Education

Importance of acknowledged certificates for online courses

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Furnishing one’s CV with a list of qualifications is essential to getting ahead in many sectors of the economy. This holds true throughout the world, including in Africa. Receiving a verified, acknowledged certificate for an online course makes that course a much more powerful tool in the eyes of employers. Internationally recognised certificates are particularly valuable, because they make it easier to use online courses not just in Africa but in other countries across the world.

The need for new and improved skills in Africa specifically
Studies have shown that ambition and entrepreneurship are thriving throughout the African continent, including throughout Sub-Sahara Africa. This was confirmed by the 2015 State of Education report, which was produced by UNESCO in collaboration with other organisations after extensive research. This report stated (p. 8) that it was in fact Sub-Sahara Africa that has made the greatest gains since 1999 in terms of children accessing education. In order for this ambition to materialise as something concrete, however, the right resources will be needed. Edtech, such as mobile apps and online courses (MOOC) is a fantastic (indeed, some might say essential) resource for developing and proofing skills. The beauty of e-learning is the fact that it enables poorly skilled people in areas with inadequate transport and education infrastructure to learn new skills without having to travel by participating in distance education.

 Online course providers in Africa

Africa is home to a wide variety of online course providers, offering everything from language learning courses to management qualifications. It is worthwhile to divide these online courses into three key groups:

  • Courses that offer no certificates
  • Courses that offer certificates but do not offer acknowledged certificates
  • Courses that offer acknowledged certificates.

As established above, courses that offer acknowledged certificates (certificates that are internationally recognised or that are properly accredited) are superior to the other two types of courses on the list. One example of an acknowledged certificate is the IELTS English language teaching certificate.

 Certificates and CV building
Building a good quality CV is crucial for ascending up the career ladder. Though some interview candidates can feel that having a large volume of certificates listed on their CV is a way of impressing employers, in fact this will mean little if those certificates are not acknowledged certificates. Employers and educational institutions tend to be very savvy about checking candidates’ CVs and identifying which certificates and qualifications are most trustworthy and respected. Additionally, possessing an acknowledge certificate makes it easier for an employer to compare you with other candidates who have the same certificate.

Paying for online education: consumer differences across Africa
Many Edtech providers such as Coursera want a fee for accredited certificates. Some consumers in Africa are able and willing to pay for certificates. These include students and entrepreneurs in richer areas, such as South Africa (Sub-Sahara Africa’s largest economy). However, in poorer areas of Sub-Sahara Africa, the majority of citizens are unable to afford to pay for a certificate. In countries such as Uganda, poverty is high and school attendance is low (72% of school aged children in Uganda are not in school). Demanding that customers pay for their certificates in countries such as these will only exacerbate an already existing gap between poor Africans with much ambition but fewer prospects and richer Africans who have the money they need to make their dreams reality and ascend through the career ladder. It is clear, therefore, that there are two viable solutions. The first is free distance education (for instance, mobile apps and other m-learning initiatives) or online education that is paid for by employers or universities rather than by the (often poor) students themselves.

 

Sensitivity to different requirements
Different target groups are happy with different levels of certification. For example, students wishing to apply for postgraduate studies in other countries will need internationally recognised certificates of their qualifications. Meanwhile, employers may require that current or potential employees undergo very specific in house or nationally designed training courses (which may or may not involve elements of e-learning and MOOC). For some Africans, on the other hand, a certificate will be nothing more than a physical way to mark the end of an m-learning course that they did for personal satisfaction, pure interest, or to learn new skills to help them in their work and daily life. Edtech developers and regulators need to be highly sensitive to these different requirements and their applicability to different target groups.

 

Compare e-learning options with a handy website
It is clear from the discussion above that the huge ambitions of Africans across the continent need to be put into action in order to build and improve African societies further for future generations. In today’s CV driven culture, accredited, acknowledged certificates are indispensable for proving to employers and educational institutions that a prospective student or employee has the necessary skills to complete the job or course of study that they are applying for – both in Africa and beyond. A wealth of online courses are available in Africa, and the market for them is growing steadily day by day. As such, students need to be able to compare courses and to find the one that best suits both their needs and their career ambitions. Visiting the website www.apps-for-learning.com is a fantastic way of finding and comparing educational apps and other e-learning technologies. Apps can be selected based on the learner’s region, the subject that they are interested in studying, and the level of recognition (for instance, international recognition) that they need for their qualifications. The best thing about these resources is that, whilst they offer accredited and acknowledged certificates, many of them are also free to use. This makes them perfect for poorer students in parts of Africa where a lack of educational infrastructure is letting learners down. Visit the Apps For Learning site today and start comparing educational resources.

