UNESCO joins Technovation to launch free, online, 5-week tech education programme for girls in 5 countries
The COVID-19 pandemic has made accessible, virtual learning for girls more important than ever before.
UNESCO is partnering with global tech education nonprofit Technovation, a member of UNESCO’s Global Education Coalition to support countries to develop inclusive learning solutions. Together, they are running the Technovation Idea Lab: a free, online, 5-week tech education programme for girls.
During the programme, girls will learn what artificial intelligence (AI) is, how it works, learn how to build their own AI unmodel, and make a plan for an AI invention that solves a problem they identify in their community. Girls will be able to interact and learn with volunteer mentors from around the world and other students from their country.
The programme will take place from 28 July through 28 August 2020 in Brazil, India, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, and Pakistan for girls aged 10-18. With the help of volunteer mentors, around 6,000 girls are expected to learn and apply the skills needed to solve real-world problems through technology.
“Through our collaboration with the UNESCO Global Education Coalition, as well as community and corporate partners all over the world, we’re committed to doing all we can to support vulnerable groups and ensure the progress humanity has made over the past 50 years in education and equality are not wiped out,” said Tara Chklovski, CEO & Founder, Technovation. “We believe providing girls with interesting, project-based curriculum that empowers them to contribute to and lead change in their communities using technology like artificial intelligence - which is already integrating into and reshaping our lives - is one way to combat the negative impact this pandemic is having on education.”
“Technology has played a dominant role in education throughout this pandemic that has exposed deep digital and gender divides. Now is the time to empower girls with the confidence and skills to harness technology and support their schools and communities to build back better and differently,” said Stefania Giannini, UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Education. “Our collaboration with Technovation under the Global Education Coalition opens the way for girls to be creative leaders and have a say in shaping more inclusive and gender-responsive education systems for the future.”
Most governments around the world have temporarily closed educational institutions in an attempt to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. At its peak in April 2020, these nationwide closures impacted more than 1.5 billion, or over 90% of the world’s student population, from pre-primary to higher education.
Around the world, countries are making efforts to ensure continuity of learning through alternative delivery modalities, including online learning. It is essential that these efforts consider the risks of exacerbating disparities, including the gender digital divide, and that girls build the digital skills they need for life, work and leadership and a better future for us all.
Under UNESCO’s Global Education Coalition, the Gender Flagship provides a collaborative platform for stakeholders committed to gender equality, and girls’ and women’s empowerment in and through education. An integral area of action of the Gender Flagship is accelerating the deployment of gender-responsive distance learning approaches to support continuity of learning, with a particular focus on marginalised girls. Interested in supporting this work? Contact the Gender Flagship at Gender.firstname.lastname@example.org