" ITREALMS: Connect schools, boost GDP by 20% - ITREALMS

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Connect schools, boost GDP by 20% - ITREALMS

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The latest report of the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has identified that connecting schools has the potential to boost the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by up to 20 per cent in the least connected nations, reports ITREALMS.
This report sponsored by Ericsson and Global UNICEF, a summary was made available to 
ITREALMS, indicated that the report entitled “Connecting Learners: Narrowing the Educational Divide” highlighted four key areas for multi-sector collaboration.
The report which is for school connectivity mapping in support of the Giga initiative, identified that empowering children and communities through school connectivity and enabling access to quality digital learning will help to meet UN Sustainable Development Goals and is a catalyst for individual, regional and national economic success

The study found out that nations with low broadband connectivity have the potential to realize an increase in GDP by up to 20 percent by connecting schools to the internet.

A well-educated workforce is more likely to be innovative and foster ground-breaking ideas, leading to economic development and job creation. EIU analysis shows that for every 10 percent increase in school connectivity in a country, GDP per capita could increase by 1.1 percent.

ITREALMS gathered that in the context of the West African country of Niger, the report finds that improvements in school connectivity to Finnish levels could increase GDP per capita by almost 20 percent - from USD 550 per person in the baseline, to USD 660 per person by 2025.

The report focuses on four key actions to make a change:

1. Collaboration is key: A holistic, public/private partnership strategy is needed to coordinate efforts with stakeholders to overcome barriers to school connectivity.

2. Accessibility and affordability: Building infrastructure to enable access to the internet is a starting point. Quality of connection and cost are important factors as well.

3. Embedding internet and digital tools into education: Once access to school connectivity is achieved, it must be embedded into the curriculum. Teachers must be trained to integrate technology into everyday learning.

4. Protecting children online: School connectivity provides opportunities for children. Additional steps must be taken to ensure healthy and protected online learning environments. Internet usage must be properly managed to ensure safe and secure use..

The report also recommends that public, private and NGO sector leaders around the world can make a dramatic impact towards bridging the digital divide by joining forces to make internet connectivity a global reality for school children of all ages.

As a result, Ericsson today appeals to these players to get behind the efforts of Giga (a school connectivity initiative founded by UNICEF and the International Telecommunication Union) through actions such as: funding, data sharing, technological expertise and reimagining sustainable business models for connectivity. Ericsson has committed its efforts through a three-year partnership with UNICEF to help map the current school connectivity gap across 35 countries.

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