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Technology Will Support, Complement Teachers’ Efforts-Toyosi Akerele-Ogunsiji

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By chukwuemeka fred agbata

Massive open online courses have made it easy for people to gain access to quality education materials and training designed for international audiences. Thankfully, a few Startups in the Edutech space, are creating similar platforms, targeted at Primary and Secondary school students. Recently, I was with Toyosi Akerele-Ogunsiji, Founder, Passnownow.com and we had a discussion on the provision of quality education, through technology.

Toyosi stated that she is worried about the poor state of education that is currently persisting in the country. This, according to her, is the because, we are looking for people to effectively and conscientiously run our private sector as well as take the reign of the public sector. “We are not raising children that have any form of qualitative advantage with their colleagues in other parts of the world”, she, however, observed.

She is not also happy wit on the part of the government and even on the part of the private sector players, as regards elevating the quality of education, especially, the teachers. “I will like to be in a country where teachers are highly paid, given equal remuneration, equal respect and regards as much as bankers, lawyers and other prestigious professionals are”, she maintained.

Toyosi observed that most people who opt to become teachers in Nigeria, are usually those who have searched for other jobs, but did not succeed, as well as many unqualified teachers, who are, in some cases, not as good as the students they are teaching.

She also stated that many of the teachers are not motivated and they do not feel like stakeholders in a process where they are supposed to be the most primary people to be consulted by the government, parents and the private sector. “You think about all these issues and then, you wonder about the quality of the schools. You think about the children that are learning and sitting on the floor in very terrible environment, where no form of unwholesome  learning can happen in those places”, she observed.

Those children, she reiterated, cannot, therefore, be put side by side with children from Ghana, UK, Finland, Canada and the USA, and other countries that are prioritizing education. She gave the example of what is currently happening in Rwanda, where private schools are shutting down because parents are now taking their children to public schools because of the high quality of education currently obtained in public schools. Toyosi observed that, Nigeria cannot claim to be the giant of Africa, with the current poor state of its education.

In her opinion, Toyosi is of the view that, technology be a very potent tool in the transformation of the educational sector in Nigeria. The first thing she wants Nigeria to look at, is the democratization of access to quality education content for children, especially, children from low income earning parents and rural communities. She noted that the schools that we currently have, are inadequate to cater for the needs of Nigerian children.

“We should also be thinking of how technology will enable children to have personalized learning, so that, children are able to learn at their own pace, read ahead and prepare ahead of classes”, Toyosi opined. She stated that we should also be thinking of the concept of disruptive innovation, to note how technology has impacted on various sectors, like Finance, Payments, Ecommerce, etc.

Toyosi is also of the view that, contrary to the popular thinking that, utilizing technology in education is expensive, it is, in fact, not expensive. She stated that, it is cheaper to build a huge technological framework that provides an open source, where children can learn basic technology, basic science, social science and English, as well as all the subjects provided in the Nigerian educational curriculum, from Primary school to the University level. “You cannot use yesterday’s knowledge to face today’s challenges and the kind of education that Nigerian children are getting does not prepare them for the future at al”, she observed.

According to Toyosi, teachers and students have to be carried along by State governments, in a bid to making the children embrace technology. This is because, most States focus only on the children and at the end of the day, they fail, just because they did not carry the teachers, who were going to teach the children along.”The teachers who are going to teach these children have to be tech-savvy”, she opined.

Toyosi does not believe that, technology will, forever, support and complement the efforts of teachers, in response to the notion that technology might, one day replace the teachers in schools. “I think that, in Nigeria, the government and the parents need to prioritize teachers as much as possible”, she concluded.

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Google Sets Higher Bar for YouTube Partner Program

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Youtube winner.jpg

By peter oluka

Google, in an effort to regain advertisers’ trust, is announcing what it says are “tough but necessary” changes to YouTube monetization.

For one thing, it’s setting a higher bar for the YouTube Partner Program, which is what allows publishers to make money through advertising. Previously, they needed 10,000 total views to join the program. Starting today, channels also need to have 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of view time in the past year. (For now, those are just requirements to join the program, but Google says it will also start applying them to current partners on February 20.)

This might assure marketers that their ads are less likely to run on random, fly-by-night channels, but as Google’s Paul Muret writes, “Of course, size alone is not enough to determine whether a channel is suitable for advertising.”

So in addition, he said:

“We will closely monitor signals like community strikes, spam, and other abuse flags to ensure they comply with our policies. Both new and existing YPP channels will be automatically evaluated under this strict criteria and if we find a channel repeatedly or egregiously violates our community guidelines, we will remove that channel from YPP. As always, if the account has been issued three community guidelines strikes, we will remove that user’s accounts and channels from YouTube”.

Muret also described changes planned for the more exclusive Google Preferred program, which is supposed to be limited to the best and most popular content. Vlogger Logan Paul was part of Google Preferred until the controversy over his “suicide forest” video got him kicked out last week — a story that suggests some of the limitations to Google’s approach.

Moving forward, Muret said the program will offer “not only … the most popular content on YouTube, but also the most vetted.” That means everything in Google Preferred should be manually curated, with ads only running “on videos that have been verified to meet our ad-friendly guidelines.” (Looks like all those new content moderators will be busy.)

Lastly, Muret said YouTube will be introducing a new “three-tier suitability system” in the next few months, aimed at giving marketers more control over the trade-off between running ads in safer environments versus reaching more viewers, according to a report by TechCrunch.