M-learning is one of the relatively new applications which use the new internet and mobile phone based technologies to improve the access to some basic needs or skills, such as medical education, app based language learning or cheap online money transfers.

By the way: If you are interested in online money transfers, the leading providers and how it works, just check my remittance site.

Bio

Jens Ischebeck, African edtech specialist: Website publisher www.apps-for-learning.com.

The website presents and compares e-learning and mobile learning providers with a special focus on the African market. Tags are e-learning, m-learning, online courses (MOOC), medical exam preparations (MCAT & USMLE).

Follow me on my social media accounts: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google and Medium

M-Shule raises undisclosed funding from Engineers Without Borders to deploy its platform across Africa

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Kenya’s M-Shule, an edtech startup using SMS to deploy tailored education content for children in Sub-Saharan Africa has raised undisclosed funding from Engineers Without Borders Canada (EWB) to take its mobile learning management platform to 144 million primary school students across Sub-Saharan Africa.

According to Claire Mongeau, CEO and Founder of M-Shule, “We are excited and thrilled to work with EWB Ventures as a partner and investor, given their deep expertise, commitment to ongoing support, and shared focus on ground-breaking and sustainable change. This partnership will enable us to continue to innovate in primary school learning alongside our stakeholders, and scale our impact across the region.”

M-Shule uses artificial intelligence to create and deliver personalized learning experiences for each child and empower schools with insights all through SMS and web. As students engage with platform, the data is provided to parents, teachers, and school administrators and stakeholders for insights and opportunities.

Having launched in Nairobi, Kenya in 2017 from M-Lesson, M-Shule aims to scale to educate millions of children and learning communities around the African continent and the world. Mshule.com becomes the eighth venture to receive a cash investment from EWB Ventures the venture arm of Engineers Without Borders Canada (EWB) which invests up to $100,000 in ventures from concept to revenue. The Canadian firm chose M-Shule because its platform has a holistic and unifying approach and arms stakeholders in the primary school ecosystem with data-driven tools critical for improving the quality of education for all students.

“We are delighted to welcome M-Shule to our portfolio where they join other bold teams defiantly tackling some of the world’s most challenging problems,” said Nicky Khaki, Managing Director for EWB Ventures.

Being based in  Sub-Saharan Africa where around one billion children will need to be educated in the next three decades makes M-Shule so attractive to EWB. EWB also sees the current educational landscape as ill-equipped to handle this demand as millions of children are currently falling behind.
Though Sub-Saharan Africa has the fastest growing and the youngest population in the world, too many students are locked out of future opportunities due to issues such as high pupil-teacher ratios, high teacher absentee rates, and lost classroom time. Statistics show that up to 40% of students in SSA remain illiterate even after 5 years of school and 42% of SSA students drop out before the final year of primary school.There are just 28% of SSA students are enrolled in secondary school.
M-Shule aims to give equal opportunity for education to reduce prospects for economic growth and exacerbate issues such as hunger and child mortality as sustained access to equal education can increase income per capita by 23%.
Some of its competiton include Eneza Education and Kukua among others.

Kukua educational games set to launch in Africa to make learning more like Angry Birds

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Kukua, a game-based learning startup based in San Francisco is building mobile games to make learning fun and exciting to help kids in low-income areas learn theories and concepts and be at par with their counterparts world over.

The startup says it was inspired by some of the most engaging games in the world and brought together world literacy experts and cognitive psychologists to design a curriculum specifically for kids in low-income communities. The game reportedly takes the learners on an exploratory journey inspired by local culture, myth and folklore and compelling storylines to drive curiosity and awaken a love of learning.

