Connect with us


UNICEF, Ericsson to Map Internet in Nigerian Schools 




By Adedapo Adesanya

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Swedish multinational networking and communications company, Ericsson, have collaborated to provide internet connectivity mapping to educational institutions in Nigeria.

In a statement, the Country Manager of Ericsson Nigeria, Mr Sean Cryan, said that the goal of the project with the theme Mapping school internet connectivity would help to bridge the digital divide by providing internet access for the next generation.

“We are planning to share the list of the first 10 countries in the fourth quarter of this year, while the remaining countries will be communicated in 2021,” he said.

He added that the project would start before the end of 2023, adding that the initial take-off would also depend on where their teams would be allowed to travel and operate safely.

According to him, digital transformation, undoubtedly, impacts various sectors and organisations by helping them leverage beneficial opportunities that come with new technologies.

“Mapping the internet connectivity landscape in schools and their surrounding communities will be of great importance, given its vital role.

“Connectivity mapping is a primary source for providing children with the necessary means and capabilities to exploit the opportunities provided by the advantages of digital learning,” he said.

He said that the partnership falls within the framework of the “Giga” initiative that was launched in 2019 by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in cooperation with UNICEF.

Mr Cryan added that it had the primary goal of connecting all schools on the planet to the internet.

The country manager also highlighted the benefits of mapping to governments and the private sector.

He said that it would help them design and deploy digital interventions to support uninterrupted learning for children and young people adding that the notion that some internet users employed the use of the facility from their homes while many others use it at school.

“The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) estimates that over 53 per cent of the world’s population used the internet in 2019, up from under 17 per cent in 2005.

“Although we have broad statistics on internet usage, the mapping will help us to understand how access by schools fits into that and where the gaps are.

“Ericsson’s vision calls for us to connect the unconnected because we believe that access to communication is a basic human need.

“We also believe that people in the rural parts of Africa will benefit greatly from mobile connectivity, which greatly increases access to information and services that support health, education and small businesses.’’

According to the Country Manager, digital connectivity is one of the ‘Global Breakthroughs’ which the Giga project is looking to address.

“The partnership between UNICEF and Ericsson will take the first vital step in mapping and understanding the connecting gap,” he said.

Mr Cryan also speaking on the scope of the project, said that Ericsson had committed resources for data engineering and data science capacity to accelerate the mapping.

He said that the company would specifically assist with the collection, validation, analysis, monitoring and visual representation of real-time school connectivity data.

“Ericsson is the first private sector partner to join this initiative and does so as a Global UNICEF Partner for School Connectivity Mapping.

“Collected data will enable governments and the private sector to design and deploy digital solutions that enable learning for children and young people.

“Additionally, Ericsson will engage its extensive customer base in the Giga initiative to further advance this mission,” he said.

The Country Manager further added that the total value of the partnership between Ericsson and UNICEF would be determined over time, adding that they were yet to arrive at the amount of time and resources needed to support the project.

He also said that both organisations were still working together to assess the locations where the programme would likely have the greatest impact.

He said that this would afford them the opportunity of taking the advantage of the information, choice and opportunities that it would bring.

He also added that Ericsson had been working on how to provide communication services and solutions to challenges facing ICT users since its inception.

He said that this had been across network segments so as to make the operations of telecom service providers more efficient and bolster their digital transformation.

According to the Ericsson Mobility Report, mobile broadband subscription penetration in the Sub-Saharan Africa region is approximately 30 per cent and is forecasted to reach around 50 per cent by the end of 2025.

Also citing a Mobile Economy 2018 report by Global System for Mobile Communications (GSMA), it was noted that the 49 per cent mobile subscription of Nigeria’s 196 million people is expected to reach 55 per cent by 2025.

Mr Cryan also spoke on the strategic importance of Nigeria to the projects. He said that with Nigeria currently holding one of the highest numbers of mobile subscriptions in Sub-Saharan Africa, superior network performance is imperative.

According to him, Ericsson is committed to partnering local service providers in meeting the growing demands of subscribers for an enriched broadband experience.

He also said that the importance of establishing a high-quality mobile broadband service in Nigeria cannot be overestimated.

“It opens up opportunities for people to improve their productivity locally and fuels new businesses which feed into boosting the economic growth of the country.

“In collaboration with Ericsson, local service providers have rolled out an LTE network that has had a significant impact on the user experience in Nigeria.

“Download and upload speeds in the completed areas are exceptional and customer feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.

“Nigerians can now experience a truly world-class data service with faster web browsing and downloads,” he said.

Furthermore, the Country Manager said that for the company to deliver sustainable impact, it had begun to collaborate with various partners to facilitate societal impact and provide equal opportunities.

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.


OOU Introduces Work-Study Programme to Reduce Attrition



work-study programme

By Adedapo Adesanya

To boost employment numbers and reduce the alarming attrition of students, Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago Iwoye, Ogun State, has announced the commencement of a work-study programme for skilled students to earn while still attending classes.

