But older employees and a population without access to computers are failing to keep up Sa'd Ibrahim sits at his computer, carefully entering financial data into a computer at the
Ibrahim is just one of the employees who received training in using computer and the Internet under an ongoing state-run initiative to promote digital literacy among civil servants. Unlike Ibrahim, who became computer literate in a short period of time, his older colleagues at the ministry rely on younger fellow workers to help them complete their tasks.
The government's plans for training Yemeni civil servants on basic computer skills in order to keep them abreast to best practices in information technology (IT), as well as modernize their institutions, began in the 1980s, when other parts of the world were also going electronic. Although
Some say there is an age gap.
"They are unwilling or unable to deal with computers," he said. Mahdi thinks it's generational and having not grown up with computers, many find them intimidating. Mahdi, who usually helps his older colleagues to complete computer-related tasks, said his older colleagues "feel embarrassed for being unable to deal with computers, so they resort to papers," and then their younger colleagues enter the data into computers.
According to a survey conducted by the
One shortcoming of this service, called "electronic gates," is that the pages are not interactive. Citizens do not easily have access to information through the "gates." If anyone needs to obtain official information, it has to be done through a personal request at a governmental institution and then the information is released on paper.
A project called the "Electronic Government" was launched in 2003, during the premiership of Abdulqadir Bajamal, with an estimated budget of
"The [success of the] strategy depends on the training the state employees will receive to deal with technology and the Internet," said Engineer
However, Al-Awjari does not see the problem of computer illiteracy among state employees as the only problem though. He said, even with trained employees, dealing with a population who are not computer literate and looking for information can be a huge headache.
To tackle this problem, Al-Awjari said the government could build centers to offer electronic services.
"We are keen to employ young people in such centers," he said. "They can be a medium between the illiterate citizens and the government."
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