Founded by Lucrezia Bisignani, Douglas Hoernle and Alexandre Terrien and Sabrina Bagus, Kukua believes that by teaching basic writing and reading skills, it could lift 171 million people out of poverty, effectively removing 12% of the world’s poverty. The firm says that out of the 250 million children present globally, just 200 million of them attend school but are still illiterate. It gets worse in Sub-Saharan Africa, where two thirds of illiterate children are located, 67% of students drop out before finishing primary school, and another 20% graduate illiterate.

With the growing smartphone adoption on the continent, the firm sees game-based learning as the future of literacy on the continent as the games could help create highly motivating and engaging learning environments unlike what’s being offered. Kukua aims to allow learners to learn at their own pace and get to appreciate both theoretical and practical learning for empowerment, critical thinking and active community participation. These lessons are expected to help improve economic growth, improved health conditions and gender equality.

At the moment, Kukua has SEMA, an adventure game that takes learners through obstacles to overcome, bosses to defeat and missions to finish. The game has practical lessons which kids would grow up to solve rather than the read and write-based curriculum that is currently taught.  The firm says game-based learning would motivate children to learn as the lessons are game-based, are on a tablet or a smartphone and the curriculum is online and is game-based. Kids were first fascinated with technology but after sometime their interest waned but the interest in games never reduced.

SEMA has been tested in Kenya and Gambia, and the games kept learners engaged month over month during the pilot phase in Kibera slums in Nairobi, Kenya where the school director agreed that the games motivated and engaged his pupils. The firm adds that to increase learner motivation and drive further engagement, it creates anticipation in learners through the map which helps learners visualize their progress, and expect a reward after they pass a level.

“It became even clearer to us after those tests that engagement is the key challenge. We’re on the right track – building a game with a local narrative that resonates with them – but we need to do more to make sure the gaming never stops. Never should it feel like players are back in a more academic setting. Of course, extending the gaming experience comes with its own risks, and we can’t sacrifice the quality of the educational content we provide. But one doesn’t necessarily come at the expense of the other and we’re excited to keep looking for the perfect balance,” announced the firm on its website.

Kukua will be taking on Kenya’s Eneza Education and M-Shule which basically digitize the current education system and do not introduce anything new out of the set curricular.

 

A glimpse into the Free Digital Literacy Course for Children of Little Drivers

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Little in conjunction with Craft Silicon Foundation recently launched a free Digital Literacy Program for Children of Little drivers. Here are the highlights of the program,

 

  • It is a four weekends exclusive crash program targeting children aged between 7 – 13 years.

 

  • The weekly batched sessions are planned for 4 hours, which intend to equip the Little Drivers’ children with relevant and practical ICT skills that will nurture technological competence as they grow up.

 

  • The Program dubbed “Smart Little Kids of Smart Little Drivers” will be conducted on Sundays at Craft Silicon Foundation ICT Centre.

 

  • The Digital Literacy program for little Kids will ensure that innovation is nurtured from an early stage, developing a generation for a smart future.

 

  • This is a loyalty program, for committed little drivers. The program is targeting over 1000 children of little drivers. Free Digital Literacy program is a flagship project under Craft Silicon Foundation – a corporate social responsibility initiative of Craft Silicon Limited.

 

  • The foundation uses solar powered mobile computer bus that ensures computer education reaches out to everyone at their door step in an environmental friendly and sustainable manner.“This is one of the value additions that Little is offering to its drivers and their families,” says Little and Craft silicon Foundation CEO Mrs. Priya Budhabbahatti. Although our focus is on improving Little customers’ experience, we also feel the need to empower our drivers both on economic and social grounds. And this is going to be the iota of the things to follow. We are already in discussions with various other organizations with similar beneficial programs to our drivers said Mrs. Priya.

 

 

 

This is a new benefit added to the kitties of the Little Drivers who are already enjoying various incentives from Little.

 

Little, Africa’s first mobile app for transportation, integrates city transportation for customers and driver partners onto a mobile technology platform.

 

 

Little also offer its services to the non-smartphone users in the country through its USSD solution – *826#. Using the mobile app, users across Kenya can conveniently book from thousands of our professional pool of drivers.

 

 

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Daystar University Students Locked Out of Graduation Claim System Irregularities, Discrimination & Tribalism at the Varsity

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Over 100 MBA & MA Daystar University students locked out of this year’s graduation are sighting irregularities at the University’s Research Bureau delaying students to clear the dissertation on time.

