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UNESCO Opens Application for ICT in Education Prize 2020

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UNESCO

By Adedapo Adesanya

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)-partnered King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa Prize for the use of ICT in education has opened and is accepting applications.

The theme of the 2020 edition is the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to enhance the continuity and quality of learning.

The recent crisis in the education sector as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has made the focus of this year’s event very important.

Technology innovations fueled by AI have the potential to locate and reach excluded and marginalized groups and provide quality learning programmes for learners in emergency contexts or learners with physical and cognitive disabilities.

AI technologies can also help accurately analyse the difficulties faced by students studying in a language other than their mother tongue. At the same time, they can support teachers with a better diagnosis of learning problems and personally adaptive feedback to improve pedagogical responses.

Benefits

Two winners will be selected by the Director-General of UNESCO based on the recommendations of an international Jury and each winner will receive a reward of $25,000 and a diploma.

The prize is not a grant scheme aimed at supporting new projects or organisation. It is aimed at recognising already implemented projects and activities.

Who can Apply?

Individuals, institutions, non-governmental organizations or other entities.

Eligibility Criteria

The project should be ongoing for at least one year. It should not be affiliated with UNESCO or receive any funding from the global agency.

The technology solutions used by the project should be designed completely for the public good or for charitable purposes, meaning that they should not be the free parts of commercial applications or application packages that only offer limited functions free of charge while requesting users to pay for advanced functions.

Selection Criteria

Relevance to the thematic focus: The project is in line with the objectives of the prize and is relevant to the specific theme of the year.

Innovation: The project applies innovative technologies and Artificial Intelligence (AI)-enhanced solutions or blends AI and conventional technologies in a new innovative way.

Evidence of Impact: The project should provide evidence of improved learning outcomes of the targeted beneficiaries.

Potential for Replicability and Scalability: The project should show evidence that it can be replicated in other contexts or have the potential to further optimize and scale its impact.

Inclusion and Equity: The project should use AI or innovative technologies to advance inclusion and equity in education while taking into account marginalized groups, leaners in crisis and emergency contexts, and learners with physical or cognitive disabilities.

All projects should be nominated by a National Commission for UNESCO or a NGO in official partnership with UNESCO. Self-nominations will not be accepted.

How to Apply?

The applicants should first request access to the online platform and then fill in an online form.

For the application to be considered, it should be nominated by either the National Commission of the UNESCO Member State or an NGO in official partnership with UNESCO.

All applicants are encouraged to get in touch with the NGO or National Commission ahead of the application process. Self-nominations will not be accepted.

Governments of UNESCO member states, as well as NGOs in official partnership with UNESCO, are invited to elicit and nominate up to three projects, which are in line with the 2020 theme and meet the selection criteria.

The deadline for nominations is December 18, 2020 (midnight, Paris time)

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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Education

Dufil Rewards Children for Heroism, Societal Contributions

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Indomie Independence Day Awards Dufil

By Adedapo Adesanya

Dufil Prima Foods Plc, makers of Indomie noodles, has rewarded some exemplary children as part of its Indomie Independence Day Awards (IIDA) initiative.

The IIDA is a corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative of Dufil aimed at recognising and celebrating children below the age of 15, who have exhibited extraordinary acts of heroism in the face of danger or societal challenges.

The initiative has so far benefited 42 Nigerian children who have shown exemplary character and bravery.

For this year’s edition, Joshua Agboola, Elijah Daniel Emenka and Favour Sunday won the Intellectual, Physical and Social Bravery categories of the award respectively and were honoured with appreciable scholarship prizes.

In his address, Chief Executive Officer of Dufil Prima Foods Plc, Mr Adhi Narto stated that IIDA “reflects the belief of the organization” in the extraordinary qualities of the Nigerian child that needed to be appreciated.

He said: “As a brand, we feel the need to celebrate our unsung heroes- Nigerian children, who are doing an extraordinary job, without being celebrated.

“This year, we received hundreds of entries and when we went through those entries, we were amazed to see the kinds of work Nigerian children are doing. They have displayed bravery that even 40-year-old persons would have to think twice before doing them. We salute those children.”

Also present at the function, Executive Permanent Board Member, Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board, Mr Dayo Israel emphasized the role of quality and scientific-oriented education. He described IIDA as the biggest and most inspiring programme for children in Nigeria.

He said, “It is commendable for an organisation like Dufil Prima Foods to have stayed consistent with social responsibility programme in its way, thus making a substantial contribution to the growth and development of Nigerian children, without necessarily getting something in return.”

Emenka, 11 from Akwa Ibom evoked emotions from the audience with his heroic exploits that saved his sister’s life. He saw his sister gasping for breath from an asthmatic attack and ran to get her inhaler while breaking through the louvres. This poked his eye leaving him partially blind in his left eye. He won the physical bravery category of the award.

