ICDL is the world’s leading digital skills certification, which helps people to develop and certify their skills in using a computer. Consisting of a number of modules, with the flexibility for teachers to choose the topics that meet the needs of their students, ICDL is an ideal way for schools to help develop their students’ digital skills.

Schools around the world use ICDL. The programme offers both flexibility, and a range of levels, along with an up-to-date offering that is kept to rigorously high standards around the world. Students can benefit from an internationally recognised certification that is mapped to a number of qualifications frameworks and standards, and which integrates with curricula in several countries.

To date, over 16,000,000 people have engaged with ICDL, and thousands of schools, colleges and universities have adopted ICDL to build and certify their students’ digital skills.

Examples of ICDL in education

China

An MoU was signed with the National Centre for Educational Technology (NCET), under the Ministry of Education, for ICDL programmes to be adopted in China. In September 2019, NCET has confirmed 279 vocational colleges who will be offering ICDL programmes to its teachers and students.

Thailand

ICDL has been officially endorsed by Thailand’s Ministry of Education. The recognition permits MOE licensed public and private schools, colleges and universities to deliver ICDL Certification Programmes. Till date, renowned local universities such as Mahidol University, Chiang Mai University, Rajamangala University of Technology and University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce have adopted ICDL.

Vietnam

ICDL Vietnam signed an MoU with the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET). The MoU outlines a closer collaboration in establishing a national ICT Framework for Vietnam. With a social mission of advocating digital literacy and strengthening the digital skills level for all, especially for students.

UK

Certifying your digital skills can help you get into university in the UK. ECDL Advanced certification is worth 24 UCAS Points, which can count towards entry requirements for many university courses across the country.

QUALIFICATIONS FRAMEWORKS

ICDL is mapped to national qualifications frameworks in several countries in Asia and beyond. Qualifications frameworks make it easy to compare qualifications and certifications from different countries with each other. Across Asia, thousands of schools have adopted ICDL to certify the digital skills of their students and staff. Using the flexibility of the ICDL Profile structure, schools can choose the modules that help build the skills their students need the most.

Why are digital skills important?

In both our private lives, and our working lives, technology is already indispensable. There are few, if any, jobs that don’t need some level of computer use, and government and commercial services, like tax, unemployment, insurance, or health-care, are increasingly online.

In short, nobody can get by without digital skills. But, just as nobody can get by without digital skills, it is also the case that nobody is born with the ability to use a computer. Digital competences have to be learnt. ‘Digital natives’, born with the ability to do anything with a computer, don’t exist, they are created through learning.

Digital skills, from the basic digital literacy of working with files and folders, and getting about online, to the more advanced topics of coding, developing ‘information literacy’, and understanding how to stay safe online, should be a key part of any young persons’ education. Being equipped with the right digital skills means being equipped for the future of work and life.

Does certification matter?

There are lots of ways to learn how to use a computer, but research done by partners of ICDL Asia shows that proving acquired skills with certification is key to truly equipping people with useful competences.

It is undeniable that poor digital skills put people at a disadvantage. But what isn’t so widely understood is the gap between people’s understanding of their digital skills, and the reality. ICDL Foundation partners in five countries in Europe, as well as ICDL Asia in Singapore and ICDL India, have researched this question, using a combination of self-assessment questions and follow-up practical computer tests. 

The studies found that no matter which country the research was done in, people routinely overestimate their own digital skill levels. In some areas, the gap between participants’ perception of their own skills, and the reality was marked. For example in the Indian study, 84.6% of participants rated their word processing skills as ‘fair’ to ‘excellent’, while only 48.5% really performed that well.

As well as significant digital skills gaps, the research has also provided a unique snapshot of a global problem. No matter where the research has been conducted, similar gaps in digital skills have been found. This held true, even in countries like Singapore, where 88% of people have internet access at home. 88.5% of participants from Singapore rated their general digital skills as ‘fair’ to ‘excellent’, but only 55% achieved that level.

This programme is highly beneficial for us, especially as a tertiary student who will be entering the workforce. The skills learnt is practically used by almost everyone who works with computers and is thus, a highly sort after skills. Having this certification would really help me in getting a better job in the future.

– Salsabila Rustam, Year 3 Undergraduate, Singapore

Through this course, I have learned much more about Powerpoint and it is going to benefit me in the future. I will be able to create better presentations to show to my class the new ideas that I have, more professionally.

– Edward Yeung, Upper Secondary Student, Singapore

The ICDL programmes and Digital Challenge competition allows students to elevate their digital skills to the international level.

– Paweena Nara-In, Teacher, Thailand

It is good that the young generation now is equipped and trying to test their ICT competencies through various platforms, such as ICDL programmes and competition.

– Maria Lourdes, Department of Information & Communication Technology (DICT), Philippines

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