The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the Fourteenth Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Berlin, Germany, from 25 to 29 November 2019. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the event, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
>> CHRISTOPHER YOO: Well, we have a lot to cover today, so I will start us on time.
Thank you for coming to the panel on Digitally Skilling Our Youth: Varied Global Approaches.
My name is Christopher Yoo. I'm A Professor at the University of Pennsylvania where I lead an initiative called One World Connected where we are trying to study different ways to promote Internet connectivity. Specifically, we have a booth immediately outside the door. If you are interested, we have a brochure on digital literacy projects on youth that identifies 25 projects globally that ‑‑ and, if you're interested in learning from other projects and how they're doing, it's a useful resource. It is also the basis of the remarks that one of our speakers, Chartus Univoston (sp) will make towards the end in the second half in this program.
I just wanted to welcome you and thank you for coming and sharing the interests that we all have in promoting and learning how to promote the digital literacy of youth, as that is critical for the future for all of us in the interest in the Internet.
I will introduce our three ‑‑ our four speakers all at once now, and you will hear them speak.
Our first two speakers will be Lily Butchay (sp), Yali Alumna (sp), and part of the global shapers, Akra Hub. She works with the Ghana Community Network Services System Limited on the electric health management system as a system tester and was a 2018 youth at the Internet Governance Forum here, and founded the Global Repository of Internet Studies Birth From The Forum.
Gabriel Carzon (sp) identifies as a digital dreamer, a protagonist of the youth narrative in building our dream Internet through equity and accessibility Internet for all. He has a background in Computer Science and uses his skillsets in breaking complexities in the technology world with a podcast called Dream Internet of Voices and is a passionate volunteer at the Union of Tanzania Press Clubs as a youth liaison.
Liz Orembo is a fellow at the Kenya ICT Action Network working on research and advocacy on Internet freedoms, including freedom of expression, information, and privacy. They train journalists on digital security, and she is part of the ISOC Kenya Chapter, the Youth Coalition on Internet Governance, and works on policy in Kenya.
We are grateful to all of them for being here. We will have one remote participant. Sharada Sweeney Vosson is a graduate of the National ‑‑ Bachelors with electrical engineering from the Maya Institute of Technology, a graduate of the National Law School of India University with a Master's in Public Policy, and has ben a fellow at the One World Project at the University of Pennsylvania for the last three years.
So, moving right into the program, I wanted to start off with Lily and Carzon.
If I would help us understand what it is that digital trains skills for youth really means. What do people ‑‑ what do youth need? What are the kinds of things you need to prepare you for the challenges that you see before you, and what are the barriers, and what are the most effective ways you have seen to deliver these types of goals?
So, Lily, since you're sitting right next to me, you get to go first.
>> Lily: That's fine, right. Good afternoon, everyone. My name is Lily form Ghana, and I'll try as much to share from my part of the world what has worked and what data skills and data literacy means to us, and ways that organizations and communities are actually taking steps to help youth or young people from my part of the world.
Digital skills now is set to be the very first generation of the active users of the Internet who will not only grow up using it but also building the very core of the Internet and more, and we are in an era where everything is moving from one world to digital and a revolution where it's called the fourth industrial revolution, and many things are spring go up, and many emerging technologies talking about IoT and more. So, the youth understand to strive in such a world we need some skills to play as citizens, and from coming from my background, you get to know that the very foundation that digitalization plays on infrastructure and more, there is access now we talk about affordability on the other side, but what has been very popular of late is the use of communities and open spaces where they actually share resources for everybody to benefit from. So, there is an increase in the number of communities, such as the slack community, the Cartla Foundation, all the other organizations both local and international, which have been designed to actually gather people and normally have open spaces to usury sources to get to know what is happening in the tech space, especially trending issues, and how they can also benefit from it.
One thing, though, that still looks like a problem to me is the sustain ability of what is taught or what you learn after meeting in these communities. So, beyond that, how do you practice on your own?
So, the idea is to move you from just acquiring skills to you being digitally litter rate. Now, you can know when to send what, know an Email looks creepy, know when you are overstepping your boundaries, especially in revealing things online. So, that's where the problem is, to some extent, after the trainings in the communities, what do you have to practice with? Which resources are available to you to use? And especially for young people who are gearing up for the future of work, we want to actually gather more skills to be able to play well in the future. So, currently that is what has happened in my part of the world, and we have also been encouraged to take some time off to look for real problems offline and how to solve them. So, when we go for these streams they encourage that see in as much as you spend so much time online and trying to understand what is happening in the technological space, the greater percentage of what you are trying to work on or the problems you are trying to solve are found off line. So, it would be in your best interest to know what in your world or what it is you want to work on, and now master the skills or get trained to do it, and the way they help us is to give us this spaces to actually meet mentors, to meet people who know things in the space, and to ask questions. A place where it is safe to ask any questions in the Field, like you are out of place. So, basically that is what is happening.
>> CHRISTOPHER YOO:Thank you, Lily. Carzon.
