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Airtel to Digitalise 620 Primary Schools in Lagos, Kano, Others

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Airtel UNICEF 620 primary schools

By Dipo Olowookere

Six hundred and twenty schools in Lagos, Kano and other states of the federation will have access to the internet and devices aimed to aid digital learning.

This would be done in three months, with 20 schools in Lagos and Kano States enjoying this initiative this month courtesy of a partnership between Airtel Nigeria and UNICEF.

Airtel is making this possible for the 620 primary schools under the Reimagine Education Initiative, with 300,000 pupils expected to benefit from the scheme.

In an MOU signing ceremony to flag off the initiative at the weekend in Lagos, Airtel said it had completed the process of providing free access to the two digital platforms for the targeted beneficiaries, as it has committed $1.3 million worth of complimentary data for the two platforms and data provision for learners in the year alone.

It was gathered that in the first year of the five-year partnership, Airtel would provide all the resources for digital learning to the 620 identified schools, including reliable broadband connectivity, tablets, and free access to a world-class curriculum through the Nigeria Learning Passport (NLP).

NLP, developed by the Federal Ministry of Education, UNICEF and Microsoft, is an e-learning platform with online and offline capabilities that enables continuous access to quality education, Airtel’s support will benefit students with uninterrupted access to quality learning materials.

The leading GSM provider is also providing free access for any Airtel subscriber to Youth Agency Market Place (YOMA), a UNICEF digital platform for skilling, upskilling and encouraging young people’s engagement.

Currently, YOMA has 115,000 users in Nigeria. This number is expected to grow with Airtel support, especially for young people living in hard-to-reach areas with no to low access to data or connectivity.

“Education, especially digital learning, forms a significant part of the company’s sustainability agenda for Nigeria, and it will stop at nothing to bridge the huge digital gap that currently exists in mostly rural primary schools across the country,” the chief executive of Airtel Nigeria, Mr Surendran Chemmenkotil, said at the unveiling of the campaign.

Speaking further, he said, “With this programme and partnership, we are providing both world-class education and digital inclusion for thousands of underprivileged children, and our goal is to connect, empower and transform as many children and young people as possible.

“Education is power, and connectivity provides the leverage to become unstoppable. At Airtel, we are confident that this investment will not just transform lives but will create a wonderful future for millions of Nigerian children and young people.”

“This is an important milestone and a step closer to reducing the digital divide in Nigeria. Quality digital learning is the fastest route to improving learning and equipping children and young people with the 21st-century skills needed to fulfil their potential and live their dreams.

“We are delighted that Airtel Nigeria shares UNICEF’s vision and will help in driving the process to scale-up access to digital learning for children and young people across these schools,” UNICEF’s Country Representative in Nigeria, Cristian Munduate, said.

The Re-imagine education project is a five-year partnership between Airtel and UNICEF to help accelerate the roll-out of digital learning by connecting schools to the internet and ensuring free access to learning platforms across 13 countries. By providing equal access to quality digital learning, particularly for the most vulnerable children, the partnership will help to ensure that every child reaches his/her full potential.

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

Education

Educating Every Nigerian Child Our Priority—Stanbic IBTC Trustees

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Stanbic IBTC Trustees

Stanbic IBTC Trustees Limited, through the Stanbic IBTC Education Trust (SET), has made assisting Nigerian parents and guardians to secure their children and ward’s academic future one of her top priorities.

SET is a flexible and easy investment plan with long-term benefits that support parents and guardians striving to provide quality education for their children and wards.

With SET, parents and guardians can ensure the payment of their children and wards’ school fees as education-related expenses are directly effected by the institutions of learning, be it elementary to tertiary levels. This action ensures that unforeseeable events do not cause a disruption in their education which may negatively impact their future.

Education trust funds are invested in conservative-type instruments and professionally managed and administered by a reputable Corporate Trustee and Fund Manager.

Parents and guardians can also nominate their children and wards’ SET accounts as a beneficiary for their life insurance policies; a clear example is the Group Life Insurance Policy. Situations like this would ensure that the portion allocated to each child’s SET account is received and utilized for the child’s education. This has proven to be extremely beneficial if the child is a minor (under 18 years of age) or still in school.

Speaking about the positive impact of SET on the Nigerian child, Mr Charles Omoera, Chief Executive, Stanbic IBTC Trustees Limited, said that the organisation understands the significant impact of quality education on every child and the positive effect it will have in shaping their future.

Mr Omoera urged parents and guardians to put in place SET for their children and wards to help them address any adverse circumstances likely to halt their education. He stated that parents and guardians must always strive to give their children and wards quality education to position them for rare opportunities attached to the benefits of having quality education.

Stanbic IBTC Trustees remains committed to ensuring that Nigerian children have access to quality education from elementary to tertiary education to help develop their minds and contribute meaningfully to society.

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Education

Orevaoghene Whiskey Emerges InterswitchSPAK 4.0 Winner

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Orevaoghene Whiskey

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

A student of Top Faith International School, Akwa Ibom State, Miss Orevaoghene Whiskey, has won the fourth edition of the prestigious InterswitchSPAK National Science Competition.

