Huawei’s Deputy Chairman Ken Hu outlined the company’s vision and action plan for education under its digital inclusion initiative TECH4ALL at the Global Education Webinar entitled “Driving Equity and Quality with Technology”. He said that connecting schools and skills development are two key ways for Huawei to improve equitable and quality education.
Digital technology plays an important role in education. However, 50% of the world’s population still does not have Internet access, and many people lack the skills needed to use digital devices. As a result, the digital divide in education continues to widen. We believe that everyone, everywhere has the right to education and the equality of opportunity it brings.
Huawei will help to provide access to high-quality educational resources such as digital curriculums and e-learning applications, and teacher and student training by connecting school to the Internet with partners.
In South Africa, Huawei recently launched the DigiSchool project in partnership with operator RAIN and educational NGO the Click Foundation, which aims to connect 100 urban and rural primary schools over the next year. “Through digital education, we not only address the literacy crisis in the country, but also provide young children with the digital skills needed for future success,” said Nicola Harris, CEO of the Click Foundation, who participated in the webinar.
In terms of digital skills development, Huawei plans to provide digital skills training for vulnerable groups in remote areas, especially female students, through projects such as DigiTruck in a programme called ‘Skills on Wheels’.
Huawei has stepped up its efforts through its TECH4ALL initiative in support of UNESCO’s Global Education Coalition, set up to tackle the global challenges impacting education due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Public-private cooperation accelerating the resolution of education issues
The Global Education Webinar focused on the two topics of “Distance Learning for Better Education Continuity” and “ICT Innovation for Inclusive Learning”. The best practices and experiences of China, France, Luxembourg, Senegal, South Africa and other countries were shared and discussed, and Borhene Chakroun, Director of UNESCO’s Policy and Lifelong Learning Systems, reiterated that “with at least 63 million primary and secondary school teachers affected, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for developing teachers’ capacity to effectively engage in distance learning, which will become part of the education and training provision of the future”.
In addition, participants reached a consensus that public-private co-operation is the key to promoting inclusive education by digital technology. “Many lessons have been learnt this year in low- and middle-income countries, adapting services to address the needs of users and responding to the impact of the global pandemic by evolving business and critical partnerships.
“The GSMA and the mobile industry are supporting the current situation and committed to long-term support of the SDGs (the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal) in the era of ethical leadership.” Stephanie Lynch-Habib, Chief Marketing Officer, GSMA, told participants in the webinar. To achieve greater digital inclusion in the education field, it requires cross-sector efforts by governments, industry organisations, educational institutions, and technology companies to contribute their respective experiences and resources.