Southeast Asian parents want kids to use devices for learning – study

MANILA, Philippines – A recent study by points to an overwhelming majority of Southeast Asian families with tablets and other mobile devices allowing their kids to use those devices.

Commissioned by Samsung Kidstime in partnership with, "Mobile Device Usage Among Young Kids: A Southeast Asia Study” surveyed a representative sample of 2,714 parents from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand with at least 3,917 children aged between 3 and 8 years. 

According to their findings, 98% of Southeast Asian parents allow their kids to use tablets and other mobile devices. From this, 80% primarily allow this to supplement their education. 

Aside from education, however, some are primarily motivated by giving their kids early exposure to technology (68%), providing their kids with entertainment (57%), and keeping their kids preoccupied (55%).

Parents are also concerned with the negative effects of device use among their kids, with most being afraid of a risk to their children’s health (92%), followed by the risk of children becoming addicted to their devices (90%) or being exposed to inappropriate content (88%).

Parents are also concerned about high billing charges from in-app purchases made by their kids (67%), as well as damage to the devices themselves (60%).

The study also notes that 41% of the children are likely to use a device for longer than an hour, though for different uses depending on the age. 

The study says, "While children aged 3 to 5 years mostly consume educational apps, videos and games, children aged 6 to 8 years start playing more games in relation to using educational apps and watching videos.” This increase in playing games goes against what parents want their kids to use such devices for – education. 

This leads to most parents (94%) wanting parental control mechanisms. The most requested parental control features including the ability to set usage time limits on devices (72%), in-app purchase blocking and controls (67%), and the ability to monitor of children's usage or progress (66%).  –

Victor Barreiro Jr.

Victor Barreiro Jr is part of Rappler's Central Desk. An avid patron of role-playing games and science fiction and fantasy shows, he also yearns to do good in the world, and hopes his work with Rappler helps to increase the good that's out there.