- New research shows wide variations in access to digital skills learning and infrastructure in schools across European countries
- Vodafone Foundation highlights the need for consistent approach to teaching and access to technology for students and educators
6 July 2023 - Europe should equalise its approach to teaching digital skills to better equip children and reduce regional disparities says a new Vodafone Foundation survey of parents in 10 European countries. The survey highlights concerns over the quality of digital tools in schools for students and the need to better support teachers with guidance and training.
The survey of 10,000 European parents, carried out by IPSOS Germany for Vodafone Foundation, found that while parents are optimistic about the potential of digital technology in education, action to ensure consistency in resources and infrastructure is required to level up digital skills opportunities for students everywhere in Europe.
Vodafone Foundation’s survey supports the European Year of Skills which encourages Europe to provide funding for digital education, make available fair opportunities for youth, and close the digital skills divide.
Joakim Reiter, Vodafone Foundation Trustee and Chief External & Corporate Affairs Officer at Vodafone Group said: “Europe faces a significant skills shortage and needs to boost digital literacy for young people if it is to achieve its Digital Decade targets. As a parent, I understand why parents are backing teachers in their efforts to establish European standards for teaching digital skills but I find it alarming that the quality of digital tools for students varies widely between schools, cities, regions and countries.
“Vodafone Foundation’s SkillsUpload Jr programme shows that young people can be empowered by digital skills which is why Europe must act now to equalise the opportunity for students.”
Vodafone Foundation's mission through SkillsUpload Jr is to empower students and educators with the skills, confidence, and know-how to thrive in a growing digital society.
SkillsUpload Jr has already reached over 7.8 million students and educators in Europe, providing cutting-edge educational resources to make education systems more equitable, innovative, and resilient to actively enable young people to shape the digital world around them.
- 85% of parents surveyed believe their child’s career prospects depend highly on digital skills, but only three-quarters (78%) reported that children could access digital tools like laptops, tablets, and digital whiteboards for learning at school.
- Access to digital tools in schools varies significantly among European countries. British, Dutch, and Portuguese students enjoy the highest access rates at 87%-88% This dropped to about 70% for Hungarian, Italian, and Greek students.
- In total, just over half of schools offer online teaching, and only 59% of those provide their pupils with a device to access online education from home. In Italy and Portugal, only 2 in 5 students have access to online education provided by their schools.
- Almost three quarters of parents (73%) said they would support European standards for teaching digital skills, and 85% also said digital literacy should be a key learning objective at school.
Vodafone Foundation’s earlier 21st Century Teachers report in October 2022 surveyed 3,000 teachers in 11 European countries. The report found that 75% of European teachers would prefer having standards for policies and digital education to ensure that their students receive a high-quality education.
Notes for Editors
Ipsos Germany on behalf of the Vodafone Foundation surveyed 1,000 parents in each of 10 countries between 23 Feb and 16 March 2023: Germany, Greece, Hungry, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Turkey, and the UK. Target groups include parents of Primary, Lower and Upper schools.
About Vodafone Foundation
Vodafone Foundation (UK registered charity number 1193984) believes the power of connectivity can change lives and address some of the world’s most pressing problems. Founded in 1991 with a simple mission to invest in the communities in which Vodafone operates, today the charity connects people and ideas with technology and funding, to help those already doing good work to achieve results faster, more cost effectively and with a bigger social impact. Through a strategy of Connecting for Good, Vodafone Group PLC’s philanthropic arm works in partnership with other charitable organisations and NGOs to create solutions that bring about long-term sustainable change and improve lives.
For further information, please visit www.vodafonefoundation.org
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