>> Hello, I'm Carzon. I think I have some sort of a different approach because I've been more of a benefactor of informal education when it comes to digital literacy program. I didn't have a space where I went to get this digital literacy trainings, rather that I represent the generation of young people that are born and thriving with tint net, which means some of us comes with an inept ‑‑ add department aptitude on how to tackle things. It's very easy right now when you have access to the Internet or access to a technology really be able to utilize it, so it's very important first that we create an accessibility meaningful accessibility to the Internet that everybody should have it first. So, we young people really want to access the Internet, but this now should go hand in hand, because accessibility won't do the job. We need many that go simultaneously with digital literacy. Which means that you have access to the resource, and you understand how to utilize it in the local context so that it can be relatable to your case. Example for me back home, I can go on social media and search for anything that I want rather than just for the information that I do, people actually do business in social media with groups because they see somebody who looks like me and somebody who talks like me and selling something that is around my region, let it be agriculture produce or to the long supply chain, so it's very important to localize the skillsets that they make sense to the ones who want to utilize.
Another thing what I've learned is it's important when we are tackling digital skills to learn how to learn. Know how you can learn, because we ‑‑ most of we young people have different approaches of how we want to learn. Like, for me, I would rather watch a video or an animation, because multimedia has some way of delivering knowledge that is very subliminal. You can remember. So, most of the young people like more creative approach owes how to learn, and it's very important, but we have created some sort of a very complex structure of how to deal with these things. Well, it should be very easy because it's part of life.
Another thing, it's important to embrace spaces and dialogues when it comes to digital skills, as well as the Internet, because we come from places where okay, the Internet is some sort of an abstraction that we don't but we don't quite understand it and it's important that we can be free in terms of dialogue, connection of ideas, and exchange of apartment attitudes, because most young people learn from each other. That's the first thing, you know. She knows something, I know something, we can share. That's it. As full as it goes. This is opportunity to get part of the Internet and things go on. It is important to have this as safe spaces, as well, where you can do the data, because the truth of the matter is we have the Internet, but you know there is a downside that it's not connected or at some point you replace something and that means you are not free to express yourself or deliver the information, so you can learn in a proper way, per se, so you don't have the full freedom as part of the Internet, and as young people we need to be able to have the full freedom of thought to Internet, that is how we can really learn and embrace our ideas.
Another thing is we should breakdown the complexities when it comes to this digital literacy programs to a really general knowledge that anybody can understand and especially viewing it in a youth lens and rhetoric. That is why I said I host a podcast where we try to really break the dialogue, you know, speaking in no more people terms from the user perspective, what is this, how can this be done, and we grow from there, and that is very important.
For now, as we approach to the fourth industrial revolution, everything that goes with it, it is important to really have accessibility to what that means. I mean, we don't have that equal distribution where I come from. We can view it as this, this, and that but the resource is not available for me to physically go and, you know, utilize. So, it's important when we say that we want the fourth industrial revolution of the 21st century skills to be given to the youth that we create some sort of ill egalitarian sphere where anybody can go and utilize these resources that we want to talk about it. So, simply that's what I think.
>> CHRISTOPHER YOO:Thank you very much, Lily and Carzon. You've put some interesting themes on the table and I really appreciate you being here to really present the youth perspective.
I want to draw on a couple of themes you both mentioned. You both mentioned the need for safe spaces for dialogue, and what strikes me is we often think of digital literacy as something that happens in a structured way, in a formal training sense, but you're talking about it the more informal conversation that happens beyond that. And, I think that's very interesting. I would like to hear more about that, about what that is, but also, I also hear when you say we need safe spaces. The implication is you don't always have the safe spaces that you need is one way you can interpret that. Let me know if that is correct or if that's the right understanding, and I would love to hear more. And, if so, what can we do to create the environment that you feel that you need to thrive, for the youth to thrive?
>> Lily: Okay. What we've noticed or what we've been used to from ‑‑ since long ago has been a more they are ret particular cull approach to teaching rather than practical. So, what is not just safe, but open spaces do for us is to give us resources to use hands on to add to what we learned, true lectures and camps and boot camps and all the trainings. So, it's a shift from what you've learned in classrooms where it is formal to where you can practice and get people who have knowledge in other areas to help, people who have gone ahead of you to also help.
The idea is these spaces we are talking about are like where the resources are. So, when I say an open space or safe space is like people like me are there, like Carzon said, you're breaking down the complexities, sitting in class and being so formal, now they can actually use video and audio, and sometimes the language can even be switched and who knows, you would understand better.
So, this is what it looks like from our part of the world. So, we are moving from that base approach to more practical, because the resources are available in those spaces and owing to the fact that people have contributed to building it and have made it available for everybody to work in a lane so much that it doesn't have to be you got information and afterwards you can't really practice or use it for anything. I have ‑‑ I was just speaking to somebody I met two years ago at lunch. I didn't know I met them here, but they are here for an award and for skill in IT in Africa, especially in Ghana. How I met them was that they came to school to scout for people who would want to undergo training, scrum training, and after school for four months, and this is because they realize that divide, what you learn and how you're able to use it outside the world. So, they have a training center that, they take young people there, you learn for four months with the resources they have there, and you get to meet people to talk to, and even have projects to complete before you leave the place. So, that is what these space rest doing for us.
