Mobile phones can soon be used to help teachers improve English language literacy skills among primary school students in Nigeria. The project is being launched by UNESCO and Nokia, with support from the British Council and the National Teachers’ Institute of Nigeria.
Participating teachers will sign up for a mobile service called “English Teacher”, which sends teachers educational content and messages with pedagogical advice once a day.
The messages are organized into thematic modules and include images and exercises. The service runs on the popular Nokia Life+ platform and is one of the first attempts to employ mobile technology to improve tools for primary school teachers.
On May 2 and 3, UNESCO and Nokia will host a training seminar with teachers from almost 50 different schools in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) of Nigeria, where the project is being piloted.
”English Teacher” leverages a technology that is already owned and used by a majority of Nigerian educators. Over 90 percent of Nigerians have access to a mobile network, and mobile phones are fast becoming a major gateway to the internet. This means that the service is available to most people, including teachers in difficult areas such as the northern states, where educational needs are most urgent.
“Our aim from the beginning was to develop a service that teachers working in difficult conditions and without a great deal of support could access quickly,” said Steven Vosloo, the project coordinator for UNESCO.
“Mobile technology is a promising avenue and, in some instances, the only option in terms of technology.”
“English Teacher” is available to anyone in Nigeria without a subscription fee. It is hosted on the popular Nokia Life+ platform, which offers an extensive menu of content and covers topics as diverse as education, health, agriculture, and entrepreneurship.
When teachers sign up for the service they receive daily messages designed to improve and support their instruction.
The content was developed by the British Council and draws on the organization’s 75 years of experience building resources for English language teachers.
Thematically-organized and sequential modules, generally broken across one or two week periods, promote strategies to encourage learner independence, cultivate different learning preferences, and prompt educators to reflect on their teaching practice, while providing links to relevant outside resources. The programme runs for 72 weeks and begins whenever a user signs up for the service.
“We are delighted to partner with UNESCO in launching the ‘English Teacher’ service and provide high-quality professional development services to primary grade English teachers across Nigeria,” said Jawahar Kanjilal, VP and Global Head of Nokia Life.
“English teachers using the service will benefit from the rich learning experiences presented in an engaging manner through the Nokia Life+ web app.”
The mobile technology project in Nigeria reflects UNESCO and Nokia’s commitment to enlist technology in the global effort to promote literacy and equitable access to education.
The educational challenges facing Nigeria are daunting. Some 42 percent, or roughly 10.5 million primary age children, are out-of-school, and those girls and boys who do attend are struggling to learn basic literacy and numeracy. This has resulted in one of the highest adult illiteracy rates in the world.
“We’re in Nigeria because this is where we are most urgently needed,” said Mark West, a UNESCO project officer involved in the training in Abuja. He added: “While it would be nice to offer in-person training to teachers, there are 575,000 primary school teachers in the country and more are needed to achieve universal primary education. We need to enlist all tools at our disposal to confront serious educational challenges and this absolutely includes technology.
Because a majority of Nigerian teachers own or have access to a mobile device, an educational service that utilizes these devices has the potential to reach not just thousands but tens of thousands of teachers. This wasn’t possible before. The rapid uptake of mobile technology in Africa has made it realistic to reach teachers who were, practically speaking, unreachable just a few years ago. It is exciting work, and we hope the project provides a model others borrow, emulate and improve upon.”
NCC Arrests Man for Hacking into DSTV System
Nigeria Copyright Commission (NCC), has arrested one Mr Aliu Olalekan, for allegedly hacking into DSTV system and watching the channels free without subscription.
Mr Matthew Ojo, NCC Director in the Lagos Directorate Office said this while speaking with newsmen in Lagos, on Tuesday.
He said that the suspect used to watch DSTV channels free without subscription on his Android phone via an app which he downloaded on google play store.
“This suspect distributed the know-how to his telegram followers and on his blog with the aim of gaining more followers and viewership on his blog and makes more money through google ad-sense.
“The operation was based on surveillance which had earlier been carried out by the Multi-choice team and verified by a copyright inspector, ” he said.
He added that the arrest was made in collaboration with a team of copyright inspectors led by the Head of Enforcement Department, Mr Charles Amudipe.
Others included; a team from Multichoice Nigeria led by Mr Umar Ibrahim and policemen from Lagos Command Headquarters, Ikeja.
