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Sustainability, reducing the digital and gender divide for equitable and inclusive education

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Sustainability, reducing the digital and gender divide for equitable and inclusive education

There is no future without education ”. The words of theUS activist Rosa Parks, a symbolic figure of the civil rights movement in the 1950s, are more relevant than ever. Indeed, knowledge plays a key role in the process that should lead to the construction of a sustainable, equitable and inclusive society. Yet, even today, theaccess to the school is allother than universal and in many areas of the world it is closed to too many children. Globally, it is estimated that there are around 750 million non-literate adults, two thirds of whom are women, while 617 million children and adolescents lack basic skills in reading and mathematics, with truly alarming peaks in Sub-Saharan Africa and in the Southeast Asia.

The closure of schools and distance learning activities due to the coronavirus pandemic have led to a further worsening of the situation, causing delays inlearning and sharpening the already evident economic disparities and the digital divide. According to experts, in 2020 alone, more than 100 million young people would have fallen below the minimum level of reading skills, with the consequent cancellation of the progress made in the last 20 years. Only through theimplementation of shared strategies and exceptional measures, therefore, it will be possible to recover the lost ground and give a decisive acceleration in the path towards aquality education, capable of ensuring learning opportunities for all.

A significant contribution comes from the Enel Group which, inas part of the leading role played in the energy transition process, has for some time been pursuing a wide-ranging commitment aimed at achieving the sustainable development goals, with particular attention toinstruction. LEnel’s work is realized through initiatives aimed at promoting schooling, safeguarding the right to study, making school environments more inclusive and welcoming, equipping schools with adequate IT equipment, as well as integrating educational activities with laboratory experiences, capable of bringing students closer together. young people in the world of work.

With theintent to facilitate thedistance learning elonline interaction, increasingly used following theCovid-19 emergency, the Onlus Enel Cuore supports the Treccani Foundation in the project Highways”, Which through a digital teaching platform, which can also be used free of charge remotely, provides innovative services and certified content. These include a community where teachers and students from all over Italy can come into contact, sharing materials and good practices, short lessons by experts from the Treccani scientific community included in multimedia paths, as well as tools for students with specific difficulties in reading andlearning, such asmagnification, lannotation and summary of the texts.

Lthe interruption of face-to-face teaching during the pandemic has also caused evident difficulties for families in vulnerable conditions who do not have a PC, tablet or internet connection. In Spain, especially in the suburbs of large cities and in rural areas, the Enel Group has worked to avoid a real educational crisis through training activities on digital skills aimed at teachers and students, as well as with the donation of computers and internet connections. to over 5 thousand children. In Russia, on the other hand, the Italian multinational co-financed a project aimed at the restructuring of two schools in the Ural mountains, so as to help boys and girls of ageographical area with a strong industrial presence to prepare for a more digital and sustainable future. Through the initiative, schools have been equipped with advanced technological equipment and training programs dedicated to new technologies, robotics, engineering and the energy sector have been launched.

Once again the Onlus Enel Cuore, together with the Reggio Children Foundation, is the protagonist of theinitiative Do school“, Intended for schools ofchildhood and primary schoolentire national territory to use the environments of the institutes in an innovative way, endowing them with a truly educational value. Since 2015, 87 interventions have been carried out throughout Italy, capable of involving more than 12,200 children, over 1,100 teachers, 40 designers, which have led to the creation of new spaces and the recovery of passage areas or little used classrooms, transforming them into places of quality research, relationships and learning.

Tackling inequalities and guaranteeing aquality education for all also means reducing the gender gap. This is why Enel has promoted a series of actions aimed at promoting equality and lfemale inclusion. This is the case with the training program Plan Semilla ”, to prepare new generations of technicians in the labor marketinstallation and maintenance of electricity grids, which in Colombia has seen a growing involvement of young women, in a sector such as the electricity one that has always been characterized by a strong male prevalence, going from 1% participation in the first edition of the project to over the current 30%. In this context, linitiative Girls in ICT, created in Rome and Madrid, to stimulate girls to undertake technical-scientific studies and choose those professions that represent two thirds of the jobs of the future. There is still a long way to go to bridge the digital divide and gender gap, but Enel has a brilliant example to follow.

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