Amazingly, there are still some schools that don’t have access to the internet.
This is a problem that UNICEF and the International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) Giga initiative is trying to set right. With help from Ericsson, they have managed to connect one million schools to the world wide web.
The aim is to connect every school to the internet by 2030. The idea behind this initiative is to improve societal and educational outcomes regardless of where people are from. If every school is connected to the internet, there will be less inequality in digital literacy.
According to a statement, Giga “works on the premise that connecting schools to the internet is one of the most impactful ways of improving life chances. Through school connectivity children have access to a wider pool of information, a range of learning styles and receive a higher standard of education.”
Heather Johnson, Ericsson’s Vice President of Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility, discussed the importance of digital inclusivity in this instance.
She said: “According to the ITU, 369 million young people don’t have access to the internet and 260 million children aged 5-16 receive no schooling. This results in exclusion and fewer resources to learn and limits future potential for many young people. Mapping schools is a crucial first step in connecting every school to the internet and every student to opportunity and choice.”
Chris Fabian, Co-Lead Giga, UNICEF, discussed the need for partnerships in such a project. He added: “Ericsson’s expertise has helped Giga’s data science team build better models for school connectivity. Technical partnerships, like this one, are vital to Giga as we create an open-source resource of school locations and connectivity that, as of today, includes more than one million schools.”