You don't have so many of those, even there are many of them bringing up, aside this space, what is very common is the communities. So, we have, say, I mentioned early on the slack community, the Python community, we can have meetings online, but beyond that, some people need another form of learning, which is more physical, that they are going to practice with people who are ahead. So, we meet in these places to try things, and when there are errors, we all dialogue on how to solve it and learn new ways to solve the problems. So, these are the kind of spaces you are talking about, and you will not find them often in universities and learning institutions which are more formalized and sometimes very much packed, because we are talking about resources which are not too available, and you don't have special attention if you need one, because there is a lot of you. And, the lecture can't stop and tend to only you, so these spaces give us that extra we are looking for.
>> Carzon: Yes. Another approach is that we have this space, safe spaces in sort of saying there is a physical place where you can get the resources, but inform Al perspective that just social media can be a safe space if you are equally sharing information, and if you come from a place where like young people right now, we sign online petitions with something comes, you want to push an agenda mostly that is safe space for you to embrace and learn or maybe there is a digital right infringement you want to deal with, as young people we can raise our voices, but if the social media place is not safe and I can be persecuted by just saying my voice, that is not a safe space I am able to learn. Most of these spaces are driven rather than having the social benefit for pushing for education and through dialogue. So, you are unable to speak fluidly and whatever fully and unable to ask the right questions so you can learn and grow, and that is very important, because in any space that you go, you should be able to ask the right question, like what skill do I need, and how do I do this, and if you infringe my digital rights, how can I really embrace this. So, it's important that the safe space goes beyond this located in places that are based in only doing the skills, maybe teaching to code, but where the young people are on social media, even outside this contacting on the Internet, they should be free to speak and to push for whatever they want so that they could learn.
Another thing is that like for me I'm really able to learn, you know, and I was really willing to learn, and coming to embrace digital literacy it wasn't that easy because I don't come from a major city. You have to organize because the resource rest not there. There is a lack of enough safe spaces to young people can go and learn, so there is a barrier to access these resources, even when you get to the cities where you have this limited resources, the right people do not have the same kind of mind‑set or ideology that can really support youth. They're not driven by the youth agenda or something the youth rhetoric who can really quite understand you, but, you know, they're really pushing for their own agendas and they have not really created a place in the table where you can speak and say maybe I can do it like this or share like this, and I think that is very important when we talk to the matter in regard to spaces.
>> CHRISTOPHER YOO:So, this is, I think we are getting a sense of what you're asking, but I want you to be very concrete. I'm going to ask you: What is your ideal training, then for digital literacy training? My guess is of the answers to these questions, but there are parts that are part of school and formal education, there is parts of it outside, there is video‑based training, in‑person training, app training, there is often experimental spaces with mentors around. I'm trying to think, what is it that we're missing that is not so effective and what are the things that would be so effective? And, Carzon, you also said to me before one of your goals for this session is not just to have a dialogue among youth, but to open up a broader dialogue between groups, and I would love to have you talk about that as well.
>> Lily: So, an ideal situation or what you are asking is a blend of all where people have very different needs and ways of learning enhance need very different approaches and getting the message across. So, you would realize that even though we are talking about spaces in always been available, the approach is different. What if you ask especially how do you grab things easily, what is the way, and then you would actually plan courses and models in that order so that they are different approaches for everybody to learn so that at the end of the day you may not appeal so much to another one and another person is left hand de‑cap. So, first ask. That is one way to gather feedback to do something that would be beneficial, and afterwards you can get the impact you want. So, get them talking.
People have very different ways. Some are auditory learners and some are visual and all, so get the people to share with you, and it will surprise you to know what works for one person will be something entirely different for another. That is far reaching impact rather than very, very little.
>> Carzon: That's true. The first thing is asking, how can we learn, how can we help. That is very true. We come from a place where mostly you might not get connectivity. So, if you want to teach young people there, it should face maybe use the educational system to pass this knowledge.
Another thing is using a different approach may be if you can teach them with open data available on social media or easy space where somebody can just go and get this information, that will be really nice, and multimedia content as well. If we can really embrace social media because social media is a place for learning a lot. We see we learn with courses in YouTube. Not many of us can interact with open course software there on the Internet. It is difficult. You need someone to guide you through the process, so if we can start in craw men go this from the people, educators, legislators, and down to the level where you can find the actual youth trying to present their gender.
>> CHRISTOPHER YOO:Fantastic. I would like to bring in the other two speakers. First, I will start with Sharada. If we can connect in our remote participant, Sharda Srinivasan is going to share on one world connected digital literacy training about overall trends and what the gaps and policies are.
>> Sharada: Am I audible? Hello?
>> CHRISTOPHER YOO: We hear you.
>> Sharada: Great. I just wanted to confirm.
It is a pleasure to be a participant in this session. I wanted to spend some time doing three things in my remarks. The first thing that I wanted to do is really to ground the importance of digital skills for youth, give you some context around why it's really important.
In the areas of the world world Internet is growing the most, Africa and South Asia, 60% of Africa is youth right now. 1.5 million people enter the labor market in South Asia. The challenge for Digitally Skilling Our Youth is one that is incredibly germane to policy making and policy deficient, not just from the perspective technology adoption, but in terms of the jobs that we need to create and the way we need to see the path forward for a lot of countries in this region ‑‑ in these regions where we have done a lot of research.
