Global Education Meeting "Extraordinary Session on Education post-COVID-19"
Doha, Qatar, 22 October 2020
Education is at a crossroads. When COVID-19 hit, the systems we relied on in the past were unable to effectively adapt to serve all children.
Inequalities that we accepted as part of our unjust reality, like the digital divide, deepened exponentially. At the same time, digital connectivity in education became an absolute necessity.
How can we accept this unjust digital divide, when, for many, the only means to learn is through digital devices? The most affected are already the most marginalized children!
We must rise to the challenge and democratize digital learning, humanize technology and customise curriculum.
We must unite across different sectors to make digital learning an inclusive right for the most marginalized children and youth across the globe
We also cannot return to the traditional mode of education, measured by the quantity of knowledge “deposited” into the minds of students. We need to develop technologies that support personalized learning, so learners can proceed at their own pace and educators can adapt to learners’ specific needs and circumstances, without disruption.
But for this to happen, education can no longer be the responsibility of one sector. Coordination between government, digital communication companies and NGOs can bridge the divide and create equity in education.
COVID-19 has shown how creative the human mind can be when it’s faced with existential challenges. Inspired education solutions are blossoming across the globe.
I ask tech companies to step up and contribute to closing the digital gap by directing their efforts to develop and scale up these innovative, grassroots solutions.
Collaboration across sectors and innovation is the only way forward. Let us seize this moment to build a new future – a future that leaves no one without access to digital learning behind.