Students in Romania are at a minimum functional level of digital skills, report says
- Only a quarter of students in grades I-XII have a functional level of digital skills
- Boys have an average lead of about 5% over girls in digital skills
- The primary level (grades I-IV) has the most non-functional students
- Digital skills increase significantly with age, with significant differences between primary, secondary and high school scores.
Brio®, an ed-tech platform for measuring educational performance approved by the Ministry of Education, together with the UiPath Foundation, with the support of Banca Comerciala Romana (BCR) as a project implementation partner, announces, for the first time in Romania, the results of the first report on the level of digital literacy of students in grades I-XII in Romania. The report analyzes the data obtained after the first 7 months of operation of the digital literacy test in Romania. The results of the report were presented during an event organized in partnership with the Representation of the European Commission in Romania, which was attended by decision makers and representatives of the Romanian educational environment.
In interpreting the results, the literacy index generated by the test (a score that can vary between 0-100) is classified into one of three categories of competence: the level “Non-functional” represents the scores between 0-50, the level “Minimum functional” scores between 50-75, the “Functional” level represents scores between 75-100.
The average digital literacy score obtained for the entire sample is 65.93 points – a result that reflects a minimum functional average level of digital skills. This means that, on average, students in grades I-XII between the ages of 6 and 18 in Romania use the technology well enough to do it on their own, without being guided, in the case of well-defined tasks (ie then when I know exactly what the result should be, such as sending an email or finding out specific information). The average score is calculated in relation to the results of girls (64.57 points) and boys (67.29). The difference of 2.72 points marks the average progress that boys have in terms of digital literacy skills, of about 4-5%.
Only a quarter of students in grades I-XII are at the functional level of digital literacy, which means they can work competently with information and digital content, communicate formally and informally online, and adapt to the audience, I understand. the many opportunities that the internet offers, can create and edit different forms of content at an advanced level, they also know specific and innovative rules related to the protection of devices and personal information. 18% of students fall into the dysfunctional level of digital literacy. They can only use technology guided by other people to perform simple and clearly explained tasks at a rudimentary level, making it difficult for them to use the internet and other digital media to participate in society.
57% of the sample studied falls within the minimum functional level of digital literacy, which means that they manage to use the technology well enough to do it on their own, without being guided, in the case of well-defined tasks (ie when I know exactly what the result should be, such as sending an email or finding out specific information).
Regarding the percentage results obtained according to gender, the average score of 64.57 points obtained by the female group is distributed as a percentage, as follows: 12% in the non-functional level of digital literacy, 64% minimum functional and 24% functional. The average score of 67.29 points obtained by the male category is distributed as a percentage 13% in the non-functional level, 56% functional minimum and 32% functional. P
ercentage results obtained for the development regions show that the non-functional level varies quite a lot between the eight regions, the biggest differences being 11% (between the Central Region and the South-Muntenia Region vs. the Bucharest-Ilfov Region). However, overall, the regions are remarkably similar.
The primary level (grades I-IV) has the most non-functional students, the middle level (grades V-VIII) having the most minimally functional students, while the high school level (grades IX-XII) reflects the most functional students in the point in terms of digital skills. Digital skills increase significantly with age, with significant differences between primary, secondary and high school scores. The increase is remarkable: from a total score of 49.97 for 6 years to a total score of 73.59 for 18 years. The percentage of children in the “severely dysfunctional” category decreases: from 41% of the school population at 6 years old to only 4% at 18 years old. The percentage of children in the functional category ”increases: from 20% of the school population at 6 years old to 51% at 18 years old.
The sample that was the basis of the results obtained from the application of the test is represented by students aged 6-18 years from grades I-XII, enrolled in the public education system, active from an educational point of view and includes a total database consisting of 3,000 valid test applications. The average representation is 34% for grades I-IV, 34% for grades V-VIII and 32% for grades IX-XII. The data collection was carried out over a period of 7 months, between October 2021 and April 2022.
“Romania needs a performing and relevant tool to identify the level of digital skills among all categories of age and to establish the necessary procedures. The existing data Eurostat have not encompassed the 6-16 age group so far, which is particularly important for the digitization policies of education. The society’s hope on the contribution of these age groups to Romania’s growth is significant as they are part of an active educational system that can directly train a behaviour of using and develop digital skills. These are strongly connected with the school performance of the students, both in the way of access to the right, complete information, and also in the way of using it in various contexts and through various ways of delivery. The percentage of students in the 6-18 age group that has a high functional digital skills is only 25%, and at this point this is the talent pool that the Romanian employers will have in the view of generating performance and digital productivity”, said university professor Dr. Dragoș Iliescu, Chief Scientist & Founder Brio®.