Digital Exclusion and Inclusion in Poland—An Overview of Research and Educational Activities from Recent Decades

Tomczyk Ł., Kielar I., Daş A., Daş N.

in: From Digital Divide to Digital Inclusion, Łukasz Tomczyk,Francisco D. Guillén-Gámez,Julio Ruiz-Palmero,Akhmad Habibi, Editor, Springer Nature, Singapore, pp.433-451, 2024

  • Publication Type: Book Chapter / Chapter Research Book
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Publisher: Springer Nature
  • City: Singapore
  • Page Numbers: pp.433-451
  • Editors: Łukasz Tomczyk,Francisco D. Guillén-Gámez,Julio Ruiz-Palmero,Akhmad Habibi, Editor
  • Ataturk University Affiliated: Yes


Digital competences are one of the basic skills in today's world. The deficiency or absence of skills in the efficient use of information and communication technologies creates an unfavourable phenomenon known as digital exclusion. Since the mid-1990s in Poland, i.e. since the first households were connected to the Internet, the problem of low digital competences has become one of the challenges for formal, non-formal, and informal education. This article shows how the level of digital exclusion and digital competences has changed over the last three decades. Based on an analysis of the literature, it was concluded that: (1) Digital exclusion in Poland changed with the level of digitisation; (2) In 1995–2000, the building of the information society in Poland began with the construction of Internet access points; (3) Owning a smartphone or a computer in Poland does not mean having high digital competence; (4) In the initial period, digital exclusion was determined mainly by economic aspects (the high price of equipment and Internet connection); (5) In the school year 1999/2000, less than 30% of schools had access to the Internet; (6) In 2004, Poland ranked 19th among 24 countries covered by the survey in relation to student access to computer equipment; (7) In 2003, only 1/3 of households had access to the Internet; (8) The beginning of the 2000s was marked by the near-universal computerisation of education; (9) European Funds became a driving force for minimising digital exclusion and improving digital competences among various social groups; (10) The COVID-19 pandemic proved to be a milestone in the development of the information society and the increase of digital competences; (11) The pandemic period also clearly showed which areas related to the use of ICT need to be strengthened; (12) Currently, about a tenth of citizens do not use the Internet in Poland; and (13) Digital exclusion mainly affects people of senior age.