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Interswitch Extends Registrations for InterswitchSPAK 3.0

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InterswitchSPAK

By Dipo Olowookere

Secondary school students willing to partake in the 2021 edition of the prestigious InterswitchSPAK 3.0 national science competition now have till Saturday, June 5 to register.

Business Post reports that registration for the contest was earlier scheduled to close on Thursday, May 27, 2021, but the organisers, Interswitch Group, in a statement announced the extension to this Saturday.

With the latest development, Interswitch said it would now close the registration portal, https://www.interswitchspak.com/ on June 5.

Parents, guardians and secondary school administrators have been advised to utilise the extended registration window to get their best science students in Grade 11 or Senior Secondary 2 (SS2) for the competition to register on the InterswitchSPAK portal.

Each school can register a minimum of six and a maximum of 10 students. However, for mixed schools, at least two female students must be among the selected students.

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Every registered student will participate in the qualifying examination online, from their schools, homes or any convenient space. The top 81 students will proceed to the finale to battle for the crown of Nigeria’s Best Science Student.

The organisers said due to COVID-19 restrictions, the qualifying examination for this edition will be conducted online and there are options to pick from between Sunday, June 6 till Tuesday, June 8, 2021, any time between 8am to 6pm.

Demo materials are also available on the examination portal link which will be shared with qualified candidates only.

The coveted prize is N12.5 million worth of university scholarship for the top three winners. The first prize winner gets a N7.5 million tertiary scholarship spread over 5 years, a laptop and monthly stipends. The second prize is N4 million spread over 3 years and a laptop and the third prize is N1 million for 1 year.

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The Group Chief Marketing and Communication Officer of Interswitch, Ms Cherry Eromosele, stated that the competition is returning after the one-year hiatus and it was only logical to extend the registration period to give another opportunity to students and schools who would love to participate in the competition, however, couldn’t meet up with the initial timeline.

Despite the disruption caused by the global pandemic, she encouraged more girls to participate in this third edition of the ongoing registration.

“This year, we are quite excited about this edition. Following the long hiatus caused by COVID-19, we trust that there will be increased participation in this competition.

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“There has been an increase in the number of girls participating in the competition. Our commitment at Interswitch is to continually inculcate knowledge, aptitude and confidence, with a focus on improving the standard of education in Nigeria,” Ms Eromosele stated.

InterswitchSPAK is an annual pan-African competition aimed at re-igniting and incentivizing the study of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) subjects among secondary school students.

The last edition was won by Oyindamola Aje, a 16-year-old student of Jesuit Memorial College, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

The duo of 15-year-old Oluwatobi Ojo and Onyekachi Madumere (both of Apt Scholar Universal College, Ogun State) came second and third, respectively.

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

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Education

Wikipedia Trains Nigerian Institute of Journalism Students

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Nigerian Institute of Journalism Students Wikipedia

By Adedapo Adesanya, Kemi Makinde

As part of efforts to boost Wikipedia knowledge among students in Nigeria, the Wikipedia Foundation recently trained students at the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ), Ogba, Lagos on how to use and improve the online resource platform.

Launched in 2017, the Wikimedia User Group Nigeria is seeking to capitalise on the growing Internet access in Nigeria and the country’s high school-age population to help boost the accessibility and knowledge contribution on the Wikipedia platform.

Taking the training to NIJ, the club engaged the students on the basics of Wikipedia writing, editing, and how to improve the open resource website.

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Speaking on the event, the President of the club, Mr Olushola Olaniyan, said, “We have established Wikimedia Clubs among Nigerian institutions such as the University of Ibadan to create social groups of Nigerian students about free knowledge.

Nigerian Institute of Journalism Students Wikipedia1

“We have established partnerships with two media houses to broadcast Wikipedia-related programs on-air, eg Black Face Radio and WFM91.7.

“Bringing it here to the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ), we want students to know about Wikipedia and able to write and edit pages.”

On his part, the programme facilitator at the institute, Mr Akinlolu Ojo, said it was a welcomed development that the club was established in the school where journalists were trained.

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He explained that journalists were charged with disseminating information and checking for misinformation and Wikipedia as a platform built on the truth is essential that the programme is taught to future journalists.

