Matuto™ Literacy for Life Partnership: How digital literacy services are removing the barriers of cost, access and inclusion

Ms Sanna Eskelinen and Mr Steve Duggan  | Presentation (PDF)




Literacy is one of the largest and most silent challenges we face today. The statistics tell the story—currently, 793 million adults, or one in every four adults on the planet, are functionality illiterate. An estimated 75 million girls are absent from school classrooms daily. Approximately 200 million primary school aged children are in school without learning to read or to write. 

At present, we face a worldwide shortage of 1.7 million primary school teachers; we lack an enormous scarcity of the appropriate skills, resources and support materials needed to address the challenge. 

These statistics illustrate how literacy is fast becoming the number one educational policy and budget priority for governments and agencies alike. Literacy is a global issue that transcends geographic and economic borders. Improving literacy levels has a proven causal impact on economic growth, involvement in conflict, health outcomes, social justice, and gender equity. 

The presentation discusses the Matuto™ Literacy For Life partnership and how digital literacy services and solutions developed by Microsoft, Nokia and their partners are enabling communities across the globe to address the challenge of illiteracy at both a local and a national level. 

The session includes a demonstration of tools and services, including the introduction of the Chekhov tool which allows for the free production of quality-assured content in local language, referencing local culture. Discover the ways in which these services are supporting both a scalable and sustainable model of literacy education, providing individuals and communities with the ability to create as well as to consume texts, and supporting local economies. 

Hear how proofs of concept in communities ranging from rural Lesotho to the Ojibwe First Nation peoples in the United States are utilizing these tools and services to deliver anytime, anywhere learning opportunities for adults and children alike – and how the guidance provided by UNESCO and the Senior Policy Maker Forum attendees at the 2013 Mobile Learning Week event helped to shape these efforts and activities.



Sanna Eskelinen (Nokia) is the Global Lead for Social Solutions at Nokia focusing on the use of mobile technology for development. Sanna works with different industry players to develop solutions in the area of education. 

Examples of her current initiatives include Nokia Mobile Mathematics and Nokia Data Gathering. In addition to driving specific technology programs, Sanna looks after Nokia’s Social Solutions portfolio and new innovations and actively participates in industry initiatives that bring internet closer to the next billion. 




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