So, what is it that we have found so far? At one world connected, we did a global case study research project that has spanned for three years, and we collected data on different innovative approaches to connect search community. Very quickly out of a thousand odd projects we had about 643 that in some way, shape or form participants training. We have in our case study that we developed through in‑depth interviews, 127, over 30% of them digital skills and 25 focused on youth. It is important to understand what the trends are, and that is what I want to focus on in terms of remarks. Look at some of the gaps and things we do not know, and what we really can do to learn more about this and implication for policy makers.
What we do know about digital skills training programs from the research we've conducted across case studies is often that they vary very widely in terms of the goals that they are trying to achieve and the audiences that they serve. What do I mean? We have a few that serve in school, after school club type participation, and we have a lot that, like, focus on out of school training, focus to a different audiences out of jobs youth, high school dropouts, amongst the youth we have broader demographies, people that are working within a specific home‑based like learning system, and do not have access to technology really at school.
So, we have that dimension, that is that there is a variation in the audiences and the goals that these programs have.
We also see that predominantly a lot of these are run by Civil Society and public organizations. We have a few, but a very few of our 25 that are really integrated into school curriculum. Even when we have after school clubs, which is the like the Ghana code club, the give project in Gambia, while they operate and coordinate with schools, they're often led by independent organizations that then go into schools and those currents institutions at places where they can conduct digital skills training.
What that also shows, and this is potentially a gap, is that educational systems right now have a very archaic way of thinking through, like, ICT skills and ICT training that has not adapted to the things that Carzon and Lily mentioned in the first half of the session.
Oftentimes when we did fieldwork in Rwanda and remote schools, they just were very comfortable teaching from the book and very comfortable teaching computer skills, not necessarily digital skills, not necessarily things that enable people to learn the kind of ‑‑ learn and create the kind of communities that have been mentioned, slack communities, using online social media or YouTube courses.
Part of it is because they don't have the infrastructure. You don't have enough electricity, you don't have enough, like, basic laptops and tablets to be able to do this, but part of it is also just capacity, and that's a gap that we really need to think about more systematically. Something that is not happening at this stage from our case studies within the countries that a lot of our projects operate in.
The second thing that we learned is that there is a wide variation in curriculum and pedagogy, and I take the point that Lily just made where shed is it important to understand the needs of the users of these technologies and personalized learning is really important.
Research shows that computer assisted learning is most effective when it is done in a personalized way trained to the teaching level of the student. There is research from a randomize control trial in India that came out that shows that computer assisted learning can really cause a huge impact in terms of learning outcomes within, like, course in mathematics, but it's not really focused on ICT skills, per se, and I think that that is an important dimension to consider; however, what we did find in the 25 case studies that we studied is that there was no coherent said of definitions on what qualified as digital skills. Some organizations were teaching basic how do you operate a user mobile phone kind of stuff. There were others who said we will teach you basic coding, Logo, sometimes even more, how to build a website or et cetera.
Those are all very different skills and are very different in the way they are taught and like required a different baseline in terms of your comfort with technology and comfort with coding.
A gap that needs to be filled is really understanding the taxonomy and different organizations are doing this, but oftentimes the process is being more top down and not very participatory. Something that came up in the session and glad we're doing witness the youth coalition. We need to have the understanding of digital skills, but often times it needs to be a participatory process to help with the fine details, but that is a gap we see right now.
The last thing that I want to talk about is in terms of duration and the way to start. There is a wide variation in what we see in terms of the way delivery is accurate. What do I mean by that? Some people have a module you have to complete before doing an after‑school class that you are tested on. It goes anywhere between one month and three months in time.
Other projects in our case studies have decided that they want to do three months of in‑person after‑school training on special skills, but others do it in the forms of workshops periodically and do it from school to school because they're lacking capacity. Most of these are not really thought through in terms of what creates the most impact within these communities, and they don't have good evidence right now. This is a gap, to understand what it is that we need in order to be able to measure this impact and create the most impact for these communities. Needs assessment is one part of that answering that question, but the other part I think that's really important is doing systematic studies, like studies that measure different groups update in terms of digital skills through different programmatic designs. Ways that we can do this, and this is being done in education more broadly to randomize control trials, difference methodologies, et cetera are not really being done for, like, digital skills programs. Part of it is because a lot of these are ad hoc grant funded programs that run their course and disappear, but part of it really there hasn't been much thought on what the learning outcome is. Is it that you have gotten into the job market? Is it that you have, like, learned how to use a mobile phone to interact very much with the community and learning formally better? What is it that digitally skilled person is capable of needs more thinking in terms of impact? But also, we need to be able to see how we measure this. We need to see what ages take up what skills in the best possible way, doing it by creating treatments and control groups that are based on class size, gender of the teacher, based on the age group being targeted, based on the curriculum changes, based on whether you want to do modules and then do after school class or based on other criteria might be really, really helpful. And, the policy implication for this is that we really need to think about this a little more systematically. It might be that each Country has a different, like, way in which digital skills are best assimilated in their population because of the kinds of baselines that they have; however, right now we do not have this in terms of a systematic understanding within any particular Country.
One thing that we do know, however, from a recent evaluation from the digital Ambassador's program is that you do have more take up in terms of digital skills, especially amongst the communities that they were in, which shows in some ways that local liaisons can be useful in certain context.