She is now the first female winner of the 13-week Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) show, which had over 20,000 applications across the country.

With the win, the 16-year-old best STEM student in Nigeria will receive the grand prize of N7.5 million in scholarships, among other exciting prizes.

InterswitchSPAK Nigeria is the corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative of Africa’s leading integrated payments and digital commerce company, Interswitch.

The programme aired on domestic and terrestrial television stations, providing a platform for brilliant young Nigerians to showcase their knowledge in STEM subjects.

In the fourth edition, Adesayo Elumaro of The Ambassadors College, Ota, Ogun State, clinched the second spot and went home with N4 million, while Precious Akinyemi of Rhema Chapel International School, Oyo State, grabbed the third position and N1 million in scholarship.

Speaking on the essence of the initiative, the Chief Customer Experience Officer at Interswitch, Ms Oremeyi Akah, emphasised the need for more young Africans to tow the STEM path, thereby underscoring the goal of the InterswitchSPAK National Science competition.

”Research by the Africa Development Bank (AfDB) reveals that less than 25% of African higher education students pursue STEM-related career fields,” Ms Akah said.

Based on this premise, she expressed concern about the retrogressive impact this could pose on Africa’s talent pool which may not be opportune to acquire the necessary tech skills to drive innovation on the continent in the near future.

However, she submitted that through initiatives such as the InterswitchSPAK National Science competition, hope holds sway because “Interswitch is inspired by its vision of a prosperous Africa, driven by the exchange of value and commerce; an Africa where Africans are equipped with the requisite knowledge to solve the unique challenges faced on the continent.”

She added that the reward and prizes totalled N12.5 million was a way to fund the “dreams and aspirations” of the winners as they work towards creating an impactful future for Nigeria and Africa in general.

Last season, 16-year-old Jubril Dokun of Brainfield College, Salolo, Lagos State, who snagged the first prize, also emerged among the top 10 highest scorers in the 2022 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Exam (UTME).

With a vision of a prosperous Africa, Interswitch has pledged to provide enabling platforms that encourage the future generation of STEM professionals who will contribute to the growth of Nigeria and Africa at large. This has been evidently demonstrated with InterswitchSPAK rewarding 12 outstanding STEM students with a total of N50 million over the last four years.

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Education

InterswitchSPAK 4.0 Finalists Nudge for N7.5m University Scholarships

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InterswitchSPAK 4.0

As the semifinals of the InterswitchSPAK National Science Competition draws to an end, nine contestants are left in the race for the crown as the best Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) student in Nigeria.

The student who emerges tops will bag the grand prize of N7.5 million in scholarship for a five-year period, a brand-new laptop, and a monthly stipend. The second-place winner will go home with N4 million scholarship spread over a period of three years, a brand-new laptop, and a monthly stipend.

The third-place winner gets N1 million scholarship spread over a period of one year, a brand-new laptop, and a monthly stipend.

It is interesting to note that these students emerged from over 20,000 students that sat for the Crux Computer-Based Test (CBT) held nationally last year to compete for the bragging rights as the country’s best STEM student.

Preparations for the grand finale are in place and the excitement is high as followers of the show anticipate a stiff and rousing competition between the unusual mix of contestants left in the race.

While girls have made it through to the finale of previous seasons of the competition’s 4-year run, this season has the highest number of female finalists, they include Precious Akinyemi of Rhema Chapel International School, Oyo State, Joyce Onubogu of British Spring, Awka, Anambra; Towoju Atinuke of Seolad International College, Ogun State; and Orevaoghene Whiskey of Top Faith International School, Akwa Ibom State.

Other finalists equally competing for the grand prize include Zulqarnain Abubakar of Apt Scholars Universal College, Ogun State; Chimdubem Duruji of The Ambassadors College, Ota, Ogun State; Oraibi Okari of Jephthah Comprehensive Secondary School, Rivers State; Adesayo Elumaro of The Ambassadors College, Ota, Ogun State; and Stephen Nwaneri of Adedokun International Schools, Ogun State.

Over the years, InterswitchSPAK has remained committed to driving the interest of young African students in STEM subjects by encouraging and rewarding them in their pursuit for excellence.  InterswitchSPAK is a flagship CSR initiative of Interswitch, Africa’s leading integrated payments, and digital commerce company.

To catch the grand finale, tune in to DSTV Africa Magic Family 154 on Sunday, 29th January 2023 at 5:30 pm, with a repeat broadcast on Wednesday, 1st February 2023 at 3 pm; and on the AIT Network at 7.30 pm on Sunday, 5th February 2023. You don’t have to miss the action while on the go, you can watch the show on platforms such as LinkedIn and YouTube.

Stay tuned for the finals. It promises to be nothing short of entertaining, educating, and thrilling. Bond with family while at it. What better way to inspire the budding generation than to give them something to aspire to, knowing that if they can dream it, they can achieve it.

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