The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on schooling is a ‘generational catastrophe’. Before the pandemic, progress made was already slow and insufficient to reach the SDG education targets.
School closures brought by the pandemic have had devastating consequences for children’s learning and wellbeing. Hundreds of millions of children and youth are falling behind in their learning, which will have long-term impacts. One year into the COVID-19 crisis, 2 in 3 students worldwide are still affected by full or partial school closures. The most vulnerable children and those unable to access remote learning are at an increased risk of never returning to school, and even being forced into child marriage or child labour.
Content from the UN, read more here.
Lack of access to devices and poor connectivity can hinder home learning. Across our markets, we have responded by providing devices and connectivity to students and families, as well as growing our existing education platforms across Europe and Africa.
Our Connected Education platform, launched by our social enterprise Vodafone Business Ventures, provides access to connectivity, devices and classroom collaboration software for students and teachers across the world. To date, over 800,000 students in over 2,900 educational institutions across 10 countries have benefited from this digital learning solution.
In South Africa, the Vodacom e-School solution allows learners to access curriculum-aligned content and educators to access learning materials on their smartphone with no data charges. We currently have over one million users on the platform.
In 2021, we announced an investment of €20 million by the Vodafone Foundation to expand digital skills and education programmes across Europe, aiming to reach over 16 million learners by 2025.
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