We also saw this is Annie merging lesson from case studies if we have local trainers we can have some kind of sustainability going forward, however, we don't know the gender license, we don't know if the fact that digital ambassadors was very successful in Rwanda means the same model can replicate in other countries, and that kind of study is needed in terms of ‑‑ that kind of study is both needed in terms of research and in terms of thinking through policy.
Lastly, an implication for policy is that while it's really important to think through these topics, integrating them systematically into curriculum design and allowing for evolution of curricula with the evolution of skills, because right now Python is really really cool. Ten years ago, it was not. It's really important. The and the way curriculum reform happens in most countries that we have digital skills programs in is often a very slow-moving process. So, in Rwanda in schools they are still being taught at the ICT level in schools, they were still being taught Microsoft word and basic application, not necessarily very advanced skills where we saw them.
It's really important to keep up with technology ask keep up with skills that are needed to use the most advanced technologies, and policy implication is to think how we think through curriculum in light of the facts that we know about this.
That is all.
>> CHRISTOPHER YOO:I would like to bring you in to the conversation with your perspective from Kenya in the experience with the projects you have worked with, please.
>> Liz Orembo: Thank you. I'm going to bring in my perspectives on policy and what has been happening in Kenya particularly.
I would like to say that Governments in Africa and Kenya have made great strides in trying to instill digital skills for the youth and also recognizing that it has to start from early levels of learning. So, Government of Kenya specifically is trying to come up with a competence based curriculum where all the subjects are trying to integrate ICT in the youth or even in training for digital, but this has come with a serious challenges, as well, because it was a political somewhat skewed towards political project because it came as a manifest or when the President was running presidency in the last election, and this meant that it would be like less policy support or half of it because elections, again, usually divisive for our Country, and this brings in a governance aspect when it comes to making policies for the youth.
That aside, we also realize that there are very many problems when it came to digital skilling for youth and especially for the lower levels of learners. So, for the Country to have made or come up with a curriculum that gave all these skills with the use of computer and any other digital learning, it would mean that it would have to serve the whole population from the rural area to the urban areas. So, the challenges were there are no electricity, there are no devices, and even when the Government tried to bring in devices with a policy of one laptop a child for lower primary school, then you would face problems of security again, because laptops are there and it would need the schools to be well infrastructured in terms of security, in terms of you power. Areas where there would be flooding, then they would try to mitigate them by constructing dams. So, it's a very ‑‑ it would really require a lot of investments from the Government, and that's why it started from scratch. It doesn't mean that the digital literacy program stalled, but it is because there are other underlying issues have to be taken care of before that.
So, at adult level, and that's from secondary school level going up when the youth finish secondary schooling, there are other programs that they can take to ‑‑ for digital literacy, but again, these are not vetted by the Government, and you will find what the speakers just talked about, that adults are taught on basic digital skills that you can acquire without even attending a class or having to invest your money on such courses, examples are (?) to all that to 19 year olds, I think a good policy would actually start with regulating what kind of content that this colleges are offering.
So, apart from that, we see very good progress in terms of access and that means that the youth are able to use practical skills that are being offered online by the online books. Good examples are the EDX that offer programming courses for the youth, and most of them, it means that most of them go into the job market not having certificates, but having the real skills to work, but this, again, is a downside to governance, because again, the Government is trying to say that they need to ‑‑ they need to kind of bring up bodies that would shape these skills and these professional bodies, but when it comes to ICT, people don't have to go to school to acquire these skills. So, that would mean if you come up with a body that regulates ICT professionals, for example, it would be to lock this individual outside this job opportunities because they are self‑taught people and they don't have certificates to prove that they are competent enough. They need actual practical tests so that they can take that when applying for jobs.
So, that's an example of bad policy that is really not ‑‑ we really need to lookout for when you're advocating for youth taking up jobs.
Another one is on governance and innovation. We need an environment where a normal youth from digital area can educate themselves on ICT policy, innovate, and actually that innovation goes from ‑‑ becomes really from down, and because something big, without anybody's influence like a big brother. So, that means that the level of play should be fair for the youth to be able to innovate. So, without that, we will be creating people who are consuming data on technology vis‑a‑vis innovators or creators of technology.
So, that's another policy challenge that we have.
Others are on access, and when we come with access to broadband, then we need to activate these other policies around broadband that make people use the Internet and the technologies. Yeah.
I would like to stop there, but on broadband, still before I stop, I think the other policy that are important to activate the broadband access, like access to information, cybersecurity policies, and any other policies that are relevant to push broadband up to those would be affordability, and not just affordability, mobile broadband, because most Africans access the Internet through the mobile, but that only makes them consumers of content, but you don't have access that makes people access a broadband in their houses or large speeds, big speeds of broadband and that kind of poses a limit towards which people can use digital technologies.
>> CHRISTOPHER YOO:Well, thank you very much, Liz.
I want to draw you out a little bit on a couple of points you made. It seems like Kenya has instituted a national curriculum. I find some tensions between that and the things that Carzon is saying and Lily are saying about the need to customize. I also am an educator now and my first job was a high school teacher out of college. You can't be infinitely flexible for every student, and there seems to be a tough balance.
There is something else you said. You said there is a difference between urban and rural, and with the uniform national curriculum, how do you make it work for the very different populations you will have in the urban areas and the rural areas?
