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Standard Chartered, Educare Design Unique Educational Solution

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Standard Chartered Bank SC EduEdge

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

A unique educational solution called SC EduEdge has been developed by Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria Limited and Educare Technology Solutions Limited.

This was made possible by the strategic collaboration between both organisations, who are determined to ensure that education in Nigeria is top-notch.

The initiative was designed by the Business Banking segment of the lender’s retail banking arm with a team of seasoned professionals dedicated to providing relevant banking solutions to meet the business needs of existing and prospective clients.

The 3-years alliance with Educare, an industry leader in school administration software, positions the bank as an industry leader connecting with a wider network of prospects as it offers a compelling value proposition to educational institutions (primary and secondary) in strategic locations across the country including Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Ben Dike, Business Banking said, “We are very excited about this new partnership and the potential benefits it brings to the children of our existing and prospective clients and also to all stakeholders in the educational ecosystem including schools, employees, parents and guardians.

“This is a 360-degree proposition that provides tangible value to the educational sector, a sector that is crucial in the development of the country’s future leaders.

“For us at the bank, this ties in closely with our priority to be the best financial advisers to our clients; it reiterates our commitment to developing countries where we have footprint and serves as one of the many ways we are here for good.”

Some of the current unique offerings to clients under SC EduEdge include a dedicated school account with fee waivers (zero account maintenance and local transfers fees); an opportunity for students to participate in the 2020 Liverpool Football Club (LFC) Youth Cup tournament, with the winning school team traveling to Anfield, United Kingdom to watch a live LFC match (all-expense paid); participation in the Bank’s newly developed SCB Reward for A’s programme (credit of $1 for every A scored by each student, with funds kept in a dedicated account for the pupils/students) and the bank’s annual reward for A’s Scholarship ($1,000 education grant through a draw for students with a minimum of 7 A’s for the session – eligible for SSS 3) open to children of accountholders with the bank.

CEO of Educare, Alex Onyia, added that, “As the best school management system in Nigeria, and a specialist in edutech industry, we are delighted to partner with Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) who have a complimentary/International specialist practice in Banking and are also committed to supporting education around the globe.

“The outcome for this Strategic Partnership (educare-SCB, edu-edge) will grant our customers/partner schools the ability to have the best and most flexible school management portal to run their schools swiftly at a reduced cost.

“In addition to that, our customers/partner schools will be able to participate in the National Robotics Competition and this year’s Liverpool Inter-school football competition which sees the winner school to an all-expense paid trip to Liverpool, United Kingdom.

“Other benefits of SC Eduedge include access to personal loans, mortgage loans, Salary advance (personal overdraft), Credit Card offering to school owners and employees and also School Fees Loans and Credit Card offerings to parents/ guardians.”

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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Education

NCDMB, Siemens to Train 60 Teachers on STEM Education

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NCDMB Science Tech Competition

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has joined forces with Siemens Energy to train 60 primary school teachers in Bayelsa State.

The training is targeted at introducing innovative teaching of Sciences, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education to the young generation.

The programme, which takes place at the NCDMB headquarters, Swali, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, comes under the umbrella of Experimento Initiative, is an international education programme offered by Siemens Stiftung and Empowering Africans Through Education Initiative (EATEI).

The initiative is geared toward applying modern approaches to STEM education and providing educators with practical training and continuing education opportunities as well as high-quality teaching and learning experience.

Speaking at the kick-off ceremony held on Monday, the General Manager, Capacity Building Division, NCDMB, Mr Ama Ikuru stated that the Board’s commitment toward STEM education is driven by the objectives and aspirations of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act of 2010 and the Nigerian Content 10-Year Strategic Roadmap.

Mr Ikuru who was represented by the Deputy Manager, Capacity Building Division, Mr Augustine Timbiri explained that STEM education is critical to the attainment of the Board’s mandate with regards to local manufacturing and development of Nigerian materials, products, technologies, and solutions required for the growth of Nigerian Content in the Oil and Gas Industry and its sectorial linkages.

He added that “global technology and smart innovation are driven by STEM education and the desire to meet the ever-expanding human needs globally. The global science and technology space has witnessed unprecedented competition and disruptive innovations.”