On her part, 14-year-old Sunday from Lagos won the social bravery category for being able to positively transform lives in her community by dedicating her time and passion to teaching children in her community, while 12-year-old Agboola from Lagos won the intellectual bravery category as a programmer, future skills activist, Youtuber and speaker on technology topics who started coding as early as six.

Agboola has built capacity in the use of HTML, CSS, Javascript, Jquery, Bootstrap, Java, Python, C++, C#, PHP, Laravel, Love 2D and unity.

Another award of the night was the honourary award for Mrs Olajumoke Matilda Otitoloju, better known as Iyaniwura, being an advocate of children with disabilities and community development.

Also honoured were frontline workers -Dr Iorhen Akase and Mrs Awolumate Rachel Olayinka both from the Infectious Diseases Unit of Lagos University Teaching Hospital as well as Nigerian rapper cum singer, Late Olanrewaju Fasasi (Sound Sultan).

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Education

Excitement as Oyo Promotes 16,500 Public Primary School Teachers

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Oyo Public Primary School Teachers

By Dipo Olowookere

Teachers in public primary schools in Oyo State are currently excited over the decision of the government to promote some of the dedicated ones.

They believe this action will motivate them to give their best to improve the quality of education in the state, which is now doing well at various external examinations and competitions.

On Wednesday, over 16,500 public primary school teachers across the 33 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state were elevated by the state government.

It was gathered that some of the teachers had spent some years without promotion before the assumption of office of the present administration led by Mr Seyi Makinde in 2019.

Speaking during a symbolic presentation of the letters to the teachers in Ibadan, the state capital, the Executive Chairman of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Dr Nureni Adeniran, charged the beneficiaries to redouble their efforts, saying the state government was committed and passionate about their welfare.

He affirmed that the promotion exercise was part of efforts by the present Government to boost education in the state, stating that, “When Governor Makinde assumed office, he promised to give priority to education and today, we have adopted measures to improve the standard of education in the state.”

Mr Adeniran commended the foresight of the Governor and his political will to transform the education sector in the state.

“Today, this government has approved and commenced distribution of promotion letters to over 16,500 public primary teachers in the state”.

“The welfare of teachers is taken very seriously by the Governor Seyi Makinde-led administration, salaries of teachers are paid as at when due.”

The SUBEB chief, who noted that the government was aware that recruitment of teachers would address the problems of inadequate manpower in the basic education sub-sector and promote teaching and learning, urged stakeholders to exercise more patience.

He stressed that soon, after resolving some bottlenecks, the Oyo State Government will employ primary school teachers with professional teaching qualifications based on merit.

In their separate remarks, the Chairman, Nigeria Union of Teachers, (NUT) Oyo State chapter and the Chairman, Association of Primary School Head-teachers of Nigeria (AOPSHON), Comrade Toju Adedoyin and Comrade Kunle Adedeji commended the state government for the promotion of teachers in the state.

They said that the promotion would boost the morale of teachers in Oyo State, adding that it will promote teaching and learning.

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Education

What You Need to Know About Education Trust

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Education Trust

By FBNQuest

There is no doubt that the joy of parenting beats the responsibility of raising children. However, poor planning can make this obligation harder than it needs to be.

Planning for your child’s future can be expensive. Paying for necessities, school fees, hobbies, family vacations, and unexpected events in life quickly adds up.

If you are a parent, then these expenses are either in your present or your future. Putting a child through formal education often represents regular rising fee payments over about 16 years if they enrol in a tertiary institution.

To limit the stress related to financing your child or children’s education, it is best to start planning for it early. An Education Trust provides an innovative and efficient way to do this.

Rising tuition prices could mean that many families struggle to afford their children’s secondary and higher education without borrowing money or taking out loans. In addition, to relieve future stress, creating an Education Trust for your child presents a vehicle into which family members, guardians and close friends who would like to support a child can make their contributions.

An Education Trust is overseen by a Trustee, who can ensure that the Trust is used for educational purposes only. Through the Trust instrument, the Trustee can be directed to handle the funds in virtually any manner you wish as the creator of the Trust.

In addition to addressing costs associated with a beneficiary’s education, the Trust could specify periodic payments of set amounts to the beneficiary and prescribe the usage of the Trust’s assets upon the completion of the beneficiary’s education. They may also be designed to provide for children that you may have in the future. Education Trusts can be operational immediately or upon the demise of the creator of the Trust.

Contemplating financing your child’s future education while catering to your current financial obligations need not be a hassle, there are several options for how your own financial and physical assets can be incorporated into an Education Trust.

FBNQuest Trustees can guide you through creating an Education Trust for your loved ones to make life easier for you as a parent and for the children/ward.

We are happy to advise you on how to combine assets that you own now with those you will earn in the future into an Education Trust that caters to the needs of the beneficiaries in line with your wishes.

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