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Ericsson, UNICEF partner to map school internet connectivity in 35 countries

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Ericsson, a Swedish multinational networking and telecommunications company headquartered in Stockholm and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have announced a global partnership to help map school connectivity in 35 countries by the end of 2023.


Ericsson in a statement in Lagos on Wednesday said that mapping the internet connectivity landscape for schools and their surrounding communities was a critical first step towards providing every child with access to digital learning opportunities under Giga initiative.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the joint effort under Giga initiative was launched in 2019 and led by UNICEF and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) aimed at connecting every school to the internet.

Ericsson is the first private sector partner to make a multimillion-dollar commitment to the initiative and does so as a Global UNICEF Partner for School Connectivity Mapping.

Charlotte Petri-Gornitzka, Deputy Executive Director, Partnerships, UNICEF said in the statement that the deepening digital divide was one of the many inequalities that the COVID-19 pandemic had underscored.

She said the recent UN report indicated that pandemic-related school closings had affected 94 per cent of the world’s student population and affected more than 99 per cent of students in low- and lower-middle-income countries.

“School closures, coupled with limited or non-existent opportunities for remote learning, have upended children’s education worldwide.

“Our partnership with Ericsson will bring us closer to giving every child and young person access to digital learning opportunities.”

Petri-Gornitzka said the UNICEF partnership with Ericsson would bring the parties closer to every child and young person access to digital learning opportunities.

“In addition to funding, Ericsson will commit resources for data engineering and data science capacity to accelerate school connectivity mapping.

“Ericsson will also assist with the collection, validation, analysis, monitoring and visual representation of real-time school connectivity data.

“The data generated through the mapping will enable governments and the private sector to design and deploy digital solutions that enable learning for children and young people,’’ she said.

She noted that the world had been grappling with a digital divide for decades as an estimated 3.5 billion people have no access to a stable internet.

“Our partnership with Ericsson will bring us closer to giving every child and young person access to digital learning opportunities.”

“In addition to funding, Ericsson will commit resources for data engineering and data science capacity to accelerate school connectivity mapping.

Edited By: Hawa Lawal/Ese E. Ekama (NAN)

 

https://nnn.ng/ericsson-unicef-partner-to-map-school-internet-connectivity-in-35-countries/

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