>> Liz Orembo: Actually, that's very true. Let me start with uniformity of the challenges or the opportunities that these different students face.
The thing with the competence based curriculum that the Government is trying to roll out is because we realize that our education system does not make the youth come out as innovators, because it is more of theory work and it's needed more practical work to be integrated with the education system. So, this competent base curriculum comes with more practical staff in it whereby the learners are not being given homework in terms of written work, but things to do with creating things within the interests that they have.
So, the downside of it is that the infrastructure is not there, even at home, and the culture, will you find that maybe after school they're supposed to fetch water for work, and it needs so much investment in time for the child to create whatever you want them to create and come and showcase in class. That is one.
No. 2 is the skills again, because at home who would help them in their homework if it's technical? Because, again, in digital areas, their parents are not digitally skilled. So, that is not uniformed.
And, then I mentioned about these differences again. The reason why the digital literacy program for their Government didn't take off is because of this uniformity, because in rural areas you don't have electricity, giving a child a laptop would be like a threat or like giving them insecurity, because you can't walk the streets with an expensive mobile phone in rural areas. It is like you're attracting muggers. Again, that would be for the small child, you would be experiencing incidences of kidnaps and all those sorts of mischiefs.
So, there are very many problems around it much even schools have been broken into just to because the thieves wanted to steel the infrastructure. So, that meant that the Government was to invest in network access, security for schools, and all that. But again, another downside of this is that even the infrastructure that would be in schools would not be used. They would just be locked in schools, because they're also, again, preventing these kinds of damages to this infrastructure. So, when the Government is doing audit on how this infrastructure has been used, they find out that they have never been opened because the person or the teacher who was in charge of the equipment was given a strong warning that if these computers are damaged or used in any other way then it is who you is going to pay for them with your salaries. That is another policy action that would make this effort like the policy implementation challenging.
>> CHRISTOPHER YOO:Thank you very much.
So, I would like to bring Carzon and Lily back into this. I would be interested to hear your reactions to these discussions about policies, and I'm really struck by something that Liz said, which is I would love to hear your perspective on how to make it not just competence, but how do we create innovators? How do we create those sorts of creator problem solvers? What kind of programs do you think we should be creating and what is the problem with the programs we have now that is causing us not to accomplish everything we wants to accomplish?
>> Lily: I mentioned something early on about how there is a new approach to actually digitally skilling people where you spend time looking for real life situations and trying to innovate around them.
You know I've had developers say I've built this application and can do this and this and I'm asking myself, so who did you run the idea by? Is it actually a problem? The person goes from ideation to execution and the product or the solution has to be shelved for later use.
So, in as much as we want digitally skilled people, we have to spend time getting people to know how to find problems and that's actually, I think, the first big elevator. It should be a right problem identification approach. What is it saying? What are you building? What are you going to build to solve it? That's designed thinking and more. And, you want the bring the human perspective in it. Someone said that you are being human centered or human centered applications that actually solve problems, and actually really you can measure the impact. That's how innovation is supposed to go. And, you may want to also look at to a larger extent, I think this is ‑‑ it shouldn't be more governmental, or Country based. I think it should cut across. It should be cross‑sector so much that you can have international barriers even complement where Governments are not able to reach. In that aspect, that is where we have people like Liz mentioned, there is one policy Government is ruling out, and you are thinking that because we have differences between rural and urban areas, it can be so friendly because of the differences and how unique each person is in learning.
So, while the Government is doing things that is more broad and general, you can have these international barriers who are can do something that is broken down. So, people can actually benefit from. And, that is why there is an increase in communities and spaces in Ghana, because some are saying okay, join this because you're going to find this. Join this because you're going to do this. That is because you're not finding this exact thing in the school. So, my go‑to plan would be that you are doing the trainings and all, there should be some other time spent off line trying to actually build the faculties, the thinking, the problem identification, and all other things account with it, even the soft skills, if you ask me.
>> Carzon: First of all, at a policy level, I think that, like, from Tanzanian perspective, that we have policy that is not innovation friendly, that is not inclusive, and we kind of have a plurality and understanding between the actual innovators and the ones who wants to poll law size the innovation. And, we haven't actually opened up or embraced flexible education models, which are really competency based and can really be progressive and adapt to the change in times and that is very important.
Another thing is that we are really forced to modernize. Like you need to go to a certain city in the rural perspective. You need to go to a certain city so you can access some kind of resource that can enable you to be digital savvy. So, I think we should rather spread it to the villages, just to have this some sort of basic level of infrastructure that everybody can go to and also migrate the skills. Not only from the cities but spread it to these rural areas where people can actually really share this perspective and have open models on how it can be disseminated.
Another thing is how we should measure the impact. It should not only be based on numbers that we have maybe brought computers to rural villages, this, this, and this. No. We should measure impact on how it really affects the person or the user, you know. The user of these technologies, and how it can cascade in a different mode rather than just we brought 200 children who switch owed the computer and used Microsoft word. No. It shouldn't be like that. We should find a different way of how we can measure this impact long‑term by having access to these technologies, but how they really actually interact together to bring that change that they need. I think that can localize and it can be relevant.
>> CHRISTOPHER YOO:Well, thank you very much.
