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HP, African Union partner for distance learning in 55 African countries during COVID-19

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HP and African Union
At the Extra-Ordinary Session of the Specialized Technical Committee on Education, Science and Technology held virtually on 30th April 2020, HP and the African Union Commission (AUC) agreed to join efforts to expand digital learning opportunities for all youth in 55 AU Member States.

Both entities have agreed to collaborate on various initiatives including exchange of information and expertise, as well as promotion of online platforms to support digital learning.

Africa has the youngest population in the world with more than 400 million young people aged between 15 to 35 years.

Almost all countries across the continent have introduced some form of nation-wide school and university closures to contain the Covid-19 virus.

This means that there are a very large number of children and young people that are not receiving any form of schooling.

At this meeting, Elisabeth Moreno, Managing Director and Vice President of HP Africa presented HP’s Learning Initiative for Entrepreneurship (HP LIFE) and BeOnline programmes, two unique online learning platforms that can be utilised by ministers to support schools and educators in their distance learning endeavours.

The two online learning platforms will contribute towards H.E. Moussa Faki Mahammat’s, the Chairperson of the AU, 1 Million By 2021 initiative.

The 1 Million By 2021 initiative seeks to provide opportunities to young Africans from the 55 member states in the areas of Education, Employment, Engagement and Entrepreneurship (the 4Es).

It is against this backdrop that the AU and HP are prioritizing digital learning opportunities for African youth.

“Education is a fundamental human right that should be available regardless of a person’s age, class, race, gender or location,” said Moreno. “To that end, HP has pledged to enable better learning outcomes for 100 million people by 2025, as well as adding 1 million users to HP LIFE between 2016-25 – a commitment that aligns with the AU’s Continental Education Strategy for Africa (CESA), which aims to change Africa’s education and training systems to meet the knowledge, competencies, skills, innovation and creativity required to nurture core values and promote sustainable development on a continental level.”

Today, technology can support new styles of learning. PCs and tools designed for education can offer students flexibility of time, place, and pace of learning, whether in or out of the classroom, or in a blend of environments. HP and AU joint efforts have the potential to uplift access of education and opportunities for career work and economic growth. The collaboration aims to promote innovations that hold the best potential to make lifelong learning a reality.

“The partnership with HP will accelerate our education response to Covid-19 especially and have long-term benefits. I implore AU Member States to make the most of these opportunities as this partnership means young people can access educational opportunities at no cost for the rest of this academic year. This partnership speaks directly to H.E Moussa Faki Mahamat’s 1 Million by 2021 initiative by providing educational opportunities which will assist in positioning our youth to venture into the entrepreneurial sector,” Commissioner of the AUC Department of Human Resources, Science and Technology, H.E Prof. Sarah Anyang Agbor said.

BeOnline is a programme that was developed by HP in partnership with Classera, the leader in Learning Management Systems and Mirai, a learning innovations group focusing on learning strategy and digital pedagogy, to assist the endeavours of the education community.

In line with the most recent regional governments’ directives for distance learning, the programme aims to support schools and universities in establishing a fully-fledged virtual learning environment, by providing expertise and tools at no cost.

The HP Foundation has created its global programme HP LIFE to provide business and IT skills training free of charge to people all over the world. The online community and more than 30 self-paced courses are designed to help users develop business and IT skills in their own time and at their own pace.

The courses are modular, interactive, and full of information and practical exercises that enable users to grow their business skills.

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Prof.  Sodiyda gives five reasons IT professionals should attend “EATI’ 2020”

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Prof. Adesina Sodiya
President of NCS, Prof. Adesina Sodiya

The President, Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), Prof. Adesina Sodiya, has extended invitation to IT professionals within and outside Nigeria to attend the eleventh (11th) International Conference of the Society which will be hosted online.

The conference begins on Tuesday 11th to end on Thursday 13th of August 2020 under the theme: “Emerging Applications and Technologies for Industry 4.0 (EATI 2020)”.

The President said, apart from the conference providing a unique opportunity for attendees to link up to the Conference at the comfort of their homes and offices, he listed other give benefits of joining the programme.

Participants should look forward to amazing opportunities to exchange new ideas, gain new insights, build relationships with stakeholders, promote IT professionalism, share best practices, establish standards, develop business or research relations, and find global partners for future collaborations.

Manufacturers, industry experts. academics, professionals, innovators, service providers, researchers, suppliers, consultants, students, youth innovators and entrepreneurs, as well as policy makers in government and business people will come together to connect for the betterment of our nation.

