The FIFA Foundation has called on governments and private organisations to harness technological solutions in a coordinated way that support children’s educational needs across the globe during the coronavirus pandemic, and that such solutions remain part of the curriculum of the future.
"The FIFA Foundation recognises the extreme challenges that society across the world currently faces due to the coronavirus, but the time to act is now,” said FIFA Foundation Executive Chairman Mauricio Macri. "The crisis has caused an unfortunate loss of life, has interfered with how we interact with one another, and has forced people to stay at home in order to prevent the spread of the virus. This includes over 1.5 billion students who from one day to the next have been detached from their regular source of knowledge and intellectual stimulation."
"Technology has a place in the curriculum, never more so than now,” added FIFA Foundation CEO Youri Djorkaeff. "Through the Football for Schools education programme, the FIFA Foundation is committed to making lasting changes for children across the world. Our mission is to increase and promote these new technological realities in schools everywhere, with a focus on the most vulnerable because we believe that education should provide an equal opportunity for all."
The FIFA Foundation recognises that society will adapt to the circumstances, and that certain industries will also use digital and/or technological solutions to recover from the existing crisis, history has taught that lesson, but educational methods also need to adapt accordingly. Until now, however, the inclusion of technology in education has been a challenge that the world has not yet been able to meet, especially in developing countries where the appetite for knowledge has not been matched by innovation and modernity.
"Technology brings us closer to knowledge and to meet the demand, internet connectivity must be strengthened, especially via mobile telephony," said the FIFA Foundation CEO. "To succeed, we are requesting a global coordinated effort involving governments, private companies and international organisations. Such solidarity and mutual understanding can help to find a global solution, and the FIFA Foundation is requesting such partners to step forward.
"Our sport may be football, but we want our voice to be heard and to make a real difference," he added. "The FIFA Foundation is there to support students and to provide them with new ways of learning now which will reinforce the links between states and families both now during this challenging time and in the future."
The FIFA Foundation also believes that such technological changes should be matched with teacher training at all levels, to support the educators and to provide them with both the skills and the tools that allow them to best teach and evaluate students who are now isolated and not part of a formal class environment, a core element of the teaching profession.
As the coronavirus is tackled in a world that relies so much on technology, the opportunity is also there for positive social change to be made and to raise education to a new level which remains as a core mission of the FIFA Foundation.