At this point I would ‑‑ we have about nine minutes left. I would love to open the floor to any questions that you may have. I will collect all the questions first and then allow the panel to respond to them as a group.
I see one question here, and one question here, please. And, identify yourself, if you would.
>> AUDIENCE: Yes. My name is Nicolas, I am from Uruguay. It is not a question, just my experience from my local perspective.
This idea of inclusiveness and equal condition toss achieve is what we have to continue proliferating. It is about replicating, I think, about the mentorship experience, online courses, about learning ICT, programming. I seen always about this word, replication around the world the student becomes the mentor of others. And, the teacher of his family.
In my Country, Uruguay, it's a tiny Country in South America. The population is not more than 400,000 people. There are 135,000 children under the poverty line, and 90,000 of them live in rural areas.
There is a program that is a (?) Program Socio created in 2007, a few years ago in order to carry out evaluations and actions necessary to provide one computer to each school age child and each public school teacher. As well as to train teachers in the use of the tool and promote the educational proposals in accordance with them. So, it's very on the one laptop per child program became different within the time.
They said this program seems to promote digital inclusion in order to review the digital divide with respect to other countries, and among the cities, but the main inclusion of technology in schools does not ensure the full freedom of the goal if it is not companioned by an education proposal according to new requirements, as other Field say, but both for teachers and for student and their families, right.
Does this plan already complete system that you can take a look on the website, that seems to guarantee the use of technology resources. Teacher training and the development of appropriate contents in addition to a family and social participation. So, the strategy principles are equity, equal opportunities for all children, and all young people. Democratization of knowledge, also the ability of tools to learn, and better learning not only in regard to the education I provided in the school, but also in learning for yourself to use modern technology. I think this is a good example, and more than ten years from the beginning of this program it involved (?) and now today kids are learning programming skills. So, I think it is very good for the future.
I want to highlight about display meant of work, that is something that is happening globally, and it's a reality that is happening. We as young people wants a more optimal world in terms of technology in our lives. So, we want equal conditions for all and to be able to evolve as a society.
>> CHRISTOPHER YOO:Thank you very much.
>> AUDIENCE: My name is Manuel P. I'm here in my capacity as member of the college computer club in Caltsra. We are active in educating the youth, mostly on ‑‑ it's a remark, sorry. I have to take that first. We are active as volunteers, educate go children in our spare time, we have multiple projects running around Germany, because also in Germany, the education system and the school system, the curriculum is moving too slow to keep up with technology, and also we think and we believe that inherent interest in technology is not instilled in the youth. What we do is called “cawsmachila,” we go to schools and fill the curricula, that is the part that was mentioned before, external organizations going to schools and educating the children. Then we do multiple events outside of that, and in all this, we gathered the experience, and I personally did so, too, that children, they only need a spark to get interested in technology, and we're not talking about Python skills, we're not talking about work skills, we're not talking about anything like that. I'm talking about an inherent interest in technology and inherent thirst for knowledge. As soon as you spark that, the children actually develop a knowledge and a capacity to teach themselves out of pure curiosity.
Obviously access to the Internet is a given. We have to ‑‑ that has to exist. If there is no mentor there, because the Internet has the resources to educate, and to provide information to have or seek it, especially on those topics. That is how most of the people that are active in the society did that, and last, but not least, remove the respect that is instilled in us by technology, remove that and just treat technology as something else you can play with and don't be afraid to take things apart and put them back together as they were not intended, because in the end, that is what innovation means, and if we want to teach the youth, we want to teach them also to bring us further than we are now.
Thank you very much.
>> CHRISTOPHER YOO:Last question.
>> AUDIENCE: Hi I'm Marco, in my personal capacity from the Private Sector, and I work in the learning development space, and I've been doing so in the last 15 years. So, I would like to bring a perspective of someone who has had to deal with the consequences of not having a solid framework policy and infrastructure for digitally skilling.
Some of the points mentioned earlier by Lily and Carzon resonated very well with me and I would like to enumerate them one I one. First off, Lily mentioned there needs to be a strong move from not just acquiring the skills but creating a system in which these skills are demonstrated and I think that's how you mean digital literacy. The ability to actually demonstrate that skills.
In our practice, one of the things that we have found to be very effective, not just in the technical skills, when we talk about future skills, is to my com patriot's points, allowing people to make mistakes and let them learn from them, and we've taken seriously the adage that experience is the best teach irrelevant because it gives the best first before it gives the lesson. That is how we structured our learning activities around that.
Secondly, one of the interesting point that I heard from this discussion is how do you create innovators, and this is where I'm really passionate about in the last two years, because in the firm that I work for, for the past two years there has been a drive to educate our people who work in the business process outsourcing in industry, which I'm employs about a million 200 people in the Philippines. So, get them conversant in artificial intelligence, and the other technologies that are disrupt our industry, and we've done that, and at least in our firm, we've done that for 90%, about 27,000 of our workforce, but as a steward of learning and talent development in my firm, one of the things I'm discovering is you won't get very far with technical skills alone. So, what we've looked at is you need to have a good base of technical skills, but you should not forget f you're serious about creating innovators and disrupters, you need to have what we call timeless skills. Leadership skills. The ability to collaborate.
