Connecting schools has the ability to improve GDP by up to 20 % in the least connected nations

A report sponsored by Ericsson Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) (NASDAQ: ERIC) has concluded that countries that have low broadband access can achieve up to 20% growth in GDP through Internet access.

Innovative and groundbreaking ideas leading to economic development and job creation are more likely to be a well-educated workforce. The analysis by EIU suggests that GDP per capita may grow by 1.1% for each 10% increase in school connections in a country.

The report finds that large school connectivity to Finn may raise GDP per capita by about 20% – from USD 550 per person in the basic line to US$ 660 per person by 2025 in the West African country of Niger.

Four key changes are highlighted in the report:

  • Collaboration is key: To coordinate efforts with stakeholders to remove barriers to school connection, a holistic public/private partnership strategy is required.
  • Accessibility and affordability: A beginning point is building an infrastructure for Internet access. Also, important factors are connection quality and costs.
  • Incorporation of internet and digital technologies into education: it must be included in the curriculum after access to school connection has been achieved. Teachers need to be trained to incorporate technology into students teaching.
  • Online child protection: school connection offers children options. A further step must be made to ensure that online learning environments are healthy and protected. To ensure safe and secure use, Internet use must be properly managed.

The research also suggested that the world-leading public, private and non-governmental organizations, by joining hands in making Internet access a worldwide reality for schoolchildren of all ages, may have an important impact on bridging the digital divide.

Ericsson is therefore now calling on these players to support Giga's (UNICEF-founded and International Telecommunications Union school connectivity initiative) work through actions like funding, data-sharing, technological expertise, and the reimagination of sustainable connectivity business models. Ericsson has committed to mapping the existing school connectivity gap in 35 countries through a three-year partnership with UNICEF.

The Ericsson-backed EIU report – Connecting Learners: Reducing the Education Divide (Ericsson-backed) report supports the firm's beliefs that Giga's ambitious objective is achieved in 2030 in connecting all schools and their communities.

"When Giga was announced, then we realized immediately how positive the impact it might be – bridging the digital divide between and across countries – could provide the world's children with an opportunity to achieve a brand new, rewarding future," says Heather Jhonson, Vice President of Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility.

"That partnership between corporate leaders, government leaders and non-governmental organizations, can take effective action to solve the problem and have a significant effect on lives, she added. Each actor in these areas can make an impact, irrespective of how big or small. To achieve this important goal, we invite stakeholders to study the paper and to participate more importantly in the Giga initiative.

"Collectively we map schools all around the world to detect connectivity gaps in communities, according to UNICEF Deputy Executive Director of Partnerships Charlotte Petri-Gornitzka. We need to work together across sectors to link schools and offer high-quality digital education, so that every child and the young person may sailing toward that brighter future."

The report

The EIU report shows how the connection to schools may lead to better education outcomes and better career possibilities for children. The economic activity and community expansion resulting in higher levels. The report shows that these individual children's benefits have a snowball impact which leads to higher incomes, better health and better general well-being. The benefits can go beyond children and support broader societal and economic growth.

The report also highlights further potential advantages in school connectivity:

  • Increased education quality
  • Create a more productive workforce that product workplace and innovation ideas and innovation
  • Job creation
  • Developing the community
  • Driving economic development and growth

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