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La fracture numerique mise en lumiere par le covid 19

The digital gap enlightened by the Covid-19

The digital gap is the disparity of technologies and information access, for instance internet. In his book "The four dimensions of the digital gap" , the researcher Ben youssef Adel declines this disparity. He explains that the economical and social inequalities are linked to the ICT access (Information and communication technologies: equipments and infrastuctures).

This 1st grade gap alludes to the simplified définition of the digital gap.

He describes the inequalities linked to uses which differenciate social groups and a person in their social world.

He highlightthe digital gap from the use efficiency. His problematic is: for the same equipment rate, why some nations or people increase their performance faster?

Finally, he cares about inequalities face to learning modalities. According to him, the knowledge is plentiful thanks to the ICT but today the world is in an economy like this. To him, ICTs are also behind the ineqaulities face to learning process modifications and also people and nations performances.


Please note that, in the Covid-19 pandemia, It will be worthwhile to study the four dimensions.

This hiatus is present both in the school environment and professional world. It emerges by a cleavage between information transmitters and receivers. for exemple and according the article of the newspaper Courrier-Picard, this cleavage is created firstly on the material : "It supposes [the educational continuity device] a complete computer equipement ( PC + printer), a high-speed connexion and a suitable workspace for the child concentration, that is impossible the lower-income housing. How many families have a email adress? Colleagues counted: in some school in the Oise, less than 10% of families precise their adress on the annual fact sheet".

De facto, the confinment can favor the school dropout and to stress the digital gap.

Concerning the high education schools, the educational continuity seems mitigated. According the article of Le Monde, the school dropout increase for the Bachelor student. Once again, the educational continuity device don't enable an equal access to the courses for every students.

In contrast, some high education insitutions push their students until the end of the programs. For instance, the educational continuity implementation since the first of the confinment enabled to 37 2nd year student of HND " International Business" of the BSN( Business School of Nantes) to finish their program.

Testimony of Armelle Claveau, student of this class : " We had courses everyday from 9.30 a.m to 12 p.m and from 1.30 p.m to 5.00 p.m until the Easter holidays. I submitted my homeworks so as to approve the last grades of my continuing control. nevertheless, we continue the courses online the next week to finish our program. I'm very happy to have been able to continue these courses which will be necessary for the next."

Also the educational continuity is very heterogeneous between the institutions. It exhibits pre-existing inequalities to the sanitary crisis which doens't favor the distance learning management.

What is the impact on women?

the comparison between the covid-19 crisis and the Ebola crisis exhibits that in case of sanitary crisis women's rights are threaten ( at the same level as political, economical and social crisis).

the children: (mainly linked to the mother)

According to the newspaper La Croix, the whole (child ecosystem" is in danger with the school closure. This one, in case of social exclusion and marginalization - more than 107 impacted countries - could increase the risks of "early pregnancies, abuses, violences increase" observed on Ebola.

Here, the digital gap is added in social, food and sanitary support problématics. the digital portal not being accessible for everyone, the abandon rate is consequent in time of crise.

Still, according the newspaper, after the Ebola crise, hundred of children didn' t come back to school.

The right

At the national level, the coronavirus crise give way also to new questions concerning the women's right.

For instance, the Senate rejection to increase the aborption delays in France during the pandemia moot point.

Not on the TV channels but on Internet. The social networks platforms like Twitter allow to the different parties to express face the silence of mediasabout this question.

The handicraft during the crisis

The artisans, small traders are badly hit by this pandemia because of their closeness with their public.

Individualy, collectively, via the proceedings, many people react by creating bridges of order and delivery, order and digital payement solutions, some of them, finally have discovered the blessings of pre-order, pre-paid, sanitary instructions to continue after all their activity.

Town halls have created kinds of directories describing "open" stores, free, often ergonomic and also, ... promotional.

the most innovative, nimble and pugnacious between professionals will be winners of this battle, otherwise attention to the digital gap !!!

The positive
Pour finir sur une note positive, la crise du coronavirus est aussi un levier pour l’écologie.
En matière d’initiatives solidaires, ici et là fleurissent des idées pratiques, rapides et efficaces : 

To conclude on a positive point, the coronavirus crises is also a lever for ecology.

In terms of supportive initiatives, here and there practical, quick and efficient ideas appear:

►Concerning the lack of FFP2 masks, Lucie Burton from the city of Uccle in belgium start to make handmade cloth protection masks. The masks are sold online thanks to social networks like Facebook, groupes and webpages already created for the opportunity.

►Great Britain has asked to its national car factory to reconvert their production tools to make medical material. Jagiar has already affirmed its support, like many other european constructors which have taken supportive initiatives.

►IN France, PSA and Renault set up masks donations to the Health authority. Whereas their factories have closed the last week, PSA and Renault decided to transmit this consequent medical material to the prefectures, emergency services and nursing staffs. Are concerned: more than 120.000 masks on the Renault side, 130.000 masks ont the PSA side, to which could be added gloves and défibrilators already proposed by the Peugeot parent company.

►Valeo has also donated 30.000 FFP2 and FFP3 masks? Stand 21, jumpsuit and material for the car driver manufacturer, located at Dijon, will manufactured them and wait for the material receipt to pass quickly to the production. finally, the Chineses car and BYD batteries manufacturer decided to manufacture mask and hydro-alcoholic gel whereas the production lines are stoped.

►Decathlon group just removed its diving masks from the sales to give them to caregivers and patients at the forefront face the coronavirus.

►Almost everywhere, empty housing owners propose them freely to the health staff.

►Groups of neighbor (nextdoor, Allo neigbhors) make an announcement regularly to help or support whether for phone calls or safe purchasings and shopping deliveries regroupings.


There are many exemples that exhibit  the usefulness of digital like liaison officer and  weak non-interruption of social networks.

About this point too, the digital gap, for whom whose material ways don't allow to be connected, is illustrated evidently and sometimes dramatically.

The unfortunate experience we live will have, perhaps, in compensiation, the awareness that the reasonnable access to the usual communication technologies is neccessary, even vital in case of crisis.


Ben Youssef Adel, « Les quatre dimensions de la fracture numérique », Réseaux, 2004/5 (n° 127-128), p. 181-209. https://www.cairn.info/revue-reseaux1-2004-5-page-181.htm





digital divide covid19 impact

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