“We breed future journalists here, and it would be a huge disservice if we don’t take our students through this training. Wikipedia has always proven to be a credible platform and by having people whose profession is built on credibility contributing to it, it is a win-win situation,” he said.

The Governor of the Wiki Club at NIJ, Mr Henry Godwin, described the initiative as “commendable,” stressing that, “Any effort geared at pushing the boundaries of ignorance further away ought to be applauded.”

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Nigerian Institute of Journalism Students Wikipedia2

Another participant at the programme, Mr Pelumi Bolawa Solomon, expressed his appreciation saying “Wikipedia Nigeria has not only accorded me the opportunity to write for the largest online encyclopedia, but has improved my research ability, and given me the opportunities to do more investigations in order to rightly inform the general audience”.

Adding his input, Mr Emmanuel Ashemiriogwa said it was a very interactive and educative two-day class that exposed him to the basics of wiki editing. He says it is value-adding.

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Education

Geodrill Donates to Equip Achimota School’s Science Lab Complex

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Geodrill Achimota School

As part of its commitment to support access to quality education in Ghana, a foremost stakeholder in the mining industry, Geodrill, has made a donation for equipping a science laboratory complex at Achimota School.

The firm, through its CEO, Mr David Harper, presented a cheque of GHS150,000 to the Old Achimotan Association (OAA) at a ceremony held on June 14.

Mr Harper emphasised the importance of education to the students present and he expressed his hope that their education at Achimota School, and particularly in science, would set them on the path to successful adult careers and to contribute meaningfully to the development of Ghana.

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He revealed a longstanding association with the school where he used to play cricket, encouraging other companies to take their ESG obligations seriously and support worthy institutions to fulfil their mission.

Receiving the cheque, the President of the OAA and former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Professor Ernest Aryeetey, said the science lab was constructed with the support of corporate sponsors, who contributed about one-third of the total cost and the remainder from Achimota alumni.

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The OAA and Achimota were still hopeful of receiving further contributions from other companies to sustainably fund the provision of science education and other programmes for the benefit of the students.

Geodrill, a leading drilling exploration company to the mining sector, is committed to being a socially responsible company that actively promotes social causes such as the education of Ghanaian youth. The support for the laboratory complex is yet another purposeful outcomes-based Geodrill ESG initiative.

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Education

JAMB Generates N5.9bn from 2021 UTME, Direct Entry Forms

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JAMB

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has generated N5,887,628,900.00 from the sale of forms for the 2021 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) and Direct Entry (DE) examination to admission seekers into the nation’s tertiary institutions.

The cumulative figure was contained in the Financial Inflow column of the board’s weekly bulletin of April and May editions of 2021.

The registration for the exams started on April 10 nationwide and ended on May 29, this year with the exception of few candidates with special cases, who were given an extension of time to register.

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The breakdown showed that 1,338,687 candidates registered for the UTME while 75,328 registered for the DE exam this year.

The examinations commenced on Saturday, June 19 and will end on Monday, July 5 in over 777 computer-based test centres nationwide.

The figures from the board’s bulletin showed that it generated N2,045,497,450.00 in the first few weeks when the sales of registration instruments opened to UTME applicants on April 10.

From the April 27 edition of the bulletin, the board said it raked in N739,050,000.00 from the sales of e-pins.

A weekly breakdown of the figures from the May 3 edition of the bulletin showed that the board generated N663,250,000.00 from selling e-registration pins.

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In the May 10 edition, the figures showed that the board generated N682,200,000.00 revenue from sales of registration instruments for the examination.

According to the figures from the bulletin of May 17, edition, the board raked in N833,800,000.00 from the sales of e-registration pins.

Also, between May 23 and 31 edition, the board generated N810,131,450.00 and N113,700,000.00 from sales of e-registration pins.

Following Professor Ishaq Oloyede’s appointment as Registrar/Chief Executive of the body in August 2016, as part of its transparency and accountability goals, the board has been making returns in billions into the federation account.

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In 2019, the board generated N5 billion from the conduct of UTME but remitted N3 billion to the coffers of the federal government after the government asked the board to invest N2 billion to enhance its operations.

Its highest remittance so far was in 2018 when it remitted N7.8 billion revenue generated from the conduct of 2018 UTME to the coffers of the federal government.

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