by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – HUAWEI is to expand its digital inclusion initiative to address the divide in education globally.
This follows a realisation that while digital technology plays an important role in education, 50 percent of the world’s population still does not have internet access, and many people lack the skills needed to use digital devices.
Huawei pledged to address this, as its Deputy Chairman, Ken Hu, outlined the company’s vision and action plan for education under its digital inclusion initiative TECH4ALL at a Global Education Webinar.
The event was entitled, “Driving Equity and Quality with Technology.”
Leaders and experts from United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), GSMA, education officials, universities and educational institutions as well as the private sector, joined the webinar.
“Connecting schools and skills development are two key ways for Huawei to improve equitable and quality education,” Hu said.
He said in terms of connecting schools, Huawei would help to provide access to high-quality resources such as digital curriculums and e-learning applications.
In South Africa, Huawei recently launched the DigiSchool project in partnership with operator rain and educational non-profit organization 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,” Nicola Harris, CEO, Click Foundation, added.
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.”
Since the launch of DigiTruck in Kenya at the end of last year, it has provided training for more than 1 500 young adults and teachers in rural areas.
Huawei hopes to replicate the program in France, the Philippines and other countries in the next two years.
“These all solar-powered, mobile classrooms with wireless broadband access can reach even the most remote communities,” Olivier Vanden Eynde, CEO of Close the Gap, a key partner of DigiTruck, said.
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 coronavirus.
The company has joined forces with the UNESCO Coalition and the Ministry of National Education of Senegal to support the country’s distance learning during the outbreak.
Local teachers are provided with connectivity, digital devices and skills training which will benefit more than 100 000 students.
– CAJ News