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In the first phase of the Broadband Commission for Digital Development (2010-2015), UNESCO and ITU put forward a vision to harness broadband and ICTs to achieve the Education For All (EFA) goals, enhance the availability of educational content which reflects cultural diversity, as well as ensure freedom of expression and universal access to this content, as the foundation pillars for building inclusive knowledge societies. 

As Co-Vice-chair of the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development, UNESCO is committed to advancing the objectives of the Commission within its field of competence. At its September 2016 meeting, many Commissioners underlined the importance and opportunities of broadband and ICT uses for education. In response to these intensive discussions, UNESCO's Director-General offered to re-launch the Education Working Group and was joined by Intel’s Vice President of Government and Education as co-chair of the group.


Launch of the Report of the Working Group on Education

The Broadband Commission Working Group on Education, chaired by Irina Bokova, Director General of UNESCO, and John Galvin, Vice-President of Intel, is pleased to announce the launch of its final report: Digital Skills for Life and Work.

The Report observes that in today's broadband society, digital skills are key. The ability to operate a smartphone, navigate the internet, engage in online environments, and organize and safeguard digital information are essential 'literacies', skills and competencies needed by all people.

Schools and other educational institutions have had trouble preparing people to thrive in technology-rich environments. They are only beginning to map digital skills and launch initiatives to teach them in ways that are equitable, inclusive and sustainable.

The BBC Education Working Group Report examines how the education sector can ensure that all people develop essential digital skills for life and work. It points out that broadband technologies can help accelerate progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals, but only if people know how to leverage them.

The Report scans the globe for examples of innovative practice and finds that successful digital skills development depends on a number of factors – including strong government involvement, teacher training, the importance of multi-stakeholder collaborations and local engagement.

It directs special attention to the often-overlooked 'soft' skills required to thrive a technology-saturated world. These include understanding the implications of online activities; recognition of privacy considerations; knowledge of how to engage as responsible citizens in online environments; and awareness of how digital technology, big data and algorithms affect individuals and communities.    

The Report offers a series of pointed policy recommendations and advises governments to maintain public involvement in digital skills development and redouble efforts to address inequalities in the provision of digital skills and competencies.

Included in the Report is a compendium of case studies illustrating successful examples of public and private sector working together in Africa, Asia, Europe and North America to ensure that all people have the skills and competencies they need to participate in the knowledge-based economy of the future.​ 

​​Download the report

​ Objectives
  • Examine strategies and policies to better equip young people and adults with the digital skills and the flexibility to fully participate as citizens in digital economies, through education, training, lifelong learning opportunities;
  • ​​Facilitate sharing of knowledge and promising practices on innovations in harnessing broadband and mobile learning to teach digital skills, prepare the professionals needed by the emerging digitalized economy, foster soft skills such as problem solving, collaboration and creativity, enable citizen participation, and support lifelong learning through online communities and resources including open education resources;                   
  • Review international evidence regarding the emergence of digitized societies, digital government and strategies, in both developed and developing countries, and its impact on skills, education and training;

  • Collect and share, from and within the members of the Broadband Commission, government and industry responses to promote and improve digital skills and support lifelong learning through broadband solutions.

  1. ​​​​​​​​​The re-launch of the group was proposed in New York (USA) in September 2016. 
  2. The Group held one meeting (conference call) in January 2017.
  3. The group had​ an onsite meeting at the Broadband Commission Spring meeing 2017 held in Hong Kong SAR of China on 15th March.​​
  4. The Working Group on Education launched its final report "Digital Skills for Life and Work", in New York on the 17th of September 2017. Read the Press release.

Broadband Commissioners:

  1. Varkey Foundation
  2. Dr Carlos M. Jarque​
  3. ​South Africa
  4. KT
  5. Ericsson