Ojo said that the joint team conducted an anti-piracy operation at the premises of the culprit in Amukoko, Lagos.
According to him, the suspect was contacted on phone by a member of the operation team on the disguise of patronising him. “The suspect came out to meet the caller and in the process of discussion, he was apprehended.
“The suspect took the team to his resident. The squad paraded his one-room apartment and recovered his laptop and phones used in perpetrating the ungodly act. “He was arrested and brought to the copyright commission office for further investigation, ” he said.
Ojo said that, on getting to the commission’s office, the statement of the suspect was taken and the inventory of items seized from him taken. He said that investigation on the matter was still ongoing and if found guilty the suspect will be charged to court.
NCC, Digital Encode Support NITRA Innovative Tech Forum On Post-COVID-19 Strategies
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Nigeria’s telecommunications regulator and Digital Encode, Cybersecurity and Compliance advisory company, have indicated interest to partner with the Nigeria Information Technology Reporters Association (NITRA), the national umbrella body of ICT reporters, as it organizes a forum that will x-ray the industry’s future plans for ICT growth post pandemic era.
The event, slated to hold on October 15, 2020, will seek to discuss the needs for a fortified ICT sector after the COVID-19 era, and the level of preparedness of ICT stakeholders to embrace the challenge of being pivotal to the stability and growth of all other sectors.
A statement from NITRA National Secretariat in Lagos indicates that due to the pandemic and need to observe the COVID-19 protocol on social distancing, the event will be held via a Webinar.
This year’s theme, “Multi-stakeholder Approach To National Recovery Post-Pandemic”, is in line with the annual event’s generic theme, ‘NITRA Innovative Tech Forum’, a contribution by NITRA to the development of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) innovations and policies in Nigeria.
Prof. Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman, NCC is expected to deliver the keynote speech at the event and will throw more light on Federal Government’s plans, programmes and policies on post-pandemic strategies using ICT.
Dr. Adewale Obadare and Dr. Seyi Akindeinde, founders of Digital Encode, while accepting to support the event expressed their readiness to offer their expertise in Cybersecurity for organisations to prepare against cyber- attacks with the new normal.
They will also highlight areas that are high risks that need fortification in terms of cybersecurity.
Speaking on the event, Mr. Chike Onwuegbuchi, national chairman, NITRA, noted that as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to leave its negative trails across the globe, economic reboot for countries will not only depend on how well they readapt to the new normal, but also more on their recovery plans.
According to him: “While the federal government has consistently expressed its willingness to set all policies in place to engender growth, and accelerated implementation of these policies, private sector firms have also shown great hunger for the task ahead in post-COVID-19 era.
However, the question that needs to be answered is whether all stakeholders are ready for the required task ahead.”
The event will also offer participating companies opportunities to publicize some of their individual efforts at contributing to reacting a soft landing or lifeline for SMEs and other ancillary companies as the pandemic threatens their survival.
Digital Encode is a multi-award winning and leading consulting and integration firm that specializes in the design, management, and security of business-critical networks, telecommunications environments and other Information Technology (IT) infrastructures.
NCC Threatens Illegal Users of GSM Boosters with Arrest, Prosecution
Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) has warned telecom consumers to desist from using illegal GSM boosters.
The commission also said that anyone caught using a GSM booster without obtaining approval of a duly licensed network operator will face arrest and prosecution.
GSM boosters are devices that transmit and receive telecommunications signals and can therefore interfere with other radio frequency equipment.
Ikechukwu Adinde, director, public affairs, NCC, said in a notice published on NCC website, that only licensed network operators are allowed to use GSM boosters.
The booster, also known as amplifier or repeater is made up of three main elements – exterior antenna, amplifier, and interior antenna.
They form a wireless system to boost cellular reception
“Members of the public should note that, willful interference with any wireless telegraphy is an offence under Section 16 of the Telegraphy Act, 2004,”it said
The agency said it will not condone any flagrant breach of this law.
It has also enforced measures to prosecute offenders.
Accordingly, monitoring mechanisms have been put in place and anyone caught using a GSM booster without obtaining approval of a duly licensed network operator will face arrest and prosecution.
“Any member of the public with useful information regarding the illegal use of GSM Boosters should contact the Commission on 09-4617000/7351 or send an email to [email protected],” the notice said.
“Individuals desirous of using GSM Boosters should note that they can only do so in conjunction with licensed network operators,” it added.
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