The Digital Divide: From Disparity to Inclusion

Nov 30, 2023

By: Kerina Auma, Bluu Kazi Writer

In an era characterized by technological innovation and interconnectedness, humanity finds itself immersed in a vast digital ocean, embarking on a journey of exploration, transformation, and discovery. While access to education and opportunities has been eased by technology, navigating the depths of this connected world has especially been challenging for certain groups.

"I have always been aware of the gap presented by racial disparities, but it all came to reality when COVID-19 stroked," Narrates Isabella, a computer science student at the University of Pennsylvania. "This is when I realized we do not have an equal chance to pursue our dreams."

"While I had access to the internet to facilitate online classes as organized by the school thanks to my overly kind neighbor Mrs. White, most of my friends identifying with minority groups didn't." She continues. "Some were left out of the program as they didn't have resources like personal computers back at home."

Many like Isabella faced this challenge globally with no one to offer a helping hand. The digital divide spiked the most during the pandemic, unraveling what most students faced. 

Data provided by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) suggests that only 40% of the world's population has access to the internet

If this gap is not bridged, more students will suffer the effects of the digital divide. 

Understanding the Digital Divide and Its Impact

Around the world, people rely on digital devices daily to complete their jobs, study for exams, and communicate with loved ones. These technologies can open a world of opportunities, but not everyone has equal access to the internet.

The digital divide refers to the gap between those with access to modern information and communication technologies (ICTs) and those without. It encompasses disparities in internet access, computer skills, and digital literacy.

Students are among the most affected by the digital divide. The US Education Department reports that students from underprivileged communities are more likely to suffer the effects of the digital divide. This was more apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic, as students were required to participate in academic activities remotely. 

For instance, in the United States, close to 55 percent of students without connectivity hailed from Black, Hispanic, and Native American households despite comprising only 40 percent of the overall student population.

Bridging the Gap

Presenting a problem without a solution only creates further complications. The digital divide – if not bridged – will cause more harm to underprivileged students. This is why we have purposed to close the gap using various means as follows:

Providing Inclusive Education

One of the most effective ways to bridge the digital divide is through inclusive education. By tailoring learning management systems (LMS) to the unique needs of underprivileged students, we can provide them with the tools and skills necessary to succeed in a technology-driven world. 

Inclusive education involves recognizing and celebrating diversity. It's essential to create an environment where students from all backgrounds feel valued and represented. 

Forging Connections: Linking Students with Employers

One of the most significant challenges for underprivileged students is connecting with potential employers. This is where bridging the digital divide takes on a new dimension. 

We directly link students with employers, creating a bridge between education and employment. The aim is to provide a space for students to showcase their skills, experiences, and achievements, giving employers a clear view of their potential.

For underprivileged students, these connections are a game-changer. They offer a direct pathway to meaningful employment opportunities that might otherwise be out of reach. 

Sounds interesting, right? Contact us today to learn more about our programs. 

 

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