps for entertainment. The programme aims to help more than 10,000 seniors over the course of two years.

Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said on Tuesday (Feb 16) that Singtel is a “strong corporate advocate for employee volunteerism”.

“From supporting children and youth with special needs, to enabling digital inclusion for the older generation, Singtel volunteers have been actively engaging the community they serve.”

Reacting to Mr Heng’s remarks, Mr Yuen Kuan Moon, group chief executive officer of Singtel, said that corporations were in a position to mobilise their resources and networks to provide donations and in-kind support to the community.

“This is something that Singtel’s Digital Silvers programme was set up to do for the older generation and to ensure technology benefits everyone as Singapore presses on towards becoming a Smart Nation,” he said.

Read next: Highlights of Budget 2021 – From household vouchers to GST on imported low-value goods bought online

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