The students argue that the flawed system and some staff are behind the massive number of students who have been deleted from the graduation list at the last minute with zero communication for the graduation scheduled to take place this Saturday, July 1st July 2017.

“We have been submitted the bound thesis which are signed off by all relevant parties but the university has declined to our plea,” said the group. TechMoran has sent out an email to Daystar University to get more details.

According to the group, the irregularities include; supplementary fees besides normal school fees to Editors for students to be cleared sitting at Kshs 20,000/ which was never communicated at the commencement of the course. This fees is paid directly to the Editors and not the school yet the Research Head at the Research Bureau complains about substandard thesis drafts from supervisors. The set deadlines are released were released on email to a few on 21st June while the deadline was to be 23rd June with the graduation on 1st July 2017. This is impossible to meet since the University insists on one binding bureau maybe a way for the university to raise money. The supervision process is unbearable torture that has rendered majority of the students to drop out.

The group adds that the University’s Research Bureau lacks capacity and has only one professor assigned to read and approve over 200 theses from graduating students. The professor has been cited complaining of fatigue until she herself was unable to review the said documents within the required timelines by the University senate. How does such a big gap pass the Commission of University Education?

The students are calling for detailed audit and investigations by Commission of University Education as its detrimental to an institution of higher learning expected to produce future leaders in this Country. No wonder the job market has lurking professionals.

The students adds that despite several appeals and talking to the different University authorities, the VC Timothy Wachira has refused to hear them citing that the university is looking for a list to graduate in December.

All the powers in this university, lie with the VC yet he does not deal directly with the students. Some of the senior staff say ‘He is a semi god and that’s why students admission in Daystar has drastically reduced and those who are finishing are either pulling out before completion or extremely frustrated,” “It is his way or the highway the students” told TechMoran citing anonymity.

The student added that Daystar being a Christian non for profit organization and the most expensive private university in the country and once the most prestigious has been running continuous ads across the media to restore its lost glory and attract more students. Something it never had to do before.

“When the appeal results were released, some of the students were approved and some were discriminated without proper explanation. Infact, the VC refused to see us and refused to sign off the appeals made by the different deans of faculties. A VC who fails to understand the stakeholders has no reason being a VC,” said another student in the group. “The VC has made it clear that he is NOT going to talk to any students about graduation.”

After spending all the years at the institution, the students are wondering why the university is unwilling to see them graduate and join the job market yet the University stands to gain or lose nothing. Could it be a way of getting numbers for December graduation?

The students have sacrificed a lot not to mention the financial burden we put on our families to attain this degree by even offsetting family properties or taking bank loans to facilitate the hefty school fees bill. How will these students give positive recommendations after such torture?

Some of the students had already booked after graduation party venues with deposits and invited family and friends from around the Country & across East Africa. Who will reimburse this?

South Africa’s Feenix.org is to students what Kickstarter is to startups

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Feenix.org aims to break the cycle of poverty in South Africa by connecting students to donors locally or globally to contribute to their education in Africa’s second biggest economy but most advanced and expensive education system.

Feenix aims to give opportunity to the public get involved  in a students education to help them get through their degrees or give them the tools they need for a better South Africa. The platform allows students to tell their story to stand out from the rest and then users can give from as little as R50 to a student’s education.

The crowdfunding portal is run by Feenix trust as a Public Benefit Organisation with support from Standard Bank and developed by Byte Orbit. Feenix will be run by a small group of young South Africans entrepreneurs, passionate about South Africa, and the difference education can make in people’s lives.

Crowdfunding is not a new concept as communities have always come together across Africa and across the world to help support each other in funerals, deaths and celebrations and weddings. Even education in Africa has been a community thing and people have always contributed generously. The only difference is that technology brings it only and to many more people than gatherings.

There are various such platforms across Africa though not focused only on education but they include Kenya’s M-Changa, ImpartFund and Donate-ng and Goodgivi.ng. Most of them work like global crowdfunding platforms Kickstarter and Indiegogo but Feenix’s main focus in student education in South Africa and nothing less where students have gone to streets to protest against high tuition for college and university courses.

