Village digitalization must be followed by digital literacy: minister

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Village digitalization must be followed by improvement in villagers' digital literacy, Villages, Development of Disadvantaged Regions, and Transmigration Minister, Abdul Halim Iskandar, has said.

"Development of digital-based villages is important considering the current wide penetration of the Internet," he noted in a written statement issued here on Saturday.

"Despite this, digitalization should still be responded with adequate digital literacy because there are negative impacts in using Internet-based gadgets," he said.

Development of village digitalization is important to do to improve services for the people, he added.

Various village administration services would be easier to do through digitalization, he said while inaugurating a digital village in Air Seruk village, Belitung, Bangka Belitung, on Saturday.

"Digital technology would not only help village governments to access information concerning citizens, it would also facilitate villagers in accessing village (-related) information such as the realization of village funds and village budget utilization," the minister explained.

In addition, village digitalization could also be utilized to speed up the movement of the rural economy, he said.

Currently, villages in Indonesia have many quality products, both in terms of goods and services, he highlighted. With digitalization, promoting the products of Air Seruk village would be easier, he added.

"Right now, when you open the marketplace, there are many BUMDes (village-owned enterprises) online stores that promote farming, crafting, and tourism service products. This is certainly a very exciting development," he affirmed.

However, there are negative impacts of village digitalization that should be handled, he said.

"Digital literacy should be homework for villagers so that they are not impacted by the negative impacts of digitalization, such as the spread of hoaxes or illegal online loans," the minister expounded.

According to Belitung district head Sahani Saleh, Air Seruk village is a pilot project for village development in Belitung.

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