The Government of Spain, the Government of Catalonia and the City Council have agreed to make Barcelona the home of the Giga tech centre, the UN programme to digitally connect all schools in the world. The goal is to drive improvement in global education and reduce exclusion and the digital divide, an important step towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS).
The centre is to be housed at Ca l’Alier, the city’s headquarters for urban innovation, which is already home to the CISCO Joint Innovation Centre for Digital Transformation and the Internet of Things, and which forms part of the city’s ICT ecosystem.
Inequality in internet access and networks accentuate digital and education divides between developing and developed countries and internal inequalities. This makes exclusion worse and limits opportunities for the most vulnerable children. This digital divide has implications in education, healthcare, the economy and employment, also deepening gender inequality.
Founded by UNICEF, the UN fund responsible for childhood, and the ITU, the UN body specialising in information and communication technology, Giga is an initiative which seeks to connect all the world’s schools to the internet by 2030. Six hundred million people in the world are not connected with the digital sphere, and 1.3 billion children do not have internet access to match education and learning goals. Since 2019, over a million students and teachers have had access to the internet for the first time thanks to this initiative.