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i4ITCB partners Oracle Academy, NCS to hold Seminar for STEM lecturers in South East

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L-R: Sefunmi Fadahunsi; Country Programs Manager, Sub-Saharan Africa, Oracle Academy, Engineer Iyiola Ayoola; Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), Dele Bayo-Osibo; Founder, Initiative for Information Technology Capacity Building, i4itcb, Prof. Hettie Abimbola Soriyan, Lecturer at Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State and Dr. Olufemi Oyenuga, Chief Customer Architect, ECEMA, Oracle Africa at the seminar.
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The Initiative for Information Technology Capacity Building (i4itcb) has called for improved pedagogy among Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) tutors in the South Eastern part of Nigeria.

 

The Non-Governmental Organization, made this emphasies at a one-day Academia’s & Technology Seminar for STEM lecturers held at Universal Hotel, Indepedence Layout, Enugu in collaboration with the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) and Oracle Academy which demonstrated educational curriculum resources to aid the educators impart their students.

 

Speaking at the seminar themed: Teaching for Industry Relevant STEM Skills’, Prof. Hettie Abimbola  Soriyan, Lecturer at Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State, said that STEM teachers need a change in their mindset to be able to win-back students to the classrooms.

 

She said, “They are working with a generation that does not show as much interest in class room lectures as it was in times gone by, because their interest in technology, especially social media has increased in leaps, almost as a disadvantage.

 

“So, lecturers need to leave our comfort zones to train ourselves to use that technology to reach out to the students. Engage the students; give them some things to think about, analyse and present their thoughts.

 

“From the exercise we did here, the participants now have a better understanding of areas that need improvement on their part.

 

“If teachers transpose skills learnt from the exercise into system development analysis, it is clear, more work is required on the part of the Lecturers.

 

“I recommend that programs like this should be spread over two to three days; as there are still lots to discuss about how to win-back the students”.

Cross section of Speakers and participants at the seminar.

Prof. Soriyan, emphasised need to transform the same technology students are using to their advantages.

 

“When you want to give assignment link it to social media and recent topics. They like watching videos like cartoons. Let’s test them based on those areas.

 

“We have to appreciate the fact that their’s is a generation that is tech-savvy only for use and consumption and are not interested in developing technology parse. So, teachers need to change the dynamics”, she added.

 

Engr Iyiola Ayoola, Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS),  said that from the theme it is obvious that participants have been exposed to the need to teach computer science or IT courses in the relevant way; that is, to galvanize the economy into fourth industrial revolution.

 

“When we refer to the fourth industrial revolution, it implies that IT has penetrated every facet of human endeavour. As a result, we are seeing technological disruptions today.

 

“So, we are talking about lecturers and teachers of Computer Science courses; they should be able to stay ahead of the class and the result is graduates who are ready to conquer in this technological dispensation.

 

“We have many IT courses now in Big Data, Robotics, Mobile Internet, Internet of Things (IoT), Blockchain, Virtual Reality; these are disruptions in the IT industry that should be taught with the relevant tools and revamped curriculum.

 

“Definitely, there is no dull student; when taught in the right manner, each student will find one area as relevant to him or her”, Engr. Ayoola reechoed.

 

During her presentation, the Country Programs Manager, Sub-Saharan Africa, Oracle Academy, Sefunmi  Fadahunsi, reiterated the global IT giant’s determination to impact next generation of professionals through free educational resources around STEM that teachers and schools can leverage on to deliver quality teaching and learning experience.

 

In her words: “It means that students need to be engaged practically to be able to learn STEM so that they can have skills relevant in the industry.

 

“All the resources Oracle Academy has for them is free. The resources are industry relevant. In other words, what the students will learn through Oracle Academy is the same as our customers are subscribing to, to drive their businesses; Java, Database, IoT, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning resources, curriculum and software resources – all free for both the teachers and the students.

 

“That is what we have brought to the South Eastern States and we hope to continue working with them for the advancement of Computer Science Education”.

 

Meanwhile, the Founder, Initiative for Information Technology Capacity Building, i4itcb, Dele Bayo-Osibo, explained the rationale behind the seminar.

 

“What informed our coming to the South East is that, we have a vision to improve the footprints of Information Technology professionals in the polity.

 

“What we have decided to do is to move from region to region and carry out this impartation of knowledge.

“The Idea is that we will, overtime, close the gap between the industry and the academia. We believe in moving from ‘Knowledge to Impact’; which is our slogan.

 

“And as such, we want to impart knowledge in the academia because we believe they are critical stakeholders in this move to improve IT technicians, professionals in the polity”, Bayo-Osibo said.

 

Highpoint of the seminar was a debate on the positive and negative impacts of Artificial intelligence in human society with two lecturers emerging winners; and took home new laptop each presented by i4itcb.

 

Assessing the debaters, the Chief Customer Architect, ECEMA, Oracle Africa, Dr. Olufemi Oyenuga, said: “I can feel the energy among the Teachers in the South Eastern part of Nigeria.

 

“The energy is really positive. There is also the DNA of South Eastern part of Nigeria wanting to learn. I have never seen quite an astonishing debate on AI as these University professors and doctors did.

 

“They actually connected the knowledge, application and future of AI to some basic things about our life and culture.

 

“I think the convener of the programme has done a fantastic job because she had planted a seed, let’s watch out it grows and bears much fruits.

 

“Secondly, I think it is going to connect and open up tributes of knowledge on fourth industrial revolution in Nigeria looking at things like 5G, AI, IoT, Big Data Analytics, Machine Learning, as the fulcrum to the next technological advancement we are in; not necessarily looking at the entire gambit rather taking it in bits.

