The whole educational community, not only the School, is called on to give answers to the educational emergency in reference to the moral and social crisis, to the demands of globalisation, to a chase of ever faster dynamisms due to the gigantic scientific and technological development. To renew education, it is more necessary than ever to promote a new Social Contract that will repair the injustices of the past and build fairer and more sustainable futures. According to the International Commission that edited the UNESCO Report, a new Social Contract for Education represents the call for collective action involving all stakeholders interested in education – public, private and civil – with the aim of defining the organisation and the aims of the educational system in order to re-imagine our future insiems. what should we continue to do? What do we have to abandon? What needs to be invented creatively? Sobhi Tawil, director of UNESCO’s Future of Learning and Innovation Division, gave a contribution to these questions, who gave the lectio “Renewing the social contract for education: challenges and opportunities”, during the presentation of the Italian version of the report of the Commission on the Futures of Education of UNESCO, which took place on Wednesday 6 December at the Chamber of Deputies. An event promoted by the UNESCO Chair of the Catholic University, in collaboration with Gruppo Editoriale La Scuola, with the participation of representatives of UNESCO and the Ministry of Education and Merit.  An invitation to dialogue collected by the UNESCO Chair “Education for Human Development and Solidarity among Peoples” of the Catholic University, directed by Domenico Simeone who promoted the translation into Italian, realised by Gruppo Editoriale La Scuola. This is an opportunity to remedy the injustices of the past and transform the future, but it is necessary. While advancing internet access is important, it is insufficient for training on digital skills. For example, in most of the countries analysed, the percentage of young people with access to the internet from home is much higher than that of young people with digital skills. Girls are the least likely to develop the skills needed for 21st century learning and employment, according to the report. On average, in 32 countries and territories, girls are 35 % less likely than their male peers to possess digital skills, including simple tasks such as copying or pasting files or folders, sending emails or transferring files. According to the report, the barriers at the base are much deeper than the lack of internet access. The findings suggest that the educational and family environment plays a key role in the digital gender gap. For example, even in the same house, girls are far less likely than boys to access the Internet and digital technologies and to use them fully. Of the 41 countries and territories included in the analysis, families are much more likely to provide mobile phones to boys than girls. Barriers to access to opportunities for increased learning and to the labour market, pervasive and discriminatory gender standards and stereotypes, and concerns about online safety, could further restrict the inclusion and development of girls’ digital skills. The report also argues that even when girls have fair access to basic reading and math skills – and achieve results equal to or better than their male peers – this does not always translate into digital skills. To break down barriers that hold girls back, they need to be introduced first and have access to technologies, which receive training on digital and life-saving skills and a commitment to address harmful gender stereotypes, especially within families, and online violence. UNICEF calls on governments and partners to close the gender gap and provide girls with opportunities for success in the digital world. Some of the recommendations include:

  • Teaching digital skills equally to girls and boys, at school and outside school, including through community programmes;
  • Protect the safety of girls online through virtual safe spaces, policies and laws and education;
  • Promote girls’ access to peer-to-peer learning, mentoring, internships and work placements in the digital/STEM world.

Original article published on on 27.4.2023



Source: European Digital Skills & Jobs Platform


Digital technology / specialisation

  • Digital skills

Digital skill level

  • Basic
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Geographic Scope - Country

  • Italy

Type of initiative

National initiative