Asia Pacific communities commit to closing the gap in digital education

2021-11-26 15:16 1336

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, Nov. 26, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Tech industry leaders and representatives from the Digital Sexuality Education (DSE) community in Asia Pacific reinforced their commitment to response to the rapid increase of the utilization of digital technology and internet access to search for information on health, sexuality and relationships by young people, during a virtual conference hosted by from 19 to 21 November 2021 organized by a UN interagency team of UNFPA, UNICEF and UNESCO in the region.

The three-day conference, organized in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, aimed to keep advancing the field of DSE in the region as new challenges arise and the latest evidence emerges, particularly given the highly dynamic nature of digital spaces.

One key session is called #Dialogue4DSE, aimed to facilitate direct engagement between creators and stakeholders such as IT/technology stakeholders, which provided an opportunity for discussions around relevant DSE issues such as data and digital governance; digital divide; digital literacy; inclusive technology design; digital safety of marginalized communities; and other cross-cutting issues.

"Huawei believes that no one should be left behind in the digital world, so we developed TECH4ALL – our long-term, digital inclusion initiative for using technology, applications and skills to empower people and organizations everywhere," said David Lu, President at the Strategic Marketing Dept of Huawei Asia Pacific, when discussing how stakeholders can help to close the digital divide and improve digital literacy in the Asia Pacific region.

Everyone has the right to a high-quality education, including the digital skills required in today's world. However, education inequity remains a huge global problem that affects individuals, communities, and socioeconomic development, David Lu added.

According to Lu, Huawei is working with its partners on multiple projects in order to improve accessibility of digital service and skills, including programs such as Connecting School, providing access to high-quality resources for learning, teacher training, and developing digital courses by connecting every school to the Internet; DigiSchool, connecting schools and equipping them with computers to provide learning opportunities for both children and adults; Skills on Wheels, using mobile classrooms that provide digital skills to underserved and remote communities and ensuring that young people know about online safety; and DigiTruck, bringing training in digital skills to remote communities.

The panelists at the event emphasized the importance of meaningfully involvement of young people in technology design.

Over the past 20 years, Huawei has also invested heavily in developing local digital talent. For example, the Seeds for the Future program has run in 15 Asia-Pacific countries and regions, benefiting more than 5,000 students from over 90 universities. Huawei has also been working with top universities, and has established over 259 ICT academies in Asia-Pacific. Launched in 2019, the Huawei ASEAN Academy program has covered Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Cambodia, and will extend to even more countries in the future. In the next five years, Huawei plans to invest $50 million in the next five years to develop 500,000 digital talents in the Asia Pacific region.

"We believe that technology can help bring learning resources to where they are needed most, so that everyone has the skills they need to unlock their potential. To achieve this, we pledge to work with our partners to connect more schools, provide training in digital skills, and cultivate ICT talent for the future," David Lu said.

In response to the rapid increase of the utilization of digital technology and internet access to search for information on health, sexuality and relationships by young people across Asia-Pacific, a UN interagency team of UNFPA, UNICEF and UNESCO at the Asia-Pacific Regional level with support from the UNFPA Indonesia Country Office have been building and providing support to a community of digital sexuality education (DSE) creators (referred to as DSE community members).

This community collaboratively discusses opportunities and challenges, as well as shares best practices surrounding DSE and how access to comprehensive, quality DSE can be improved for young people. A total of 62 creators—ranging from individual influencers, civil society organizations (CSOs), media companies, app developers, private enterprises, and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs)—across the region have joined the community.

About Huawei

Founded in 1987, Huawei is a leading global provider of information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure and smart devices. We have more than 194,000 employees, and we operate in more than 170 countries and regions, serving more than three billion people around the world.

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Source: Huawei Technologies