Ikuru highlighted that the programme is aimed at addressing the gaps in STEM education in the Nigerian educational system and equipping the trainees with the Experimento STEM training modules and delivery models.

It will also advance the capacities and capabilities of teachers in the teaching and delivery of STEM subjects, promote and drive STEM education in the Nigerian educational system and enhance Nigeria’s global competitiveness.

He hinted that the teachers were nominated by the Bayelsa State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) from primary schools across the state and the training would be largely practical and hands-on intensive in line with the globally established standards by Siemens Nigeria and Empowering Africans Through Education Initiative.

In his remarks, the Local Content Manager, Siemens Energy, Mr Samuel Abolade explained that Siemens Energy’s objective is to become a hub for human capital development in the world.

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Education

Who Will be Peter Obi’s Minister of Education?

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Minister of Education

By Akachukwu Ifeanyichukwu

The public education sector of Nigeria is currently in a critical state as staff unions of federal universities have been on an unending industrial action for the last five months.

Federal institutions are dilapidated as they are poorly funded and the approved funds are rarely used for the approved task. If elected on February 25, 2023, the Peter Obi-Yusuf Datti Baba Ahmed-led administration will have to face the uphill task of rebuilding the sector from the foundation and this would be done by who he appoints as the Minister of Education if he is given the mantle of leadership.

During his tenure as Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi revitalized the education system of the state using strategic partnerships with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), the World Bank, the Department for International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom and the European Union (EU).

The state was the first to procure and distribute more than 30,000 computers to secondary schools, including 22,500 from Hewlett-Packard (HP).

The Managing Director for the Personal Systems Group at HP described the deployment as the biggest of such projects in the Middle East and Africa.

The Anambra State Government provided Microsoft Academies to more than 500 secondary schools, which the Head of Microsoft in Nigeria described as the biggest such deployment in Africa so far.

The State provided Internet access to more than 500 secondary schools, which were characterized by the Director of Galaxy Backbone as “incomparable to any in the country.”

More than 700 buses were given to secondary schools in the state by the government. Boreholes were provided in schools all over the state and lastly, numerous classrooms were built in all the 177 communities of the state. This led Obi to receive awards from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and other prestigious organizations.

Here is a short list of the qualified members of the Nigeria Academia for the possible post of Minister of Education:

Emeritus Professor Umaru Shehu (North)

A must-know name in the Northern region of Nigeria is Professor Umaru Shehu, a distinguished physician, academic, and administrator, who is the chairman of the Board of Directors of the Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria (IHVN).

Professor Shehu, who was educated at the University of Ibadan and Liverpool, is a distinguished fellow of the National Postgraduate Medical College. He was a pro-Vice-Chancellor (Academic) of the Ahmadu

Bello University, Zaria from 1977-1978.

From 1978-1980, he was the Vice Chancellor of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and Chairman of the board of management of the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan between 1991 and 1994. He was also Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council of the Bayero University, Kano, and the University of Lagos between 1993 and 1999. He has also chaired the boards of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) and STOPAIDS.

A one-time president of the Academy of Science and consultant to the World Health Organization (WHO), Professor Shehu holds the prestigious national award of the Commander of the Federal Republic (CFR). A world-renowned scholar with many publications to his credit and membership in international and local professional bodies, Professor Shehu is a Professor Emeritus of Community Medicine, at the University of Maiduguri, Nigeria.

Professor Kayode Adebowale (West)

A popular name in the Western academia of the country is Kayode Oyebode Adebowale, a Nigerian professor and scientist and the 13th Vice-chancellor of the University of Ibadan. In October of 2021, he became the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, having formerly served as the deputy vice-chancellor (administration) of the school and as the Dean of the Faculty of Science in the same institution.

Prof Kayode Adebowale was born on January 11, 1962, and he is a native of the Gateway State, Ogun, in Western Nigeria. He had his primary education at St. Marks Primary School, Oke-Ijaga, Ijebu Igbo between 1967 and 1972 while his secondary was at Ayedaade Grammar School, Ikire between 1973 and 1978. He bagged his BSc in Chemistry in 1984 from the University of Ibadan at the age of 22. He received his Master’s degree and PhD from the same university in 1986 and 1991 respectively. He began his academic career as a Graduate Assistant at the University of Ibadan and became a professor of Industrial Chemistry in 2006.