High profile dignitaries from government, private and educational sectors, as well as from the international and global IT environment are expected to grace the event.  NCS is preparing for the best and has assembled an impressive line-up of leading researchers, entrepreneurs, educators, industry experts, thought leaders, international scholars and subject matter experts as speakers and resource persons to share their extensive knowledge and experiences on the theme and sub themes. I want to assure you that attendees will benefit greatly from their wealth of knowledge and insights.

In his words, the five benefits of joining the NCS international conference 2020 include;

1. It is stress Free:

#EATI2020 holds ONLINE, so you participate from the comfort of your home or office.

2. Global Influence:

Being an International conference gives you access to connect with both Foreign/Local Speakers and Participants.

3. Value & Knowledge:

Driven: #EATI2020 boasts of rich sub-themes ranging from Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Data Mining and other modern day technologies relevant for today’s applications, thus your participation gives you more insights into these new innovations.

4. Risk-free & Cost-effective:

Unlike previous conferences requiring travelling & hotel accommodation, this year’s conference will save you 70% cost.

5. Enhanced Credit Rating:

As IT Practitioners, attending NCS Conference increases your professional and academic ratings. Your participation will earn you 3 units of Professional Development credit units.

Prof. Sodiya added that this year’s International Conference will provide a multi-stakeholder forum to examine pertinent considerations in showcasing emerging applications and technologies to achieving fourth industrial revolution that will lead to Sustainable Development. Engagement opportunities will be explored during the Conference to present and develop effective strategies, creative approaches and practical solutions.

“Specific highlights of the conference include Official Opening and Keynotes, Plenary and Parallel Sessions, Technical Sessions, Seminars, Induction of New Members, Youth Innovation and Entrepreneurship Platform, Exhibition and Products Launch, Public Sector ICT Showcase, networking, NITDA session, National IT Competitions, Fellows’ Forum and Annual General Meeting”, he said.

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Danbatta, others show encomiums on Sonny Aragba-Akpore as he bows out of NCC

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NCC

It was encomiums galore recently as Management and Staff of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) bid the Commission’s Head of Media Management and Public Relations, Sonny Aragba-Akpore, farewell following his retirement.

NCC

Former Head, Media and Public Relations, NCC/celebrant, Mr. Sonny Aragba-Akpore (a.k.a ‘The GrandMaster’) during a valedictory session organised in his honour at his retirement by the Management of the Nigerian Communications Commission in Abuja recently…

The erstwhile Information and Communications Technology/News editor at the Guardian Newspaper, Aragba-Akpore, joined the service of the Commission in 2014.

Speaking at the valedictory party held in his honour on Thursday, July 16, 2020, which was attended physically and virtually by staff of the Commission, the Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umar Danbatta, appreciated the level of professionalism Aragba-Akpore brought to bear on his work at the Commission.

Represented at the event by the Director, Projects, Abigail Sholanke, Danbatta commended Sonny Aragba-Akpore for using his many years of industry experience and knowledge as a media professional and corporate communication manager to create a robust relationship with both mainstream and online media stakeholders, which, he said, has contributed significantly to the overall positive image and favourable public perception of NCC.

“On behalf of the Board, Management and Staff of Commission, we wish you a successful retirement and fruitful engagements in your future endeavours,” Danbatta said.

In his remarks, Director, Public Affairs Department, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, said “Within the short time I worked with Mr. Aragba-Akpore, I found him to be a man of uncommon passion for his work,” describing him as a very committed and hardworking colleague. “We, therefore, wish you increased divine favour, as you retire from the services of the Commission.”

Other staff of the Commission, including directors, deputy directors, middle management staff, among others, took turns to talk about the favourable working relationship they had with Aragba-Akpore while at the NCC and wished him well in his retirement life.

Responding, Aragba-Akpore expressed gratitude to the Management and Staff of the Commission for their support and cooperation during his service and for organising a befitting valedictory ceremony in his honour, saying he enjoyed working with the NCC.

NCC

From left to right: Director, Research and Development, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Henry Nkemadu; Director, Finance Services, NCC, Mr. Yakubu Gontor; Director, Public Affairs, NCC, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde; former Head, Media and Public Relations, NCC/celebrant, Mr. Sonny Aragba-Akpore; his wife, Florence and Director, Projects, NCC, Mrs. Abigail Solanke; Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau, NCC, Mr. Efosa; and Director, Legal and Regulatory Services, NCC, Mrs. Yetunde Akinloye, during a valedictory session organised in honour of Aragba-Akpore, who retired from the services of the Commission in Abuja recently…

“This is one event I will not forget in a hurry. Indeed, I feel I am very lucky and singularly blessed and very appreciative of the privilege to work with a leading telecoms regulator like the NCC. For me, it is once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” he said.

