Ministry of Education’s comprehensive vision for bridging the digital divide described as positive

Regarding the funds allocated by Education to the UNDP, Mattila said that as a non-profit institution, those funds are used to be able to support the country with the assurance that “there are benefits in terms of savings and development for the country.”

He clarified that these are institutional costs to facilitate the success of the project, something very different from seeking profits. “This is what we do in the 170 partner countries,” he said, because in his opinion it is an institutional regulation to stimulate efficiency and transparency in the countries that want cooperation agreements.

He stressed that UNDP always responds to requests from institutions and no one would be requesting support that is not beneficial to the country.

Education in the pandemic

They value as very accurate the vision of closing the digital gap in education, especially with the social cohesion component promoted by the current Minister Fulcar.

He pointed out that this objective requires a commitment to work with the whole society and the active forces in the territories.

Mattila indicated that in the UNDP they supported the development of digital competencies of teachers that is in process as a condition to achieve the digitization of education. “It is not only about the acquisition of tablets, but it is a comprehensive strategy where different actors, including UNDP as part of the United Nations system in coordination with UNICEF who have the mandate of curriculum and content, we contribute the best to achieve a better education system,” said the representative.

She said that 140 countries have requested this type of support because the situation has been very complex in the international markets to acquire tablets, but the UNDP has long-term agreements with suppliers of different devices “that have been selected in a competitive, transparent manner and quality guarantees”.

In the Dominican case, the whole process was advised by the global unit they have for this type of process and the participation of the Ministry’s technicians to define the type of devices required and the lessons learned.

In another aspect of the interview, Mattila said that UNDP continues to accompany countries with the vision of linking production and growth with the welfare of the people.

He pointed out that they have managed to make the countries of the region understand that despite achieving high or medium growth, certain gaps and structural challenges persist that do not allow the countries to consolidate themselves as middle class societies.

He defined three important elements for development, which are the challenges related to inclusion, which are hard inequalities that have not yet been reached. In addition, resilience, which in the Dominican case has been seen to be necessary in the challenges of climate change, the Covid-19 pandemic, where “we have all felt vulnerable, not only here, but all over the world”,

The third element is the challenge of productivity, which in the Dominican case can be explained by the fact that poverty has been reduced but labor market informality has remained almost the same and has even grown a little in the last ten years.

Mattila expressed that these aspects contribute to transparency and good governance.

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