Broadband 'the missing link' in global access to education: ITUListen /
Broadband networks have the potential to radically alter the education landscape, creating prestigious new centres of learning in the developing world.
These networks can also extend access to distance learning programmes to outlying communities, and help poorer countries retain high-performing students who can help lift their nations out of poverty by serving as local entrepreneurs, researchers and policy-makers.
That, according to a new report just released by the Broadband Commission for Digital Development.
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 high-speed technologies over both fixed and mobile platforms can be extended so that students and teachers everywhere can reap the benefits – for themselves and for their communities.
The report says distance learning strategies can not only help nations educate children and adults living in remote areas, but broadband-based education programmes could also become a source of income for those national higher education institutions that succeed in designing compelling, world class curriculums tailored to the needs of the billions living in the developing world.
The report emphasizes the importance of deployment of broadband as a means of accelerating progress towards the Millennium Development Goal of Universal Primary Education and UNESCO's Education for All goals.
Donn Bobb, United Nations.