He was once a lecturer at the Federal University of Technology. He has a record number of 137 published and peer-reviewed scientific papers, 14 conference papers, and 3 technical reports. He was formerly the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration), at the University of Ibadan.

Professor Aniebiet Inyang Ntui (South-South)

A name strongly involved in Nigerian academia is that of Professor Aniebiet Inyang Ntui, an international author in the field of Library and Information Science and the current university librarian of the University of Calabar.

Ntui holds a BSc (Ed), Dip (Computer Techniques), M.Ed., MLS, and a PhD in Library and Information Science. She has over 20 years of experience in the library and classroom of the University of Calabar, Nigeria. Professor Aniebiet is an Associate of the European Union Research Initiative – Europeana, the University of the West of Scotland’s Centre for African Research on Enterprise and Economic Development, and the University of Glasgow’s UK-COP 26 Universities Climate Network. She is also a Fellow of various international library associations and institutions. She has served as a Consultant of Information Management to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, United Nations Development Programme, and the World Bank. She is a recipient of the Nigerian Library Association, the 2020 Award of Excellence, and the 2021 Award of Honour for her contributions to the development of librarianship in Nigeria.

She is one of the Most Read Researchers in Nigeria according to information available on the Web of Science Site.

Who do you think will eventually become a member of the Obi-Datti cabinet if he is eventually elected as President of Nigeria?

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Education

The Unending Valentine Gift

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ASUU Suspends Strike

By Ohore Emmanuel

Since the inception of the Nigerian democracy in 1999, the educational sector has gone on strike more than 16 times.

The back and forth between the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the umbrella body of the teaching staff of Nigerian public universities and the Nigerian government has been an unsettled fight but at the end of the day, it is the Nigerian students that suffer for it.

Could we say that the same political actors that enjoyed free education are now the ones deliberately punishing the Nigerian student?

Is it safe to admit that it is because most of these politicians’ children do not attend our own public institutions hence, the reason they are not keen on solving this long-time issue?

Every government since 1999 comes in and blames the previous government for its irresponsibility. Our educational system is ranked one of the least in Africa and it is also worthy to note that most of our certificates are not accepted abroad, not to talk about us infiltrating our own problem with the dichotomy between Higher National Diploma (HND) and BSc.

The first ASUU strike was during the regime of Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida in 1988 and ever since then, ASUU goes on strike like a yearly festival.

During the 2020 pandemic period, a two-week ASUU ‘warning’ strike (March 9 – 23, 2020) was embarked on due to the underdeveloped educational system. Most higher institutions in Nigeria were unable to adopt e-learning and for the 10 months students were at home, but immediately after schools resumed in early February 2021, most schools had to compress their academic calendar to enable them to meet up.

Since Feb 14, 2022, the Nigerian students have been at home. ASUU has continually accused the federal government of not implementing the 2009 agreement on conditions of service and funding of the universities. “Revitalization” through massive funding and ASUU has continued to stress the importance of “genuine university autonomy and academic freedom.”

For a decade now, the 2021 budget for education is the lowest. It is a sign that this government places no value on our educational system.

As time goes by, the youths are gradually losing faith in this system.

The argument between these two elephants has lasted for over 5 months. The Presidency seems to have accused the Minister of Labour of being unable to solve the problem while the Minister has accused the striking lecturers of sabotaging the system.

Over the weekend, the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, was appealing to the Nigerian parents to plead with ASUU because the government can no longer solve this problem.

The failure of this government has made so many students divert their passion for studying to survival. Many have gone on to learn skills and trade.

According to UNESCO, there are currently more than 70,000 Nigerian students studying outside the country, with the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada the leading destinations.

While 2023 elections are at the corner, the current government that could not solve this problem for seven years is now promising to solve it in less than 6 months to the end of its tenure in office.

This unending Valentine gift served by this administration will not only destroy the lives of our teeming youth but propel us as a nation with no vision.

Ohore Emmanuel is the lead team at Forthman Educational Foundation, Abuja. He is also a PGDE student at the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN)

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