Initiative to Connect All Schools Reaches Milestone
The goal for every school to have internet connectivity is one step closer, as a partnership that includes both UNICEF, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and Ericsson has reached a key milestone.
The initiative, entitled Giga, has managed to bring connectivity to one million schools around the world. This is a key development for the goal of reducing digital inequality and helping individuals reach their full potential.
Giga was founded by UNICEF and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in 2019, with Ericsson coming onboard to help the organisation last year. Its goal is to have every school connected to the internet by 2030.
The importance of this is demonstrated by research done by UNICEF, which revealed that nations with low broadband connectivity have the potential to realize up to 20 percent GDP growth by connecting their schools.
Heather Johnson, Ericsson’s Vice President of Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility, discussed the goals of the organisation, while also demonstrating the initiative’s importance.
She said: “According to the ITU, 369 million young people don’t have access to the internet and 260 million children aged 5-16 receive no schooling. This results in exclusion and fewer resources to learn and limits future potential for many young people. Mapping schools is a crucial first step in connecting every school to the internet and every student to opportunity and choice.”
This was a sentiment that was echoed by Chris Fabian, the co-lead of Giga.
He also went on to thank Ericsson for their help in reaching this milestone, adding: “Technical partnerships, like this one, are vital to Giga as we create an open-source resource of school locations and connectivity that, as of today, includes more than one million schools.”