Thirds Of The Arena’s College-age Youngsters Haven’t Any Net Get Right Of Entry To At Home, New Unicef-itu File Says

The International Telecommunication Union and UNICEF name for pressing funding to bridge a digital divide presently stopping children and younger humans from accessing quality digital studying and opportunities on line

30 November 2020

NEW YORK/GENEVA, 1 December 2020 – Two thirds of the sector’s faculty-age children – or 1.three billion youngsters elderly 3 to 17 years old – do not have net connection in their houses, in step with a new joint record from UNICEF and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

The record How Many Children and Youth Have Internet Access at Home? notes a comparable loss of get right of entry to amongst young human beings aged 15-24 years vintage, with 759 million or 63 per cent unconnected at domestic.

“That such a lot of kids and younger human beings have no internet at domestic is more than a digital gap –it’s miles a virtual canyon,” stated Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director. “Lack of connectivity doesn’t simply restriction kids and younger human beings’s potential to attach online. It prevents them from competing within the present day economic system. It isolates them from the sector. And in the event of school closures, along with the ones currently experienced by way of thousands and thousands due to COVID-19, it causes them to lose out on education. Put bluntly: Lack of net get admission to is costing the next generation their futures.”

Nearly 1 / 4 of one billion college students international are nonetheless stricken by COVID-19 school closures, forcing hundreds of thousands and thousands of college students to depend on digital mastering. For those with no internet access, training can be out of reach. Even earlier than the pandemic, a developing cohort of young humans needed to analyze foundational, transferable, virtual, task-particular and entrepreneurial competencies to compete within the 21st century financial system.

The virtual divide is perpetuating inequalities that already divide international locations and groups, the document notes. Children and young human beings from the poorest households, rural and lower profits states are falling even in addition at the back of their friends and are left with little or no opportunity to ever catch up.

Globally, amongst school-age kids from richest households, fifty eight per cent have internet connection at home, in comparison with handiest 16 per cent from the poorest households. The same disparity exists throughout united states income level as nicely. Less than 1 in 20 college-age kids from low-profits countries have net connection at domestic, compared with nearly nine in 10 from high-profits international locations.

“Connecting rural populations stays a powerful challenge,” stated ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao. “As shown by way of ITU’s Measuring digital development: Facts and figures 2020, massive components of rural areas are not blanketed with a cellular-broadband community, and less rural households have get entry to to the internet. The hole in the cell broadband adoption and internet use among advanced and developing nations is mainly big, setting the almost 1.3 billion faculty-age children in most cases from low-earnings countries and rural areas vulnerable to missing out on their education because they lack get entry to to the internet at domestic.” 

There are also geographic disparities inside international locations and across areas. Globally, around 60 in keeping with cent of school-age kids in city regions do not have net get entry to at home, compared with around three-quarters of school-age youngsters in rural households. School-age children in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia are the maximum affected, with around 9 in 10 youngsters unconnected.


School-age youngsters 3-17 years vintage unconnected at domestic

West and Central Africa 

ninety five% – 194 million 

East and Southern Africa 

88%    – 191 million

South Asia 

88% – 449 million

Middle East and North Africa 

seventy five% – 89 million

Latin America and the Caribbean 

forty nine% – seventy four million

Eastern Europe and Central Asia 

42% – 36 million

East Asia and the Pacific 

32% – 183 million


sixty seven% – 1.three billion

Last yr, UNICEF and ITU released Giga, a international initiative to attach every college and its surrounding network to the Internet. Working with governments, Giga has now mapped over 800,000 colleges in 30 international locations. With this records, Giga works with governments, industry, civil quarter, and personal area partners to craft compelling investment cases for combined public-personal investment to construct the connectivity infrastructure had to installation virtual getting to know solutions and different services.

The initiative is now collaborating under the Reimagine Education initiative and in coordination with Generation Unlimited. Through its Reimagine Education initiative, UNICEF objectives to cope with the learning disaster and remodel training by using giving kids and younger human beings identical get admission to to pleasant virtual getting to know. A key to reaching this is common net connectivity.

Building on those efforts and on the importance of teenagers engagement, Generation Connect is an initiative released through ITU to empower young people to engage and participate within the digital international. 

Although the numbers inside the UNICEF-ITU file gift an alarming image, the situation is probable worse due to compounding factors, which includes affordability, protection and occasional ranges of digital abilities. According to the trendy ITU information, low virtual talents remain a barrier to meaningful participation in a digital society, at the same time as mobile telephony and internet get entry to remain too highly-priced for plenty in the developing world because the result of sizable disparities in purchasing power.

Even when youngsters have a connection at home, they’ll no longer be able to access it because of the strain to do chores or to work, lack of enough gadgets inside the households, ladies being authorised much less or no net get entry to, or a lack of knowledge of a way to get right of entry to opportunities online. There are also issues associated with on-line protection when you consider that parents may be inadequately organized to maintain their youngsters safe.


Notes to editors: 

The document uses a globally consultant evaluation on the availability of net connection in households with youngsters and young humans elderly among zero-25 years vintage, with information from extra than 85 international locations.


UNICEF works in a number of the world’s hardest locations, to attain the sector’s maximum deprived kids. Across extra than 190 international locations and territories, we paintings for each infant, everywhere, to construct a better world for all and sundry.

Follow UNICEF on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube

About ITU

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is the United Nations specialised agency for records and communique technology (ICTs), using innovation in ICTs collectively with 193 Member States and a club of over 900 agencies, universities, and global and regional organizations. Established over one hundred fifty years in the past in 1865, ITU is the intergovernmental frame answerable for coordinating the shared worldwide use of the radio spectrum, selling global cooperation in assigning satellite tv for pc orbits, improving conversation infrastructure within the developing world, and establishing the global standards that foster seamless interconnection of a vast range of communications systems. From broadband networks to modern wireless technology, aeronautical and maritime navigation, radio astronomy, oceanographic and satellite tv for pc-based earth monitoring as well as converging fixed-mobile phone, net and broadcasting technology, ITU is committed to connecting the world. For greater data, visit

About Generation Unlimited

Generation Unlimited (GenU) is a global multi-quarter partnership to satisfy the pressing want for multiplied education, education and employment opportunities for young human beings, aged 10 to 24, on an extraordinary scale.

About Giga

Launched via ITU and UNICEF in 2019, Giga is a international initiative to attach each faculty to the internet and each younger person to facts, possibility and desire. It ​aims to ensure that each infant is ready with the virtual public goods they need, and empowered to shape the destiny they want. For extra statistics, go to

For extra data please touch: 

Georgina Thompson, UNICEF New York, Tel: +1 917 238 1559,  

Monika Gehner, Head of Strategic Communication Division (SCD), International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Tel.: +forty one 22 730 5459, Press lines: +forty one 22 730 6039 & +forty one 79 337 4615,

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *