RESOLUTION SDC 121

FORUM: SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE

QUESTION OF: Measures to develop digital tools in health and education

SUBMITTED BY: Burundi

CO-SUBMITTERS:Colombia, Oman, Congo, Spain, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, United Rep., Thailand, Peru, Philippines, Kazakhstan, UNDP, Mauritania, Singapore, Somalia, Sweden, Cameroon.

STATUSRejected

Expecting full cooperation between the United Nations (UN), United Nations Technology Innovation Labs (UNTIL) and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as well as the governments of all member nations,

Acknowledging the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has revolutionized systems around the world, and has urged populations to reach for change, particularly since many have been forced to work from home and result to digital tools, such as work from home, 

Noting with disappointment that according to International Telecommunication Union (ITU) 2019 statistics, 49% of the world population are not provided with internet connectivity,

Recognizing that digital tools and technology have potential, most notably in the education and health sectors, which could lead to global improvements, taking into account the global pandemic, if implemented thoroughly and correctly, 

Alarmed by the effects of the fact that more than 89% of students are out of school due to pandemic restrictions,

  1. Calls for member states to modify school syllabuses in order to embrace the movements to e-learning and the COVID-19 situation, making it possible for students in both rural and urban settings to continue their learning process by:
    1. familiarizing them with digital tools, both software and hardware
    2. using interactive teaching methods
    3. creating an e-Library that holds the study material utilized by schools of the country, covers traditional text resources, multimedia, video, and interactives;
  2. Suggests the initiation of a remote-learning training program for education with the support of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) with actions like, among others:
    1. exposing teachers to new ways of adapting to the circumstances by encouraging the formation of in-person like environment
    2. providing teachers and students in the educational process with the knowledge and information required to make proper use of the online educational platforms and how to specify and adapt such platforms to their relative cultural context so that their use might become more widespread within more states;
  3. Requests assistance from United Nations Technology and Innovation Labs (UNTIL) and International Bureau of Education (IBE) in order to assist the establishment of Education Centres in LEDCs and low-income regions of MEDCs which will:
    1. distribute technology such as laptops and tablets in schools and colleges in order to help foster digital literacy skills to provide critical skills to students
    2. implement free public education programs
    3. provide temporary access, within the centre, to technological gadgets to the students that want to access internet sources but do not have any sort of mobile device
    4. create pre-recorded lesson that will be broadcasted in radio in order to augment the effectiveness of digital education in regions that do not have access to tools such as computers and mobile phones;
  4. Emphasizes the creation of anonymous databases to collect information on education in all areas of countries using websites, focused on gathering evidence to make informed decisions for government funding and schooling programs, complied to the ethical and legal framework on the protection of digital data;
  5. Recommends each Member State to raise public awareness regarding data privacy with the assistance of International Computing Centre (ICC) through channels such as social media, TV broadcasts that will inform teenagers by spreading awareness through a concise program that will be integrated into the curriculum in order to prevent the issues emerging from cyber attacks aimed at younger audience;
  6. Urges that digital tools in education be made an integral part of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs), which examine a country’s poverty situation and proceed to suggest a government’s strategy as to how to tackle it in a three to five year time-period, in ways like:
    1. creating a sub-department of PRSPs concerning digital tools in education taking into consideration the individual learner, school, home, and community environment
    2. developing a digital skills certificate that is recognized by governments and employers so that the country’s competency level as to digital tools is defined
    3. setting common guidelines for the countries that are part of the PRSPs;
  7. Calls upon all Member States to convene on annual meetings to assemble MEDCs and LEDCs to discuss the economic and social repercussions of increased, albeit not complete, digitalization on education as well as new methods to speed the process which:
    1. in all Member States are expected to report their implementation process and steps taken in a constructive manner to aid the cumulative development and state their stance on the digitalization by specifying whether they’ll be persistent in supporting a development fiscally or not
    2. focuses on the sharing of educational resources that are freely accessible to students in MEDCs with LEDCs, thus minimizing the opportunity inequality
    3. will be noted and archived in the “Journal of the United Nations” due to the reasons related to the transparency of the meeting;
  8. Calls for member states to develop the ‘Education for All (EFA)’ program, to bridge the digital divide between learners in higher and lower-income bracket at a national level, in the following manner: 
    1. subsidizing equipment like laptops and tablets, with operating systems and student tools (apps for docx, pptx etc) preloaded
    2. subsidizing manufacturing process for the above equipment for producers to be incentivized to produce low-cost equipment
    3. run community based donation drives at a district level to accumulate devices that could be used for schooling
    4. hiring a voluntary EFA tech team to assist in downloading the required software in donated laptops;
  9. Calls for the implementation of internet broadband to even the most rural areas in order to prevent disparities of technology access and bridge the gap, by:
    1. Collecting data on internet usage, speed and accessibility in order to create plans to bridge the gap between areas of better internet access and slower access
    2. Building stations, satellites and advanced broadband connections in order to provide the internet even to the most difficult to access places 
    3. Reducing costs of internet access for LEDCS and individuals who are unable to afford it
    4. Having national and international conferences to discuss internet disparities in order to create goals to tackle the issue 
    5. Pushing nations to make internet access a human right.