The university said in a statement issued by its Registrar, Mr Femi Ogunwomoju, that the initiative would help ease the financial burden on parents and guardians and reduce the rate at which students drop out of school due to financial constraints.

Mr Ogunwomoju said the programme, through the directorate of entrepreneurship studies, “will enable students with demonstrable and proven vocational skills to work in the university and earn some stipends and still attend classes.”

Nigeria has the second highest number of unemployed youths in the world, with 53 per cent of the youth population without jobs. This country is second to only South Africa, which has 61 per cent youth unemployment.

OOU said it launched the work-study programme during its 40th anniversary in February to checkmate the increasing rate of dropouts in the institution.

“When we noticed the rate at which students were dropping out, we did the SWOT analysis of what happened to them,” said the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Mr Ayodeji Agboola, was quoted as saying in the statement.

“We came to realise that the major problem there is funding. So, we instituted immediate funding, but of course, it cannot take care of all of them,” the professor said.

He said the university, therefore, resolved to cater for 500 students under the work-study programme.

“With work studies, we are sure that the majority of them will be accommodated, and that will also solve the problem,” he said.

Students of the university who are interested and qualified to be part of the programme are requested to fill out a form.

The university management, therefore, urged interested qualified students should register through the Directorate of Entrepreneurship Studies within two weeks beginning from May 25.

Continue Reading


200 Undergraduates to Enjoy Stanbic IBTC N80m University Scholarship Scheme



Stanbic IBTC IDE

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

No fewer than 200 undergraduates who performed well in the University Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) will enjoy N80 million worth of educational support from Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc.

The funds would be disbursed to the beneficiaries under the Stanbic IBTC 2023 University Scholarship Award Scheme.

The selection process for the scholarships was rigorous and fair, with beneficiaries chosen from each of the six geo-political zones in Nigeria. The candidates were carefully evaluated based on merit, taking into account their exceptional academic performance, the organisation said.

The 200 scholarship recipients will be able to pursue their dreams with financial confidence, knowing that Stanbic IBTC will stand firmly by their side.

The company disclosed that the money would be given to the students in annual instalments over the course of four academic years. It would provide recipients with the essential financial assistance required to meet their educational expenses.

Subsequent disbursements will be contingent upon the beneficiaries fulfilling certain criteria. These criteria include maintaining their enrolment in the universities and degree programs to which they were admitted, as well as adhering to the academic and administrative policies set forth by their respective institutions, the firm stated.

By ensuring compliance with these requirements, the recipients can continue to receive the scholarship throughout their academic journey, facilitating their uninterrupted pursuit of higher education, it added.

“At Stanbic IBTC, we recognize the importance of education and its role in shaping the future of our great nation, Nigeria.

“Our principal objective for this scholarship is to provide unlimited opportunities for bright, young Nigerians who have demonstrated academic merit,” the chief executive of Stanbic IBTC, Mr Demola Sogunle, said.

He noted that the number of annual scholarship recipients was increased from 100 to 200, as education should not be a luxury reserved for a select few but accessible to all.

By investing in the academic journeys of these exceptional students, the leading end-to-end financial institution will not only make a difference in their lives but also contribute to the development and prosperity of the nation as a whole.

Continue Reading


Wema Bank Employees Donate Items to Isale Eko Grammar School



Isalẹ Eko Grammar School Wema Bank

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

It was an exciting moment for students of Isalẹ Eko Grammar School, Lagos and a fulfilling time for employees of Wema Bank Plc when they delivered some tables and chairs to the institution last Friday.

The items were donated to the school as part of the financial institution’s corporate social investment (CSI) initiative aimed to contribute to the development of education in the country, especially in its host communities.

It was gathered that Wema Bank employees purchased the items for the school by contributing the salaries under the Salary for Love campaign of the lender.

The bank expressed optimism that the items would undoubtedly transform the learning environment, creating a haven of comfort and inspiration for the students as they embark on their academic journeys.

Apart from the furniture donation, Wema Bank extended its support even further by bestowing scholarships upon two students of Isalẹ Eko Grammar School.

These scholarships, provides invaluable financial assistance and will serve as stepping stones for these exceptional students as they unlock their full potential and courageously chase their dreams.

At the presentation of the items to the school, the Head of Credit Risk Management at Wema Bank, Mr Uchenna Obazeh, emphasized the bank’s firm belief in the transformative power of education.

He commended the unwavering dedication of Wema Bank’s staff members and their resolute commitment to supporting education within the community.

“Through the ‘Salary for Love’ initiative, our employees have showcased their exceptional devotion to shaping a brighter future through education. We are humbled to contribute to the growth and development of Isale Eko Grammar School, as we remain steadfast in our mission of corporate citizenship,” he said.

In his remarks, the Principal of Isalẹ Eko Grammar School, Mr Mukaila Olatoye, expressed deep gratitude on behalf of the institution, recognizing the profound influence this generous donation will have on the students’ educational pursuits.

Also, the students thanked Wema Bank for the donation.

Continue Reading
%d bloggers like this: