Half of the total number of learners in the world, 826 million pupils and students ” do not have access to a computer at home “, Unesco emphasizes, then, that distance education is preferred by a majority of countries in the face of the pandemic Covid-19.
“And 43% (706 million) do not have the internet at home “, said Unesco in a press release, denouncing a ” digital divide concern in distance education “.
“The disparities are particularly marked in low-income countries: in sub-saharan Africa, 89% of the learners do not have access to computers at home and 82% do not have the internet,” notes the united Nations Organization for education, science and culture.
“In addition, while the mobile phones may enable learners to access information, connect with each other and with their teachers, about 56 million people live in places not served by mobile networks, of which almost half are in sub-saharan Africa,” adds Unesco.
These figures were compiled by the international task force on teachers, an alliance coordinated by Unesco, on the basis of data from Institute for statistics, and the international telecommunication Union (ITU), notes the press release.
At least $ 1.5 billion to students and 63 million teachers in primary and secondary school are affected by the unprecedented disruptions caused by the pandemic Covid-19, with the closing of schools in 191 countries, according to Unesco.
Audrey Azoulay, director-general of Unesco, considers that it is necessary to “intensify efforts to provide connectivity to all, “but also” to support other alternatives, including the use of radio and community television, and creativity in all forms of learning “.
Unesco notes that for the “teachers of the regions where the technologies of information and communication technology (ICT) and other distance education methods are less available,” the transition to online learning has been very difficult, ” if not impossible “.
“In sub-saharan Africa, only 64% of primary teachers and 50% of those at secondary school have received minimal training, which often does not include ICT skills “, adds the press release.
“These inequalities constitute a real threat to the continuity of the learning in this period of disruption is unprecedented in education,” stresses Stefania Giannini, deputy director-general of Unesco for education.