Digital skills are essential for citizens to be fully integrated in today’s society. Most administrative formalities are carried out online, whether it’s completing a tax return, looking for work or creating a business. But what about those on the other side of the digital divide?

Digital illiteracy : a cause and a consequence of social exclusion

Digital illiteracy is a phenomenon that affects the most vulnerable. It is the term used for the inability to use digital tools on a daily basis and affects 17% of the population, or nearly 13 million people in France, according to the French national statistics office INSEE.

The main causes are social, regional and generational. For example, 50% of non‑Internet users live in towns with fewer than 20,000 inhabitants and 34% of low‑skilled or unskilled people are affected by the problem.

In this digital age, the digital divide and digital illiteracy are deepening existing inequalities and reinforcing the exclusion of those who are already vulnerable, since they affect 16% of low-income households, but just 4% of the wealthiest households.

Worse still, according to a survey published in November 2018, the digital revolution is seen more as a vector of exclusion than of inclusion (39% versus 18% of respondents, respectively).

Inequality that deepens in times of crisis

As the health and social crisis continues to unfold in France, the consequences in terms of digital exclusion and digital illiteracy are devastating.

Remote teaching is becoming increasingly widespread, but one in four low‑income families lacks the necessary equipment for their children to attend classes from home. Faced with this situation and in partnership with the AFEV and Bouygues Télécom, Break Poverty has launched Réussite Connectée (Connected to Succeed), a program that aims to provide disadvantaged students with the digital equipment and skills they lack to succeed at school. Our objective is to give each student the same chances of success, irrespective of their social background.

Click here to help students in difficulty.

Pour soutenir les jeunes en difficulté, cliquez  ici.


Photo credit : Indian stock images, Shutterstock.