At the global Webinar “Driving Equity and Quality Technology” Huawei’s Deputy Chairman Ken Hu outlined the company’s vision and action plan for education and digital inclusion. Two key ways in which Huawei intends to improve quality education is through connecting schools and skills development under its initiative Tech4All whose three areas of focus are technology, applications and skills.
Showcasing this, Ken Hu pointed to the success of Huawei’s first DigiTruck in Kenya and announced five additional countries will also benefit in the next two years. DigiTruck is a mobile multi-functional lab fit in a 40foot container on wheels so that it is able to reach the most remote areas in Africa. This fits into Huawei’s wish to leave no one behind.
‘Skills on wheels’ is a project through which Huawei plans to use DigiTruck to provide digital skills training for vulnerable groups and especially female students in remote areas. DigiTruck launched in Kenya last year and has since provided training for more than 1,500 young people and teachers in rural areas.
The DigiTruck in Kenya is operated by Computers for Schools Kenya and works together with the Ministry of ICT’s Ajira initiative, Safaricom’s Blaze initiative, UNESCO and other partners. Participants learn how to use computers and office software, how to use the internet to find and do work online, how to learn and develop their careers online, how to be safe online, how to buy and sell their goods online, and how to be safe online.
Digital technology plays an important role in education. However, 50% of the world’s population still does not have Internet access, and many people lack the skills needed to use digital devices. As a result, the digital divide in education continues to widen. Yet everyone has a right to education and the equality of opportunity it brings. Huawei wishes to help with connectivity, application and skills by focusing on connecting schools and developing digital skills.
During the webinar Huawei’s Deputy Chairman Ken Hu showcased the success of the DigiTruck’s training in Bomet County before the pandemic, and shared a video case study of Sharon Chepng’eno, who is deaf, but who has committed to take the skills she has learned and share them with other people with disabilities.
“The digital skills that the DigiTruck helped provide before the pandemic struck have never been more necessary now that even more of life and work is necessarily happening online. As Kenya’s digital transformation gathers pace, it is critical that every single Kenyan is prepared for this, and our research has shown that digital skills are currently a very significant challenge for many. We thank our partners in Kenya who have enabled Huawei’s first DigiTruck to be so successful that now Huawei is going to scale-up our support to other countries.” Said Mr. Stone He, Huawei Kenya Chief Executive officer
Huawei plans to replicate the program in France, the Philippines and three other countries in the next two years. “These all solar-powered, mobile classrooms with wireless broadband access can reach even the most remote communities.” Olivier Vanden Eynde, CEO of Close the Gap, the global partner of DigiTruck, said.