 

“So, the learning methodology must change for a transmission and transformation of knowledge into fourth industrial revolution”.

 

Nodding in agreement, Mayowa Ajiboye of TechX Innovation Hub located in Enugu State, said, “I believe that there should be synergy between the universities and technology innovation hubs in the South East, because universities possess the brain-power for innovation.

 

“But I noticed that over the years, it has never been so with regards this part of the country. That is why hubs are springing up.

 

“Nevertheless, the bulk of the ideas are still in the universities, so they need to synergise with all the hubs around as fast as possible to translate the energy and ideas into valuable products. With the hubs, they can easily get their models very correctly”.

Ugo Onwuaso is an ICT enthusiast. He believes technology should be used for general good. He holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the Lagos state University.

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MTN Bars Staff from HQ over Threats by NANS to Disrupt Operations

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Management of MTN Nigeria has directed staffs to stay away from its headquarters in Lagos today in case the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) and some other youth-based groups make good their threats to picket the telecom giant over xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa.

 

MTN Nigeria is a subsidiary of MTN Group South Africa, which came under threat along with other companies with South African connections over the continuous attacks and killings of Nigerians in South Africa.

 

According to TheCable, MTN Nigeria received a letter from NANS and other of the planned picketing.

 

“Right now, I am talking to you from my house. They told us to stay at home because they are scared that the picketing might turn violent.

 

“The last time that the NLC guys came, some staff sustained injuries and they want to avoid that at the moment.

 

“We might still go but they want to monitor the situation first.”

 

TheCable understands that the associations are displeased with the killings of Nigerians in South Africa, thus they made plans to protest at South African businesses.

 

There have been recorded cases of Nigerians losing their lives in xenophobic attacks in South Africa.

 

The latest record of a Nigerian who lost their life in South Africa is Elizabeth Ndubisi-Chukwu, deputy director-general of Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN), who was killed in her hotel room.

 

At 12pm, the company dispatched buses to pick up staff so normal activities could resume.

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GSMA Signs £38M Funding Partnership with DFID

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The GSMA has announced that it has signed a thirty-eight million-pound partnership with the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID).

The ‘Partnership for Inclusion, Innovation and Scale’ will provide funding for the GSMA’s Mobile for Development work on digital inclusion, digital identity, energy, water, sanitation and the reduction of the mobile gender gap. It will also include two new areas of focus: disability and climate.

“This landmark partnership with DFID reinforces the joint power and potential of the private and public sectors working together and ensures that we will continue our crucial role of stimulating digital innovation to deliver both sustainable business and large-scale socio-economic impact for the underserved,” said Mats Granryd, Director General, GSMA.

“This project reinforces our commitment to supporting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and using the power of technology to reduce global inequalities.”

The partnership will unearth critical insights on the needs of the underserved and identify and invest in mobile-enabled innovations and business models which can drive inclusion at scale. New technologies and business models, such as mobile money and pay-as-you-go (PAYG) solar energy, have been crucial to delivering socio-economic impact to the underserved.

DFID, one of the world’s first donors to embrace digital technologies, has been at the forefront of these innovations.

The GSMA’s Mobile for Development programme is experienced in bringing digital innovations to scale, by engaging the private sector, especially mobile operators and digital innovators.

The new partnership builds on the GSMA’s long-standing relationship with DFID. Since 2013, over 20 million lives across 39 countries have been impacted, of which over 70% have been women. The link-up has already impacted all 17 SDGs, in particular SDG 5 which focuses on Gender Equality, SDG 10 which focuses on Reduced Inequalities and SDG 7 which looks at Affordable and Clean Energy.

The GSMA’s Mobile for Development programme was established to drive innovation in digital technology to reduce inequalities in the world. In particular, the programme aims to deliver sustainable business and large-scale socio-economic impact for the underserved.

The programme sits at the intersection of the mobile ecosystem and the development sector and provides unique research and insights, and in-market expertise that unites the mobile industry, tech innovators, governments and the development community.

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Yolanda Cuba joins MTN as Group Chief Digital and Fintech Officer

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MTN Group has announced appointment of Yolanda Cuba as Group Chief Digital and Fintech Officer.

 

Yolanda will join the MTN Group Executive Committee reporting to the Group CEO Rob Shuter.

 

In this role Yolanda will lead the Group’s strategic expansion of its financial services and digital solutions efforts and transformation into a digital operator.

 

Yolanda brings extensive telecommunications and leadership experience to MTN Group.

 

She joins MTN Group from Vodacom, where she served as Chief Officer of Strategy and M&A.

 

She was previously the CEO of Vodafone Ghana for a three-year period, a role that saw her named Telecom CEO of the Year in 2018.

 

“This role gives me the opportunity to drive digital innovation and financial inclusion across the Group’s vast footprint.

 

“I’m really looking forward to the new challenge and being part of the MTN leadership team”, said Yolanda.

 

Rob Shuter said, “We are very pleased to bring an executive of Yolanda’s calibre into MTN Group.

 

“Yolanda is a highly qualified and experienced executive, with a unique combination of operational telecommunications experience as well as finance, financial services and digital skills.

 

“I am confident that Yolanda’s leadership will place us in good stead as we intensify our efforts to build a digital ecosystem and scale our fintech offering across our markets”.

 

Under Yolanda’s leadership, MTN will continue to progressively grow the fintech and digital opportunities in Africa as we see these areas as major drivers of our BRIGHT growth strategy. Yolanda’s start date will be communicated in due course.

 

 

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