By Modupe Gbadeyanka
A digital learning initiative is to be rolled out in Nigeria by Airtel Africa Plc in partnership with the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF).
This scheme is part of the five-year $57 million agreement between UNICEF and Africa’s leading telecommunications and mobile money services provider.
The aim is to connect 100,000 children to the Learning Passport, an online resource, over the next five years. With over 50 million subscribers, Nigeria is Airtel Africa’s biggest market.
The Group CEO of Airtel Africa, Mr Segun Ogunsanya, while announcing this development at the Nigeria International Economic Partnership Forum hosted by President Muhammadu Buhari on the sideliness of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York last month, explained that the company’s support for the initiative was informed by a sense of responsibility for, and commitment to, the future of the continent.
According to him, the partnership with UNICEF will provide access to education to at least one million disadvantaged children, mostly in rural and hard-to-reach communities across 13 of its 14 country operations in Africa.
“This partnership is designed to provide zero-rated access for students and teachers to educational websites and other resources.
“This, on the one hand, will bridge the digital divide between the rich and poor and, on the other hand, enable African children to catch up with the rest of the world after the disruptions caused by COVID-19.
“We firmly believe that children are the future, and education is the best guarantee for ensuring that this future is in safe and knowledgeable hands,” he said.
According to Mr Ogunsanya, in addition to the UNICEF partnership, Airtel Africa, is also working on modalities for adopting primary schools in Nigeria and other African countries.
This will entail rehabilitating their infrastructure and providing furniture, school uniforms, books and other teaching and learning materials and also training the teachers besides connecting the schools to its 4G network.
Adeniran Praises Makinde for Allocating 18.78% of 2023 Budget to Education
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The Governor of Oyo State, Mr Seyi Makinde, has been applauded by the Chairman of the Oyo State Universal Basic Education Board (Oyo SUBEB), Mr Nureni Aderemi Adeniran, for allocating more funds to education in the 2023 budget.
Speaking recently on a live programme on the Oyo State Broadcasting Corporation (BCOS) in Ibadan, the state capital, the educationist said this was commendable.
According to him, education has the second largest allocation in the proposed 2023 appropriation bill presented to the Oyo State House of Assembly by Mr Makinde.
He said with a budget of N58.2 billion, the government has recorded an unprecedented affection for education.
Mr Adeniran said Governor Makinde had maintained an unbroken record of allocating huge funds for the overhaul of the sector, especially the basic education sub-sector he supervises.
“Governor Makinde’s record of allocating funds for education conforms to UNESCO standards of 15-20 per cent of the budget. In fact, this time, education is 18.78 per cent of the total budget proposal,” he said.
Speaking further, the Oyo SUBEB chief lauded the current administration for consistently maintaining an 18 per cent to 22 per cent budgetary allocation.
He insisted that this has helped the state in regular payment of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) counterpart funding and received matching grants, “enabling us to execute numerous projects in the education sector.”
“Oyo State Universal Basic Education Board has so far completed over 56 model schools and constructed and renovated over 700 classroom blocks across Oyo State, among other projects,” he affirmed.
He, therefore, appealed to residents of the state to re-elect Governor Makinde for a second term, saying his efforts to make Oyo better could be further actualised with continuity.
GOMYCODE Opens New Flagship Hackerspace in Lagos
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Africa’s leading edtech platform, GOMYCODE Nigeria, has opened a bigger office space in Lagos at 230 Herbert Macaulay, Alagomeji-Yaba.
Comprising 5 floors, the new GOMYCODE hackerspace has a capacity five times larger than the old one, about 600 students compared with the 120 students the previous hackerspace accommodated.
In a statement, the firm disclosed that the new space is remarkable, with unique colours that stand out from the other buildings around it and can accommodate even more students in a more comfortable environment where they can learn.
GOMYCODE is pushing the limits on students’ experience to the next level with 3 floors of classrooms, each dedicated to teaching. The classrooms are equipped with fibre optics and comfortable equipment for the students’ success.
The new hackerspace has a rest and relaxation room for students to balance learning and leisure time or simply to continue working on their projects. There is also ample parking space in a dedicated garage for students that ensures easier accessibility to the facility.
The second floor of the hackerspace will be occupied by the educational advisors who now have even more facilities to welcome, inform, guide and support the current and future students.
Lastly, a large conference room, with enough seating for 200 people, allows guests to gather for talks and conferences, giving the setting an even greater range.
“This move signals our intentions for and deep commitment to the Nigerian market. Whilst we provide training online through what we call our online ‘hackerspace’, we know from research and our own experience that students prefer in-person classes and what we do is to ensure that these classes take place in the best possible spaces”, says Babatunde Olaifa, General Manager, GOMYCODE Nigeria.
The move from a 3-room training space to a 5-storey centre in the heart of Yaba underscores our commitment to providing quality, relevant and affordable digital skills education to anyone in Nigeria looking to future-proof their careers. This is just the beginning. We are expanding rapidly, and in a few months, we will open hackerspaces in multiple locations in Lagos and Abuja”, adds Olaifa.
Organisations Donate to Wesley School of Hearing Impaired
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Some educational materials have been donated to Wesley School of Hearing Impaired, Surulere, Lagos, and Whanyinna Nursery and Primary School, Makoko, Lagos.
The items were given by GE Gas Power in collaboration with United Way Greater Nigeria (UWGN) through the Back to School drive to foster student development.
About 150 schoolchildren from the two schools received the learning essentials to encourage reading culture among children from disadvantaged backgrounds.
“This collaboration with GE to enhance the quality of education as well as promote literacy and reading culture among children in beneficiary schools is important in our efforts to improve lives by mobilising the caring power of communities.
“It is also in line with Sustainable Development Goal 4, which seeks to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all while supporting children in low-income and potentially disadvantaged communities,” the Executive Director of United Way Greater Nigeria, Mrs Deola Durodola, said.
Also speaking, the Communications Director, GE Africa & Diversity Leader, GE Gas Power Europe, Middle East and Africa, Anne Ezeh, said, “GE Gas Power is pleased to collaborate with United Way Greater Nigeria to help students access education, in line with our overall commitment to education and skills development in the communities we live and work in. We recognize that supporting children to access quality education prepares them to become productive citizens in the future.”
Wesley Schools for The Hearing Impaired was founded in 1962 and currently hosts students with hearing impairments and special needs to empower them to achieve their full potential.
Whanyinna Children Foundation is a charity that uses education to combat child labour, illiteracy, malnutrition, crime, and health.
More than 260 children living in slums have been provided with tuition-free elementary education through the organisation.
The principals of both schools expressed their gratitude for the donation as it would ease the financial burden of parents and reduce student absenteeism.
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