Andela Launches In Kampala, Uganda To Meet Growing Demand for Software Developers

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Technology software learning startup, Andela has launched in Kampala, Uganda, its third African market after Kenya and Nigeria to help technology companies build high-performing engineering teams with Africa’s most talented software developers.

Andela says it has already signed up 800 developers in the city after a May call for applications from which 8 were accepted into its first ever cohort in Uganda.

“The Kampala tech scene is vibrant, growing, and full of entrepreneurial spirit and untapped potential,” says Andela Chief Strategy Officer Wambui Kinya. “Andela is excited to support and contribute to the growth of the Ugandan tech ecosystem by providing a hub for brilliant minds to learn and collaborate.”

According to a recent Indeed report, there will be 1.3 million software development jobs created in the next ten years and only 400,000 domestic computer science graduates to fill them.

With 70% of its population below the age of 25 — the second youngest country in the world — Uganda represents a massive opportunity for Andela to equip the next generation of technologists and innovators in Kampala with the expertise they need to accelerate the advancement of their local communities through technology.  As the global technology market continues to grow at a rapid pace, companies are looking outside of local markets to find top development talent.

Andela aims to bridge this talent gap by connecting Africa’s most talented developers with the companies looking for them. In the past three years, the company has grown from a founding team of six to over six hundred employees based in its Lagos, Nairobi, San Francisco and New York offices. Four hundred of those are Andela Developers, the majority of whom are working as full-time engineering team members at high-growth technology companies.

“When we launched in Nigeria three years ago, there’s no way we could have predicted how much of a continent-wide phenomenon Andela would become,” says co-founder and CEO Jeremy Johnson. “The response we’ve received from the technology community in Uganda over the past year has been overwhelming and has made it clear why Uganda is a natural next step on our path to unlocking the potential of thousands of world-class developers across the continent.”

Founded in 2014, Andela has raised $40M in venture funding from investors including Mark Zuckerberg’s Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, GV (formerly Google Ventures) and Spark Capital. With more than 80 current company partners and growing demand, Andela is on track to nearly double its base of elite, Africa-based software developers by the end of the year.

 

Nigeria’s Tuteria wins the £25,000 Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation

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Finalist Godwin Benson from Nigeria wins the 3rd Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation. The event was held at the Radisson Blu hotel in Nairobi, Kenya. Godwin Benson wins with his innovation Tuteria which helps students to find a skilled tutor in their area and within their budget.

Nigeria’s  Tuteria.com, an online platform that links students to qualified tutors in their area and within their budget has won this year’s Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation taking home £25,000 in cash.

Africa Prize judge Rebecca Enonchong said: “Education is one of the best investments we can make in our communities, and Godwin’s innovation has amazing potential for the continent. We urge him to keep persevering. We can’t wait to see how Tuteria grows.”

Designed by 27-year-old Godwin Benson, Tuteria helps users find the skill they want to learn on an app on their phone, set their budget, and wait to be connected to the nearest tutor. Benson says he developed the platform based on the experiences he had as a young tutor. An important part of the service is that both students and teachers are thoroughly vetted before being allowed to use the platform.

The scope of skills on offer ranges from learning to play the piano, sew clothes, learn a new language and more. Tutors also cover a range of academic subjects for all ages. The platform has a ratings system, and students book lessons using an upfront online payment system. Tutors are paid once the lessons have been confirmed, and Tuteria takes 15 to 30% commission for each paid lesson.

The Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation, founded by the Royal Academy of Engineering in the UK, encourages talented sub-Saharan African engineers, from all disciplines, to develop local solutions to challenges in their communities. The Prize selects a shortlist of innovators from across the continent and provides training and mentoring to help turn engineers with incredible ideas into successful entrepreneurs.

Launched in 2014, the Prize aims to stimulate, celebrate and reward engineers who have developed innovations that will benefit Africans.

The three runners up, who each win £10,000, are:

  • Andre Nel from South Africa for the GreenTower Microgrid system, which reduces the energy used to heat water by 90%. A single unit can service 15 homes and reduce electricity demand from a community by 65%.
  • Hindu Nabulumba from Uganda for the Yaaka Digital Learning Network, which teachers and students can use to share academic knowledge and materials.
  • Kelvin Gacheru from Kenya for the Mobi-Water system, which allows water tank users to monitor and control the water in their tanks remotely using a mobile phone. Users will be able to save more than 30% of their water.

