In 2000, the majority of governments worldwide adopted the eight Millennium Development Goals for 2015, which include achieving universal primary education as well as promoting gender equality.
Contributing to this effort are the Education for All goals established by UNESCO, also adopted in 2000. Both frameworks call for every citizen to be empowered with the knowledge, skills and values needed to lead a fulfilling and productive life. Education is not only a fundamental human right; it is also an enabling force for sustainable development.
Information and communication technologies (ICTs) are essential tools for reaching such development goals. Indeed, in the increasingly interconnected and knowledge-driven world of the 21st century, education cannot be separated from ICTs. Technology, Broadband and Education: Advancing the Education for All Agenda, the outcome report of the Broadband Commission’s Working Group on Education, provides a vision of how access to these technologies might be expanded so that students and teachers everywhere can reap the benefits – for themselves and for their communities.
By analysing current trends and data, the report aims to explain why certain strategies and activities are effective while others are not, and offers guidance for better-informed decision-making at the school level and beyond.
6 Recommendations from the Report
The Working Group on Education (WG-E) aims to promote Education for All (EFA). In so doing it seeks to consider:
- What are the bottlenecks in achieving EFA and how can the Broadband Commission address them?
- How can innovative use of mobile devices and mobile broadband be harnessed for achieving the MDGs and EFA goals?
- Is broadband-based distance education a cost-effective solution for reaching the unreached? And what are the criteria for successful distance education?
- How can broadband connectivity contribute to national coordination and international cooperation on EFA through better information management, coordination and sharing, including development of Educational Management Information Systems (EMIS) and shared knowledge resources (e.g. Open Educational Resources and Open Access to scientific information)?
- What role might broadband-enhanced social media and user generated content play in student-centred education?
The WG-E held its inaugural meeting in Paris on 5 June 2011 to define the scope and purpose of its activities, with a second meeting on 24-25 February to present the report “Technology Broadband and Education: Advancing the Education for All Agenda” to the conference of the WSIS+10 review process in Paris. The report was presented to press representatives at an event at Mobile World Congress on 27 February 2013.