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Suspected Herdsmen Kidnaps, Tortures Nollywood Star

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Calabar Chic

A victim of kidnapping along the Benin Bypass-Lagos highway, Calabar Chic, Nollywood actress and entertainer, has questions what the security operatives are doing to safeguard the lives and properties of Nigerians.

 

In an emotional Instagram post raw with feelings of despair, the actress called on the government to “wake up to its responsibilities.” She admonishes the federal government to “stop cooking excuses and take action.”

 

The actress made the call after she and friend she identifies as Dozie were kidnapped by heavily armed Fulani herdsman who robbed, beat and starved them of food and water. She revealed that the incident took place along the Benin Bypass-Lagos highway.

 

She stated they were held hostage for 4 days and were released after a ransom was paid on their behalf. She also said the men heavily armed have access to “different kinds of guns” and she wondered about “who supplies them with those weapons.”

 

The actress also said that the Fulani herdsmen boasted about killing them and having no regard for the sanctity of human life, saying no one will touch them.

 

Her words: “We go continue dey kill una all of you, nothing go happen! We no care about any human life we slaughter you into pieces and bury you nothing go happen“, the Fulani herdsmen told them.

 

See the post in full lightly edited for clarity

@calabar_chic:SO MANY QUESTIONS I WANT TO ASK BUT WHO WILL PROVIDE ANSWERS? OUR SECURITY AGENCIES? FEDERAL GOVT OR THE PRESIDENT HIMSELF?Because I’m still in shock, confused and wondering if we are safe in this country at all! “WHY HAS THE GOVT NOT SHOWN ANY WILLINGNESS TO CHECKMATE THESE MURDEROUS FULANI HERDSMEN? WHY? ATTACKING, MAIMING AND KILLING PEOPLE FREELY! “THESE ANIMALS WHO SEE KILLING AS A HOBBY! THEY ARE NOT SHAKEN OR SCARED LIKE THEY TOLD MY FRIEND DOZIE AND I WHEN THEY HELD US HOSTAGE IN THAT FOREST: ‘We go continue dey kill una all of you, nothing go happen! We no care about any human life we slaughter you into pieces and bury you nothing go happen’ My heart froze, I was paralyzed with fear!These animals as I will forever refer to them carry out these operations at ease as this happened just a few poles away from SARS office on Benin Bypass/ Lagos road.

On that Monday they stormed the highway around midday opened fire on our car took us off the highway after robbing us of cash and other valuables. At first, we thought they were just armed robbers until we walked for almost 2hrs deep into the forest with them then it dawned on me that this was not just robbery.

“(They) kept us for 4 horrible days inside that scary dangerous forest, starved us – no food or water for 2 days until the third day when they served us unclean water to drink. MY GOD!!!

“Or the unripe pineapple they forced us to eat on the third day that got my whole mouth teeth and gum bleeding! How could I even sleep? With ants, bugs spiders and other deadly insects crawling all over your body and you dare not scream!

4 horrible days accompanied by constant slaps and kicking at the slightest provocation. The different kinds of guns they had on them, and I kept asking myself ‘HOW DO THEY GET THESE AMMUNITIONS? WHO SUPPLIES THEM THOSE WEAPONS? Different rifles including their daggers and cutlass with which they flogged us with.

“We survived through all of it not because of sheer luck! Of course, money was involved but some other people might not get so lucky.

MEANWHILE SECURITY OPERATIVES IN NIGERIA SHOULD WAKE UP TO THEIR RESPONSIBILITIES! FEDERAL GOVERNMENT STOP COOKING UP EXCUSES AND TAKE ACTION!”

 

 

 

 

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Controversy @ COSON as Okoroji, Omorogbe Lay Claims to Chair

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The last big news to come from the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) in 2017 was the replacement of its long-term head Tony Okoroji with artist manager Efe Omorogbe.

Efe Omorogbe.

 

According to www.musicinafrica.net, for some, the news might have come as a surprise: Okoroji had come to be synonymous with the body.

 

For others, the report might have come on the wings of predictability, as the former boss and the organisation he presided over had been in and out of several lawsuits over the years.

 

But according to a statement issued by Omorogbe, Okoroji, who was voted out of his position on 7 December by the COSON board, was deposed for other reasons, including the board’s “dissatisfaction with the clear conflict between him acting as Executive Chairman of COSON, and him acting as a contractor and consultant to COSON”; “Dissatisfaction with the continued engagement of companies owned by fellow directors”; and “Disapproval of the manner of handling of an earlier petition by Premier Music Publishing Company Ltd”.

 

The statement, which is titled Beyond The Noise, Mob Action And Drama: Why Okoroji Was Sacked As Coson Chairman, also noted that the board was unhappy with the terms of negotiation pertaining to the renovation of the COSON building in Ikeja, Lagos. Omorogbe’s statement was partly a response to an earlier article by Okoroji titled Take 5 Efe Omorogbe.

 

Following his removal, Okoroji convened a meeting on 19 December in which he was reinstated as head of COSON, a move Omoregbe describes as “showcasing Okoroji’s desperation to remain board chairman at all cost” because he is afraid of “the possibility of probe”.

 

Omorogbe also sets down his personal impression of Okoroji, writing that, “After a decade of dealing with Okoroji one-on-one, my opinion of him is crystal clear – he has become the biggest threat to the process of growing COSON into a world class organization”. Nonetheless the current head of COSON acknowledges that “Okoroji has done some measure of commendable work in the growth of COSON.”

 

 

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