The fourth Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation is now open for applications. The deadline for entries is 24 July 2017.

The other shortlisted innovators from the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation also received six months of mentorship and training. They are:

  • Arnold Achiri and the Traveler team from Cameroon, for a mobile software system that monitors public transport to improve safety.
  • Alex Makalliwa from Kenya for Electric Tuk-Tuks and off-grid solar-powered charging stations.
  • Aline Okello and the Rainwater Harvesting App team from Mozambique, which helps users set up rainwater harvesting systems tailored to their area.
  • Brian Turyabagye from Uganda with the Mama-Ope smart jacket that helps doctors identify pneumonia faster and more accurately.
  • Edwin Inganji from Kenya developed the Usalama mobile phone app to speed up the reaction time of Kenya’s emergency services.
  • Fredrick Ouko from Kenya with Riziki Source, a web and text message-based platform that connects people with disabilities to jobs and employers.
  • James van der Walt from South Africa with the SolarTurtle mobile power station, that provides instant electrification whenever it’s needed.
  • Joel King’ori Kariuku from Kenya developed the Sisal Decorticator, a mechanised peeler, that makes natural sisal fibre processing more profitable.
  • Lawrence Ojok from Tanzania designed the Green Rock Drill as a solar-powered alternative to modern fossil-fuel rock drills for artisanal miners.
  • Peter Mbiria from Kenya with the E-Con Wheelchair, an all-in-one wheelchair that can go off-road, climb stairs and stand upright, and auto-navigate.
  • Sesinam Dagadu from Ghana developed CodeRed, a logistics app that reduces emergency response times using a custom mapping system for urban areas.
  • Dr Wilfred Fritz from South Africa with the Water&Solar100 lightweight portable solar-cooker that tracks the sun automatically.

 

 

RTI Receives $2M From Google to Expand its School Tablet Program to Uganda, Malawi & Nepal

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Tangerine:Tutor, an open-source data light learning platform pre-installed on tablets for schools, an iniative of RTI International’s Tusome (Swahili for Let’s Read) program has received $2m in grants from Google.org to improve learning amongst lower primary pupils in all public schools in Kenya through the use of ICT.

According to Michael Murungi, Google Manager for Policy, East Africa, “We believe every student deserves access to quality education and recognise that technology can play a vital role in creating richer learning environments.”

With the funds, RTI International will enhance the Tangerine:Tutor Platform, procure and deploy the devices, mostly tablets. Google.org’s technical expertise will help RTI to update Tangerine:Tutor’s technical infrastructure and open-source documentation to scale to other educational systems, including  Uganda, Malawi and Nepal, in pursuit of their five-year goal of supporting teachers to reach 4 million students.

Tangerine:Tutor: is the first national tablet deployment in education in Kenya and hopes to expand to Uganda, Malawi and Nepal. Over 1150 Educational zones have been trained and provided with tablets loaded with Tangerine:Tutor. Tablets have also been provided to the County Directors of Education, Sub-County Directors of Education, the Teachers Service Commission County Directors and the Quality Assurance and Standards Field Staff. These tablets are loaded with instructional materials to help them manage, support and supervise the CSOs in their respective counties under the Tusome program.

Tusome is a collaboration between RTI International, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (UKAID) . The program utilises innovative data-based instructional improvement methods in reading and use of ICT integrated support through tablets which are installed with an openly licensed mobile platform (“Tangerine: Tutor”) designed by RTI International and optimized for low bandwidth use, ensuring access to curricula content even in remote/rural parts of the country.

The $2m grant is part of a broader Ksh 5 billion ($50 Million) commitment from Google.org to help close global education gaps.

 

Talanta Test is an online evaluation platform to enable you align your passions to a well paying career

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Talanta Test is a product of Dream Culture EA, an online passion to career evaluation platform that enables students and adults to align their passion to a matching career.

Founded in Kenya by Macmillan Wambua and Ansel Melly, Dream Culture East Africa aims to offer online career evaluation services on the web and was launched when the founders observed the problem that High School is the critical point at which students make their first career decision by choosing what subjects to study; yet with minimal or unreliable career guidance.

“We created the solution, an online career evaluation platform for career evaluation. Our solution enables students to make sound career decisions easier, faster and cheaper,” Macmillan told TechMoran.

