Huawei’s Deputy Chairman Ken Hu outlined its vision and action plan for education under its digital inclusion initiative TECH4ALL at the Global Education Webinar entitled “Driving Equity and Quality with Technology“, emphasizing that “connecting schools and skills development are two key ways for Huawei to improve equitable and quality education.”
Showcasing this, he pointed to the success of Huawei’s first DigiTruck in Kenya, announcing five additional countries will also benefit in the next two years. The webinar was joined by leaders and experts from UNESCO, GSMA, the Ministry of National Education of Senegal, universities and educational institutions, as well as the private sector.
(TOP: The DigiTruck in Nandi County).
Digital technology plays an important role in education. However, 50% of the world’s population still does not have Internet access, and many people lack the skills needed to use digital devices. As a result, the digital divide in education continues to widen.
Ken Hu said: “We believe that everyone, everywhere has the right to education and the equality of opportunity it brings. As a technology company, Huawei wants to help with connectivity, applications, and skills by focusing on two important areas of connecting schools and developing digital skills respectively.”
In terms of digital skills development, Huawei plans to provide digital skills training for vulnerable groups in remote areas, especially female students, through projects such as DigiTruck in a program called ‘Skills on Wheels.’
Since the launch of DigiTruck in Kenya at the end of last year, it has provided training for more than 1,500 young people and teachers in rural areas. Huawei plans to replicate the program in France, the Philippines and three other countries in the next two years. “These all solar-powered, mobile classrooms with wireless broadband access can reach even the most remote communities,” Olivier Vanden Eynde, CEO of Close the Gap, the global partner of DigiTruck, said.
The DigiTruck in Kenya is operated by Computers for Schools Kenya and works together with the Ministry of ICT’s Ajira initiative, Safaricom’s Blaze initiative, UNESCO and other partners. Participants learn how to use computers and office software, how to use the internet to find and do work online, how to learn and develop their careers online, how to be safe online, how to buy and sell their goods online, and how to be safe online.
During the webinar, Huawei’s Deputy Chairman Ken Hu showcased the success of the DigiTruck’s training in Bomet County before the pandemic, and shared a video case study of Sharon Chepng’eno, who is deaf, but who has committed to take the skills she has learned and share them with other people with disabilities.
“The digital skills that the DigiTruck helped provide before the pandemic struck have never been more necessary now that even more of life and work is necessarily happening online. As Kenya’s digital transformation gathers pace, it is critical that every single Kenyan is prepared for this, and our research has shown that digital skills are currently a very significant challenge for many. We thank our partners in Kenya who have enabled Huawei’s first DigiTruck to be so successful that now Huawei is going to scale-up our support to other countries,” said Stone He, Huawei Kenya CEO.