To your point about asking the right people for the right technology, those skills we're not born with those skills is our position, and now our thrust is to make sure that these two skill areas are addressed, because to our point, technology will change, it's just a tool, but this time the skills need to be there when the technology changes so that we have a workforce that can be productive for years on.
>> CHRISTOPHER YOO:Thank you very much. We only have a very short time left, but I will let the panelists give a closing thought and any reactions to the comments people have made.
>> Lily: Yeah, I think all of them added to it and it's almost the same everywhere, especially with digital skills, and adding on to actually very digitally literate and to be able to do something, ultimately all these are gearing towards in my part of the world economic empowerment, if you ask me. Especially young people who leave schools and are looking for jobs and enter these programs, enter these spaces to learn something for themselves. So, once you're able to fully train your faculties, the pressure of public offices, all the other places where we get lesson and people are able to do something for themselves, and I think the future is exciting.
>> Carzon: I think the first thing we should do is that we should view the curiosity driven culture that embraces experimentation. If you want to break that form to understand it, do that. We should create this complex barrier when it comes to innovation or understanding things. That's the importance thing, and that is my closing remark.
>> Liz Orembo: For me, how do you create skills for innovation rather than just consumption would be the major thing would be access and that would mean access to devices, access to networks, because when people don't have access they don't have the opportunity experiment with technology, and you will find that they are only exposed when they can afford it and that is at a later age when they are not ‑‑ when their careers are not skilled towards technology or not using technology for whatever they're doing. So, with access, it means that the Governments need to actually create time or invest time and meaningful access, not just also just access for the sake of access, but quality access speeds and the devices that people are using rather than mobile devices that can them beat local content, beat technologies that are relevant for the community.
That's it for me.
>> CHRISTOPHER YOO:Thank you.
Sharada, any closing thoughts?
We can't hear you. You will have to start from the beginning.
>> Sharada: Am I heard?
>> CHRISTOPHER YOO: Yes.
>> Sharada: Hello?
>> CHRISTOPHER YOO: Yes, we can hear you now.
>> Sharada: Great. My closing remark is that we have two online participants that wanted to make an intervention, so I will give my floor to them, but also wanted to say to the challenge of how we create innovator is not solely a developing ‑‑
>> CHRISTOPHER YOO: Having access problems.
>> AUDIENCE: (Laughter)
CHRISTOPHER YOO: If there is a problem with her ‑‑ if the online participants have a short intervention, we can open it to them.
We lost you, Sharada.
So, were there online participants that wanted to make interventions
>> AUDIENCE: Hello?
>> CHRISTOPHER YOO: Yes.
>> AUDIENCE: Hello?
>> CHRISTOPHER YOO: Yes. If you can give a brief intervention. We are over time. You are welcome ‑‑ we would welcome your participation.
>> AUDIENCE: Are you able to hear me?
>> CHRISTOPHER YOO: Yes.
>> AUDIENCE: I just have a question concerning the funding and is it possible that there is local integration with funding that should be used to train and mentor people in order for them to acquire skills? Is there an organization that is mobilizing locally?
>> CHRISTOPHER YOO: Thank you, Christopher.
Is there another online intervention?
I believe you are on mute. If you are talking, we cannot hear you. You need to turn your sound on.
We can hear you now. Well, we are five minutes over time.
>> AUDIENCE: Yes, my name is Joseph.
>> AUDIENCE: You were on mute.
>> CHRISTOPHER YOO:Please go ahead, Joseph.
>> AUDIENCE: Yes, my name is Joseph. We are hosting a remote hub here in Capalla and one of our participants asks whether ‑‑ actually says more of a suggestion but there will be great efforts in addressing challenge relevant having each to attach to Governments coming up with different policies as the Internet space. Yes.
So, one of the participants is suggesting we should have joint efforts as Internet space not as Government or individuals or just institutions, rather we can make more efforts or we can have greater impact if we come as (?) We are writing different agencies are coming up digital literacy and scaling of youths, so it would be much impact if as the Internet space comes together to do it then attributing it to Government and different institutions.
That is our suggestion from the hub in Capalla.
>> CHRISTOPHER YOO:Thank you very much. I will ask Liz, you're probably the best person to talk to this.
>> Liz Orembo: Yeah, I agree with the speaker. The reason why I am insisting with the Government is because the Government is that we give power and pay tax to solve problems, so if anything goes wrong with the society, then we point fingers to the Government, but yes, it's true, everything stakeholder should take this up within their levels of interests and try to contribute to this challenge of digital literacy as much as they can. Perhaps what you should do is do a mapping on the capacity of difference stakeholders and what they can do and then maybe the Government to take up the rest where the stakeholders can't.
>> CHRISTOPHER YOO:Well, this has been very informative. I mean, I'm actually in a conversation with people of having different modules and resources and giving more flexibility to try to support it in more of a joint way in the ways we've been discussing, because as you know, education is often very local, and as you said, it's very personal. So, finding that blend of interventions which can draw on the leverage of different experiences but customize to individual needs is one of the great challenges of this space.
I apologize for keeping us over a little bit, but I appreciate all of you staying here and sharing the reason you are still here in the room is this is such an important issue. Please join me in thanking all the panelists and all the participants for such a terrific discussion.