RESOLUTION SDC 122

FORUM: SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE

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

SUBMITTED BY: Slovakia

CO-SUBMITTERS:Ecuador, Malta, Ethiopia, Qatar, Honduras, Yemen, Estonia, World Bank, Syrian Arab Rep., Singapore, Tanzania, United Rep., Madagascar, Cuba.

STATUSApproved

THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE,

Acknowledging that only 60% of the world population have basic access to the internet in a world where digitisation is an ever-increasing necessity,

Also acknowledging that the Coronavirus pandemic has resulted in the need to radically re-evaluate the need for “at-home” technology for educational purposes,

Affirming its commitment to the United Nations Human Rights Council resolution A/HRC/RES/8/4 which recognised the access to education as an inalienable human right and the foundation for the realisation of human rights in general,

Noting with grave concern the widening digital divide, which has been characterised by inadequate digital infrastructure, inaccessibility to the internet, low-cost broadband connectivity and digital devices in Less Economically Developed Countries (LEDCs),

Observing the speed of innovation in technology and ensuring providing substantial equipment for adequate learning,

Taking note of the need to protect children from global challenges that become more severe with the economic crisis and reduced access to education due to financial issues such as child marriages and pregnancies, child labor and human trafficking, rape, molestation, and sexual exploitation, 

  1. Calls upon member states to create national or regional online databases that aim to guide parents, students, teachers, and school officials during current school lockdowns due to the COVID-19 and online education going forth working in accordance with local Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), and relevant ministries to provide information and services such as:
    1. clear guidelines that get updated as new information is provided and aim to provide information on issues such as but not limited to:
      1. online education or provisions for returning to school based on the tier of the lockdown in the said state
      2. school fees or any and all financial aid options available
      3. access to physical or digital textbooks and/or books
    2. recommendations in the form of written guidelines or recorded tutorials/webinars created by pedagogical experts, children rights experts, teachers, and NGOs that focus on specific topics or people’s groups such as:
      1. online education including tutorials on the use of various online platforms to conduct lessons, distribute homework and resources
      2. resources for minority groups or disadvantaged populations
      3. resources, recommendations, and tips for school officials such as directors, teachers,  guidance counselors 
      4. resources, recommendations, and tips for parents and students
      5. ways to teach effectively during online education for teachers
      6. information safety in the age of digital education for parents or school administrators;
  2. Supports member states to start and support peer tutoring initiatives that bring together university students with primary school students with learning disabilities and are publicized on digital platforms by:
    1. collaborating with local universities to encourage their students to apply to the peer tutoring initiative through the online portal in order to:
      1. offer university students practical knowledge and areas to develop their skills that may be beneficial for their own education
      2. allow university students to be of service to their community and fulfill their civic engagement hours if necessary
    2. identifying the primary school students with learning disabilities who either don’t have the means to  access digital education or are unable to learn effectively through digital means by:
      1. the use of records and previous schooling experience
      2. the information provided by schools and teachers about the students’ needs
      3. contacting parents directly when needed or when information regarding students is missing
    3. bringing the university students and the primary school students together at safe school premises or community centers, to conduct individualized or small group tutoring sessions provided that all parties are safe from the coronavirus and adhering to local guidelines or conducting the sessions online when available and effective;
  3. Endorses the Children Online Protection (COP) Guidelines prepared by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Agenda for Action created by Inter-Agency Working Group on Violence against Children and wishes for the COP to be launched in and upheld by all member states; 
  4. Encourages an attempt to collaborate with private businesses already specialising in digital education resources, in order to streamline the process of integration, and to ensure that there is not a loss of essential education for the future generations, resulting in long term economic problems, as summarised by numerous academics;
  5. Invites that member states make affordable, accessible, and efficient broadband a national priority by investing in infrastructure especially in rural areas as access to stable electricity and internet connections are integral parts of digitizing education and ensuring that every child has access to quality education;
  6. Calls for governments in regions where access to internet or devices to all students can not be provided to establish educational sites where students can have access to computers, internet electricity or any other technological device provided that the individual member states’ COVID-19 guidelines are followed;
  7. Recommends member states create youth engagement programs and youth advisory boards in accordance with civil society organizations that focus on education and/or children’s rights to listen to young people about their educational needs and address them by:
    1. designing online seminars based on the topic of educational needs that will be conducted and monitored by the government and the education center that is doing the seminar
    2. creating online forums for students to state their needs, concerns and opinions about the education system.