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Broadband access can bridge educational divides, empower students


February 25, 2013
By Anthony Capkun

February 25, 2013 – Broadband connectivity has the potential to transform education by giving teachers and students access to learning resources and technologies that will allow them to improve their skills in the context of a globalized economy, according to a United Nations report released today.

The report, “Technology, Broadband and Education: Advancing the Education for All Agenda”, argues that access to high-speed technologies over fixed and mobile platforms can help students acquire the digital skills required to participate in the global economy, and contribute to ensure their employability once they finish their studies.

“The ability of broadband to improve and enhance education, as well as students’ experience of education, is undisputed,” said the secretary-general of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Hamadoun Touré. “With each of these achievements, the online world brings about another real-world victory for education, dialogue, and better understanding between peoples.”

Among other things, the report calls on policymakers to boost efforts that ensure equitable access to information and communication technology (ICT) for all their citizens. It also encourages governments to provide incentives to support the adoption of ICT, and include digital skills as part of their public education programmes.

PHOTO: ITU secretary-general Hamadoun Touré (right) co-chairs the Broadband Commission with UNESCO director-general Irina Bokova. Photo ITU.