A Project for Empty Spain
José Manuel Holgado Torquemada
Degree in Physical Sciences. Automatic Calculus
Head of Information Technology in Diputacion Ciudad Real
Today’s society is linked to information as never before. This is the origin of the concept of Information Society.
The Information Society is necessarily based on Digital Systems; this forces us to be competent and know how to move skillfully in this digital environment, which also has its rules.
We must know how to use technology with familiarity and in a safe manner. According to the results of the 2019 Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI), more than half of the Spanish population lacks digital skills/competences, which are the set of knowledge, abilities, skills, abilities and attitudes required for the strategic use of information and tools, in order to be able to work, to relate to other people, to our loved ones in situations of physical isolation such as the one suffered in this pandemic, with the administration, to shop online, to entertain ourselves, to be informed,
The impact of the Covid-10 pandemic has highlighted the strengths and weaknesses we have in this area. Among the weaknesses we must highlight the low digital training, the geographical dispersion, low population density and increasing aging of the population pyramid and its greater difficulty in accessing this information society.
But what digital skills do we need to be competent and overcome the digital divide?
The European Commission has worked on a reference framework for citizens to have basic digital skills. In the DigComp 2.1, 21 digital competencies are defined, that little by little, all citizens should achieve in these times. These skills are divided into 5 areas:
– Digital Literacy: the ability to identify, locate, store, organize, retrieve and analyze digital information and evaluate its relevance.
– Communication and Collaboration: ability to communicate, collaborate, interact and participate in virtual teams and networks, using digital media with appropriate tone and behavior.
– Creation of digital content: This allows us to create, configure and edit digital content, in addition to understanding its rules.
– Security: the ability to protect people, environment, content, personal data and privacy in a safe and sustainable way.
– Problem-solving: the ability to solve digital problems and see new ways to leverage technology.
To achieve all of the above, the first thing is to facilitate Internet access to all people, regardless of where they live or are located.
In this sense, the acquisition and development of digital skills of the whole population, and especially of the most disadvantaged groups, is a priority for our society, with the obligation to provide means and personnel that can provide digital competences and skills to the population.
In order to achieve the above, the Community of Castilla-La Mancha, together with the Provincial Councils and City Councils, has developed the project “Points of Digital Inclusion”, PID.
With this project, in all the municipalities of the region and many of its villages, a free public internet access point has been installed in a municipally-owned space. Each point is a link between citizens and networks, creating a large virtual network. Each point is equipped with everything necessary for any citizen to have access to the Information Society.
The installation of these PIDs contributes to increasing citizen confidence in the digital environment, as well as extending the use of Information and Communication Technologies among the neighbors in their relations with the administration, in conditions of equity and non-discrimination.
The Provincial Council of Ciudad Real is betting very strongly on this issue, providing and training staff, called “dynamizers”, in the IDPs, so that they in turn teach and help to achieve the digital skills mentioned, making the digital divide is becoming smaller and smaller.
The Human Rights Council of the United Nations approved a resolution, in which it declares access to the Internet, to the Information Society as a basic right of all human beings. The resolution encourages all countries to provide their citizens with access to the Internet and condemns nations that infringe on this freedom. The text states that “the same rights that people have offline must be protected online”, especially with regard to freedom of expression, as defined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
This Human Right is essential for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development and no state should stop it.
José Manuel Holgado Torquemada