Education in the age of connectivity
Learn about our global GIGA initiative
The effects of lack of connectivity
The COVID-19 pandemic has seriously threatened the present and future of children and families, especially children and adolescents already affected by poverty, disability, emergencies, and social exclusion.
Amid widespread school closures and health crises, the lack of connectivity of nearly half of the population prevented them from using the Internet for remote learning or accessing educational materials.
In low-income countries, limited or non-existent connectivity infrastructure for online learning and the provision of essential services were compounded by long-standing challenges in education, economic development and social welfare, causing major setbacks.
This evidences the extent to which accelerating connectivity, online learning and other initiatives for children, adolescents and communities are now more critical than ever.
Responding to the needs and motivations of adolescents through a holistic approach is critical and will also help overcome barriers to educational reintegration. It is essential to promote intersectoral articulation and engage support from the community.
What do we do?
To overcome these challenges, together with ITU, the International Telecommunication Union, we created GIGA, a global initiative to connect every school to the Internet and every young person to information and opportunities.
GIGA's solutions use open-source technology: satellite data to find schools, machine learning to understand how connected they are, and Blockchain to track connectivity in real-time. We are currently working with this initiative in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras and Brazil.
Our work with GIGA builds on these pillars:
- Map. In collaboration with our global ally Ericsson, we are mapping real-time school connectivity in 35 countries globally. Available at www.projectconnect.world.
- Connect. Based on the mapping results and in collaboration with the private sector, GIGA will recommend the best possible technical solutions to provide connectivity to schools and a secure, reliable and country-appropriate technology infrastructure.
- Finance. Through GIGA we advise governments to develop more affordable and sustainable financing and implementation prototypes for each country, subsidizing costs and encouraging private sector investment.
- Empower. GIGA collaborates with the Digital Public Goods Alliance to identify and share open-source solutions that support online education, telework, telehealth, and virtual banking. Thus, schools are used as anchor points in their communities to connect other local services and businesses.