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Nokia and UNICEF launch partnership to boost digital literacy in primary schools in Kenya

Misc News - Published on Wed, 12 Jun 2019

Image Source: Al Bawaba
Nokia and the Finnish National Committee for the United Nations Children's Fund and UNICEF Kenya have launched a shared-value partnership during this year's Nairobi Innovation Week, to increase equitable access to digital literacy for some of the most disadvantaged children in Kenya. This includes girls and children with disabilities in urban informal settlements and some of the most remote areas of Kenya. The partnership builds on the Government of Kenya's investment in the Digital Literacy Project which provided one million tablets to primary schools with a focus on improving the availability and use of quality digital content.

The partnership between Nokia and UNICEF Kenya brings together stakeholders from the Government of Kenya's Ministries of Education and ICT, as well as the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development, children, teachers, content providers and mobile network operators in Kenya, to address challenges and unlock opportunities for digital learning and literacy.

As an initial step, the Accessible Digital Textbook with special features for children, with hearing, visual and intellectual disabilities, has successfully been piloted in schools during the first quarter of 2019 and will be launched by the Government of Kenya later this month. The textbook, which is the first of its kind, was produced by KICD with the active involvement of disability stakeholders who infused different media-overlays with audio for children with visual impairment, simplified text for children with intellectual disabilities, and Kenya Sign Language video inserts for children with hearing impairment.

Dr Julius Jwan, CEO of KICD, said that "With technical and financial support provided by UNICEF and active participation of children with disabilities, KICD has successfully produced the first accessible digital textbook for children in Grade 1, contributing to equitable access to digital literacy. This textbook provides quality digital content for children with disabilities on the Digital Literacy Project devices. This accessible digital course material is for Grade 1 in Environmental Activities and within the same platform caters for children with visually impairment, hearing impairment and intellectual disabilities. It also allows learners without disabilities to access features like Kenya Sign Language videos, thereby contributing to inclusive education. This project is scalable to cover the other learning areas."

Going forward, the partnership will provide support to the Government of Kenya to avail more digital learning materials to schools in urban informal settlements of Nairobi and the frontier counties of Garissa and Turkana. This will be achieved by connecting them to the internet using the latest Nokia connectivity technology.

Scaling-up of internet connectivity in schools is planned to allow students to access quality digital learning materials that are aligned to the new competency-based curriculum and approved by the Government of Kenya.

Mr Maniza Zaman, Representative of UNICEF in Kenya, said that "UNICEF is working in partnership with the Government of Kenya and the private sector through innovative partnerships to empower the most disadvantaged children to get quality education with the most powerful tool of the century - the internet. We are proud to have contributed to the development of the first Accessible Digital Textbook with support from the UNICEF Innovation Fund and Nokia. This is a major step in furthering inclusive education through innovative technology for children in Kenya and beyond."

Mr Joachim Wuilmet, Nokia's head of Marketing and Communications, Middle East and Africa, said that "Children are the leaders of the future, so we are excited to work with UNICEF and the Government to connect schools in remote areas to inspire tomorrow's leaders in Kenya. We are committed to using our technologies to meet the goals of sustainable development worldwide."

Telekom Innovation Laboratories partners up with CODE University of Applied Sciences

Telekom Innovation Laboratories, Deutsche Telekom’s central research and innovation unit, signs up a partnership with CODE University of Applied Sciences (CODE), a Berlin-based private state-accredited university. By doing so, T-Labs extends its academic network and drives further its research projects oriented towards developing Minimum Viable Products highlighting future technology applications.

Cooperating with CODE will provide T-Labs with the opportunity to foster new project ideas through a constant exchange with CODE students. The students will have the opportunity to contribute to T-Labs innovation projects in the focus areas blockchain, intelligence and experience.

The newly established partnership will also contribute in the future, to joint projects with other Deutsche Telekom departments in the future. Deutsche Telekom will take active part in driving the curricula of CODE, focusing on experiential and challenge based learning. CODE`s students will get involved in corporate projects. Their fresh input and alternative views will enable faster and innovative resolution of operational challenges.

Mr John Calian, Senior Vice President and Head of T-Labs said that “T-Labs and CODE are both driven by curiosity, forward thinking and entrepreneurial spirit. This cooperation, set up at the intersection of research and technology experimentation, is focused on execution. It has the power to shape up positively the way we operate, develop and create technology solutions, with strategic impact. We also think on sharing the knowledge, educating and building the skills necessary for the workforce of the future."

Mr Thomas Bachem, Founder and Chancellor of CODE mentioned that "The collaboration with T-Labs will give our students the opportunity to work on exciting projects in the focus areas blockchain and intelligence. We are certain that our students will benefit hugely from the close exchange with tech experts at Telekom and their academic network."

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Posted By : TelecomGuru on Wed, 12 Jun 2019
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