Artificial intelligence in secondary education: UNICEF and NURIS launch a joint education project

15 March 2024
Мальчик в школе
UNICEFKazakhstan/2023/GalinaSorokina

ASTANA, March 15, 2024 – Today in the capital of Kazakhstan, Astana, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the NURIS Innovation Cluster of Nazarbayev University (NURIS) launched a joint education project. The project will support the development and funding of new digital public goods (DPGs), defined as open-source IT products, in the education sphere. The products created must comply with the Digital Public Goods Alliance’s global standards approved by the United Nations Secretary-General. The project provides for the active participation of young Kazakh developers and startups, highlighting the joint project’s intent to develop innovations in education.

The project begins with a series of workshops held at the NURIS Innovation Cluster of Nazarbayev University. The first workshop focuses on discussing case studies where artificial intelligence (AI) was successfully used in education and exchanging ideas on AI use to personalize learning, such as adapting the technology to meet individual student needs. UNICEF and NURIS organized the workshop to explore the potential application of AI to improve education quality in secondary schools as well as to find new educational approaches using modern technologies.

According to NURIS Innovation Development Director Abzal Daribayev:

“AI is actively being introduced into all areas of life. Effectively managing huge amounts of data and AI development processes, especially in education, requires active discussions and collaboration with stakeholders in various disciplines and industries. At the event today, we discussed the pros and cons of using AI in secondary education. Participants raised issues including how AI can make teachers’ work easier and what skills teachers and students must develop to effectively use AI in the educational process. In general, NURIS is actively working to develop EdTech and also conducts acceleration programs to develop digital public goods both at the university level and beyond.”

UNICEF Education Specialist Tatiana Aderikhina stated that based on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, UNICEF has developed a number of guidelines that explain the requirements for the use of artificial intelligence in relation to children without violating their rights, which can help guide Kazakhstan’s approach to using AI in schools. According to Aderikhina, “[w]hen considering the broader impact of AI on education, there is no doubt that it will be transformative – it is only a matter of time. Artificial intelligence systems promise to improve educational opportunities, from early learning to virtual mentoring and school leadership. Our task is to take into account all the positive aspects of AI use in the development of digital public goods, ensure security, and protect children from any potential harmful impacts of the technology.” 

More than 80 experts and practitioners from the field of education took part in the workshop, including representatives from UNICEF, the Altynsarin National Academy of Education, Quantum STEM School, and Nazarbayev University. The event served as a platform for experts to exchange experiences and ideas, promote the development of innovative approaches to the educational process, and discuss introducing DPGs for educational use, expanding schoolchildren’s access to IT solutions, and promoting the development of students’ programming skills.

Media contacts

Elvira Yausheva
Communication Specialist
UNICEF
Tel: +7 778 021 19 12

Editor notes:

The Digital Public Goods Alliance is a multi-stakeholder initiative endorsed by the United Nations Secretary-General to accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals in low- and middle-income countries by promoting the discovery, development, use and investment in digital public goods.

The Digital Public Goods Standard (DPG Standard) is a set of specifications and guidelines designed to achieve maximum consensus on whether something meets the definition of digital public goods as set out by the United Nations Secretary-General in the 2020 Digital Cooperation Roadmap.

For more information about the Digital Public Goods Alliance, please contact hello@digitalpublicgoods.net

 

About UNICEF

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child. Together with its partners, UNICEF works in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

More about UNICEF activities www.unicef.org.

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