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139 Nigerian students receive prestigious Cambridge International awards

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Cambridge International

BY: Chisom ADA

Outstanding Cambridge Learner Award has following categories:

  • Top in the World: learners who gained the highest standard mark in the world for a single subject.

  • Top in Country: learners who gained the highest standard mark in the country for a single subject.

  • High Achievement: learners who achieved outstanding results in subjects which are not so widely taken and which, under the current criteria, would not qualify for ‘Top in Country’ Awards.

  • Best Across: awards issued to learners who attained the highest cumulative standard marks over a set number of subjects.

Nigeria students have once again received outstanding results in their Cambridge International examinations for the June 2018, November 2019 and December 2019 exam series.

139 students have been granted the prestigious Outstanding Cambridge Learner Awards in various subjects in Cambridge IGCSE, Cambridge O Level and Cambridge International AS & A Levels.

The award winners include 16 students who have excelled in subjects such as Geography, Mathematics and Business to receive the ‘Top in the World’ honour.

Cambridge International also granted 101 ‘Top in Nigeria’ awards to learners who achieved the highest standard mark in their country for a single subject, 64 ‘High Achievement’ awards and 10 ‘Best Across’ awards to students who attained the highest cumulative total standard marks over a set number of subjects.

Juan Visser

Juan Visser

Cambridge International’s Regional Director for Sub-Saharan Africa, Juan Visser, said: “Well done once again to the Cambridge top achievers in Nigeria. We are delighted that learners in Nigeria produce such fantastic results year-in-and-year-out; this points to the quality of the schools in Nigeria registered to offer Cambridge programmes.’’

Cambridge International operates in partnership with the British Council in Nigeria.

Lucy Pearson

Lucy Pearson

The Country Director, British Council Nigeria, Lucy Pearson, says: “At the British Council, we create international opportunities through our work in arts, English Language, education, administering exams and building stronger societies. The exams we administer help people all over the world gain educational and professional development, so they are better positioned for success in life. Education is a key enabler for these opportunities, and we believe in ensuring young learners have access to world-class education and assessments which we have achieved through our partners Cambridge Assessment International Education and the schools in our Partner Schools Global Network (PSGN).”

The Director Examinations, British Council Nigeria, Marniee Nottingham, added: “Through the Partner Schools Global Network (PSGN), the British Council provides professional skills development and networking opportunities to enhance school leadership and teaching talent across our portfolio of about 395 schools across Nigeria.  We not only celebrate student achievement, we also congratulate the school leaders, teachers and parents in promoting excellence in the future of our young learners.  It is great to see the achievements of these students as they embark on their futures in country and worldwide.”

Some of the students who received awards made the following comments about their achievements:

Jefferson Iyanuloluwa Joshua

Jefferson Iyanuloluwa Joshua

Jefferson Iyanuloluwa Joshua from the Lifeforte International High School who received 1 Top in World, 3 Top in Nigeria and a  Best Across Eight in Cambridge O Levels for the June 2019 exam series said: “I am happy that my hard work and prayers had come to fruition. Initially I found the Cambridge programme a bit challenging because I had to take subjects like Economics and Business Studies which were new to me but the practical, application-based, learner focused style of the programme meant that I was soon comfortable with those subjects and my other subjects and able to excel in them.”

He plans to go to Imperial College for a degree in Mechanical engineering.

Shreya Jindal

Shreya Jindal

Shreya Jindal from The Regent Secondary School, Abuja who received 1 Top in World, 4 Top in Nigeria and a Best Across Eight in Cambridge IGCSE in the June 2019 exam series, said: “The Cambridge programme builds a strong foundation for higher education. Even though it requires you to study a specified syllabus, most of what you’re tested on is applied knowledge. This makes sure you really understand what you’re learning. My advice for other students is to firstly find out how you learn. Don’t be afraid of trying different methods until you find what works best for you. The Regent employs various 21st-century learning ideas that have something to offer to everyone. It is also really important to pay attention in class; you’d be surprised how much of the information actually sticks so you don’t have to go home and read everything again. Take advantage of all the resources provided by the school, and work with your teachers to get the best out of the system which offers holistic education.”

Shreya is currently doing her Cambridge International A Levels.

All the top-performing students will receive certificates from Cambridge International in recognition of their achievements.

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