From the UNDP human development paradigm, education is a central component and inequalities are a major obstacle to the development of people’s capacities. In the 21st century, a new generation of inequalities is emerging, including those derived from access to technology and the internet.
The COVID-19 pandemic and distance education strategies evidenced, worldwide, pre-existing inequities in access to resources such as connectivity, devices and environments conducive to learning. How these gaps are addressed will be decisive for the future.
UNDP estimates that just closing the gap in internet access would cut the global setbacks in human development stemming from the pandemic by half, by returning girls and boys to education, albeit remotely.
“The digital transformation and the reduction of the gaps is essential not only to guarantee equitable and inclusive access to education, but to rebuild ourselves better and move towards sustainable development,” says UNDP Resident Representative in El Salvador, Georgiana Braga- Orillard.
In El Salvador, UNDP supports strategies for innovation, digital transformation and continuity of education. Within this framework, it provides technical assistance through the project “Strengthening the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology for activities related to educational continuity and digitization of education in response to the COVID-19 pandemic”, financed with government funds From El Salvador.
As part of the activities of this project, UNDP is partially supporting the processes of acquisition of laptops for teachers and students of the national educational system, through the subscribers of the corporate long-term agreement.
To date, with the support of UNDP, the supply of a batch of 46,422 computers has been contracted, with a value of US $ 13,525,049.70, including shipping and insurance costs, financed with funds from the Government of El Salvador. This batch will be delivered in a staggered manner starting in the last week of March 2021.
The procurement process was conducted in accordance with UNDP procurement policies and procedures, and ensuring the principles: good value for money; impartiality, effective competition, integrity and transparency.
UNDP’s commitment is to continue supporting El Salvador’s commitment to invest in education and digital transformation, so that the country continues to advance towards sustainable human development without leaving anyone behind.
“Our vision is to support the country to transform the crisis into an opportunity to build more effective, inclusive, equitable and resilient educational and digital systems,” concluded the UNDP Representative.