Monday, August 17, 2020 — The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States to partner with UNICEF-ITU global initiative Giga to enhance the connectivity of schools and develop digital public goods.
The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have signed an agreement to collaborate on Giga, a UNICEF-ITU global initiative to connect every school to the Internet and every young person to information, opportunity, and choice.
Launched in 2019, Giga sets the goal of providing Internet connectivity to every school in the world.
Some 3.6 billion people in the world are unable to access the Internet. A lack of access to the Internet means children and young people are excluded from the wealth of information available online, limiting their opportunities to learn and grow, and to fulfill their potential.
Closing the digital divide requires global cooperation, leadership, and innovation in finance and technology.
“The OECS Commission is pleased to partner with UNICEF and ITU to deliver this timely digital transformation programme. The COVID-19 pandemic has made Giga even more relevant as we seek to bridge the digital divide and empower teachers, students and families to use technology to enhance the delivery of education and continuity of teaching and learning.” Director General of the OECS Commission Dr Didacus Jules explained.
As a first step, Giga is working with the OECS to map every school in the region, and to provide real-time monitoring data on the quality of Internet connections.
What is Giga?
By using schools to identify demand for connectivity, Giga serves as a platform to create the necessary infrastructure to provide digital connectivity to an entire country, for every community and citizen.
The Giga initiative consists of four pillars: 1. to partner with governments to map connectivity of every school, 2. to advise on building affordable models for finance and delivery for each country, 3. to determine the best way to connect every school to the Internet, 4. to empower young people with digital skills they can use in the future.