The Vice President of Huawei outlined his vision and action plan for education, based on his TECH4ALL digital inclusion initiative, in the Global Education Webinar, entitled “Leveraging equality and quality with technology“, Emphasizing that“connecting schools and skills development are two primary ways for Huawei to improve quality and equitable education.”The Webinar was attended by leaders and experts from UNESCO, GSMA, Senegal's Ministry of National Education, Universities and educational institutions, as well as the private sector.
Improving equality and quality of education through technology
Digital technology plays a key role in education. However, 50% of the world population does not yet have access to the internet, and many people lack the necessary skills to manage these digital devices. This factor results in the digital divide in education continuing to widen.
Ken Hu said: “We believe that everyone, wherever they are, has the right to education and equal opportunities that it offers. As a technology company, Huawei intends to support connectivity, applications and skills, focusing on two important areas, connecting schools and developing digital skills respectively. ''
As for connecting schools, Huawei will help provide access to high-quality educational resources, such as digital curriculums, e-learning applications and teacher and student training, connecting the school to the internet with partners. Huawei recently launched the DigiSchool project in South Africa, in partnership with operator Rain and the non-profit educational organization Click Foundation, whose aim is to connect 100 urban and rural primary schools next year, in addition to 12 schools already connected by 5G technology. “With digital education, we not only face the literacy crisis in the country, but we also give the youngsters the digital skills necessary for future success,” said Nicola Harris, CEO of Click Foundation who participated in the webinar.
As for the development of digital skills, Huawei intends to train vulnerable groups in remote areas, especially women students, through projects such as DigiTruck, in a program called 'Skills on Wheels'. Since the launch of DigiTruck in Kenya at the end of last year, it has been possible to train more than 1.500 young adults and teachers in rural areas. Huawei expects to replicate the program in France, the Philippines as well as other countries in the next two years. Olivier Vanden Eynde, CEO of Close the Gap, DigiTruck's main partner, said that '' All mobile classrooms powered by solar energy and with access to wireless broadband can reach even the most remote communities.
Intensify efforts in response to Covid-19
Huawei has stepped up its efforts through its TECH4ALL initiative in support of UNESCO's global education coalition created to address the global challenges affecting education due to the Covid-19 pandemic. For example, the company joined forces with the UNESCO coalition and Senegal's National Ministry of Education to help the country carry out distance learning during the outbreak. Local teachers receive connections, digital equipment and training for proper use, which will benefit more than 100.000 students. Stefania Giannini UNESCO Deputy Director-General for Education said that “This crisis has changed the face and future of education. He made it clear how quickly change can happen, through partnerships, when expertise and resources are combined with local needs to ensure continuity of learning, especially with regard to the most marginalized students. ''
At the same time, Huawei's ICT Academy launched its 'Learn On' program in early April, aiming to respond to the educational needs of the University's ICT talent affected by the epidemic. The program brings together global university partners and provides funds to encourage university cooperation, which can be used to finance online courses and exams, online experiences, among others, while also providing more than 130 resources to Massively Open Online Courses (MOOC) covering technology fields cutting-edge, such as Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, 5G and the Internet of Things.
Public-private cooperation to accelerate the resolution of educational issues
The Global Education Webinar focused on two themes '' Distance learning for better continuity of education '' and '' ICT innovation for inclusive learning ''. The best practices of countries such as China, France, Luxembourg, Senegal, South Africa, among others, were shared and discussed and, Borhene Chakroun, Director of Policies and Systems for Lifelong Learning at UNESCO, reiterated that '' with At least 63 million primary and secondary school teachers affected, the Covid-19 pandemic emphasized the need to develop the capacity of teachers to effectively engage in distance learning, which will become part of the education and training offer. training in the future. ''
Additionally, participants agreed that public-private cooperation is the key to promoting inclusive education through digital technology. “Many lessons have been learned this year in low- and middle-income countries, adapting services to meet the needs of users and responding to the impact of the global pandemic, through the evolution of critical and commercial partnerships. Stephanie Lynch-Habib, director of marketing for the GSMA added that the GSMA and the mobile industry are supporting this current situation and are committed to long-term support for the SDGs (United Nations Sustainable Development Goal) in the era of ethical leadership . '' To achieve greater digital inclusion in education, it requires cross-sectoral efforts by governments, industry organizations, educational institutions, and technology companies to contribute their respective experiences and resources. This will ultimately accelerate the achievement of SDG 4 ('' Ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all '') by 2030.
To learn more about the Global Education Webinar, click here to see the video.
To watch Ken Hu's speech and read his education blog post, please visit https://blog.huawei.com/2020/06/23/driving-education-equality-with-technology/