Huawei’s Deputy Chairman Ken Hu outlined its vision and action plan for education under its digital inclusion initiative TECH4ALL at the Global Education Webinar entitled “Driving Equity and Quality with Technology”, emphasizing that “connecting schools and skills development are two key ways for Huawei to improve equitable and quality education.” The webinar was joined by leaders and experts from UNESCO, GSMA, the Ministry of National Education of Senegal, universities and educational institutions, as well as the private sector.
Improving Equitable and Quality in Education through Technology
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. Ken Hu said: “We believe that everyone, everywhere has the right to education and the equality of opportunity it brings. As a technology company, Huawei wants to help with connectivity, applications and skills by focusing on two important areas of connecting schools and developing digital skills respectively.”
Stepping up efforts in response to Covid-19
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. For instance, the company has joined forces with the UNESCO Coalition and the Ministry of National Education of Senegal to support the country to carry out distance learning during the outbreak. Local teachers are provided with connectivity, digital devices and skills training which will benefit more than 100,000 students. “This crisis has changed the face and future of education. It has demonstrated how fast change can happen through partnership, when expertise and resources are matched up with local needs to ensure learning continuity, especially for the most marginalized students,” said Stefania Giannini, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Education.
At the same time, the Huawei ICT Academy launched its “Learn ON” program in early April, aiming to address the educational needs of University-based ICT talent affected by the epidemic. The program brings together global university partners and offers college cooperation incentive funds, which can be used for online courses and examinations, online experiments, etc., and provides more than 130 Massively Open Online Courses (MOOC) resources, covering cutting-edge technology fields such as artificial intelligence, big data, 5G, and the Internet of Things.
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”. Participants reached a consensus that public-private cooperation 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.” added by Stephanie Lynch-Habib, Chief Marketing Officer, GSMA. To achieve greater digital inclusion in the education field, it requires cross-sector 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 (“Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”) by 2030.
To find out more about the Global Online Education Webinar, click here to watch the video.
To watch Ken Hu’s speech and read his blog post on education, please visit https://blog.huawei.com/2020/06/23/driving-education-equality-with-technology/