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.”
Showcasing this he pointed to the success of Huawei’s first DigiTruck in Kenya, announcing five additional countries will also benefit in the next two years. 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
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.”
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 program 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 people and teachers in rural areas. Huawei plans to replicate the program in France, the Philippines and three 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, the global partner of DigiTruck, said.
The DigiTruck in Kenya is operated by Computers for Schools Kenya and works together with the Ministry of ICT’s Ajira initiative, Safaricom’s Blaze initiative, UNESCO and other partners. Participants learn how to use computers and office software, how to use the internet to find and do work online, how to learn and develop their careers online, how to be safe online, how to buy and sell their goods online, and how to be safe online.
the webinar Huawei’s Deputy Chairman Ken Hu showcased the success of the
DigiTruck’s training in Bomet County before the pandemic, and shared a video
case study of Sharon Chepng’eno, who is deaf, but who has committed to take the
skills she has learned and share them with other people with disabilities.
digital skills that the DigiTruck helped provide before the pandemic struck
have never been more necessary now that even more of life and work is
necessarily happening online. As Kenya’s digital transformation gathers pace,
it is critical that every single Kenyan is prepared for this, and our research
has shown that digital skills are currently a very significant challenge for
many. We thank our partners in Kenya who have enabled Huawei’s first DigiTruck
to be so successful that now Huawei is going to scale-up our support to other
countries.” Said Mr. Stone He, Huawei Kenya Chief Executive officer
Stepping up efforts in response to Covid-19
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. Here in Kenya 30
Universities are Huawei ICT Academy partners, over 500 students have taken
advantage the resources and benefitted from the “Learn ON” program.
Public-private cooperation accelerating the resolution of
The Global Education Webinar
focused on the two topics of “Distance Learning for Better Education
Continuity” and “ICT Innovation for Inclusive Learning”. The
best practices and experience of China, France, Luxembourg, Senegal, Kenya,
South Africa and other countries were shared and discussed and Borhene
Chakroun, Director of UNESCO’s Policy and Lifelong Learning Systems, reiterated
that “with at least 63 million primary and secondary teachers affected, the
COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for developing teachers’ capacity to
effectively engage in distance learning, which will become part of the
education and training provision in the future”.
In addition, 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
To find out more about the Global Online Education Webinar, click here to watch the video.