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While lack of access to the internet does not preclude children from obtaining an education, the absence of the learning opportunities that connectivity enables can serve to further widen the gap in outcomes for children with and without access.
We have not yet achieved universal and affordable access to the internet for all.
Analysis by UNICEF and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) estimates that 1.3 billion children globally between the ages of 3 and 17—or two thirds of this age group—still need access to the internet.
According to researchers and academics, improvements in access to the internet and digital tools in schools—in tandem with other measures which enable the effective use of these tools, such as access to devices, the availability of relevant content, and the provision of support to teachers and students to effectively integrate technology into educational practice—holds the potential to equalise opportunities at an early age which proliferates throughout childhood and adulthood—bringing not only benefits at an individual level but to society.
If countries with below average connectivity levels could increase their connectivity to the levels of a country like Finland (with higher levels), and supplement this with the right policies and programmes to integrate technology in education, they could see increased GDP.
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