The Talanta Test works simply. Users go to www.dreamculture.co.ke and click take test, then register and log in. They then select tjeir method of payment and pay KSH 99 ($1) either via mobile money, Visa, Mastercard or any form of online payments available. They take the test of 40 questions and click submit and lastly download their PDF report.

The evaluation process takes 10-15 minutes and has so far served 869 people. Talanta Test’s primary target is the Form 1 and 2 students who are yet to choose their senior high school subjects. However, the firm believes the over 2,000,000 students in High School every year in Kenya stand to benefit from their career evaluation service.

“High school leavers and aspiring college students who are undecided about their careers can also take the Talanta Test for guidance,” he said. “Interestingly, we have seen parents and guardians take it up upon themselves to evaluate their students to make informed career decisions. We have also observed heads of career guidance departments in secondary schools use our platform as a tool to guide their students.”

Though many students want to take the classes, Macmillan says the challenge of lack of access to Internet is huge and at times it administers the test in printed form, take the forms to its data entry team, enters the data to its system for analysis, prints the reports and takes the results back to the students. This takes them more time and resources and thus costs KSH 250 per student.

Locally, jobs and career platform Fuzu and My Career Identity offer this services too and they provide person to person counseling. Talanta Test is unique in that its service is standardized and fully automated.

“Our system does not get tired or like some students over others. We provide our service online. Therefore, our service is conveniently available to a user wherever they are, whenever they want and needless to say, we are at least 10 times cheaper,” added Macmillan.

Talanta Test evaluates students passion against all career fields taught in Kenyan colleges  and universities and shows their passion’s match to their career fields by percentage.

After taking the Talanta Test, a user gets a Talanta Test Report instantly. The report shows clearly how their passion and interests match with different career fields thus enabling them to choose their most suitable career. Macmillan says the team is working to diversify Talanta Test with a new feature with which we will be able to test a student’s competence in subjects alongside their passion and interests.

Secondly, it’s also working to take its service to neighboring countries in East Africa and hopefully all of Africa. Thirdly, the team sees Talanta Test as just the beginning of Kenyan made computer aided personal decisions as it shall continue to develop online platforms that help individuals make hard decisions and navigate through life smoothly.

Ebursary.com launches to connect students to scholarships across Africa

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Founded by Denis Gachoki, Ebursary.com is a bursaries and Scholarships web platform meant to revolutionize the way scholars find and apply for bursaries in the country.

According to Gachoki, by allowing for online application of bursaries, more students across Africa will easily search through a large database of bursaries and apply for them online.

Growing up, Gachoki says the most frustrating thing about his primary and Secondary education was the number of times he was sent home for school fees. More frustrating, was the long duration he would stay at home as his parents struggled to raise school fees.

The only education support funds known to him was the CDF bursary. However, the highest amount the local CDF Committee would issue in bursaries was 2,500Ksh per term; which was quite a small amount to offset the arrears.

“One day, My high school class teacher called me into her office and told me how sorrowful she was every time I’d be sent home for school fees. The sincerity of her words made me shed tears. After that meeting, my only prayer was that some well wisher would just discover me and my big ambitions,” Gachoki told TechMoran.

Realizing how time consuming and tedious the process of finding
scholarships and bursaries in Africa is, he created Ebursary.com to help other students to easily search through a large database of
(high school, undergraduate & postgraduate) bursaries and scholarships. Users then receive a report of matching bursaries based on their particular criteria search.

The platform works simply. A user signs up, completes their profiles then they can search through the database of available scholarships, then they can go ahead and apply by submitting more data about themselves and filling the online forms.

Organizations can see the applicants’ profile to determine the most
needy students and track the impact of their bursary funds. There are also alerts on new scholarships and bursaries for students users.

The firm expects to make money by offering premium services such as scholarship applications, writing motivational letters and event partnership with universities and organizations offering scholarships.

Gachoka says the platform aims to help connect bright needy students across Africa to financial aid opportunities. Now backed by him, his family and friends, eBursary aims to set up a foundation to discover and sponsor bright needy students through school to see the next generation of African Leaders, Engineers, Doctors
and professionals.

Edly aims to raise the standards of education by lifting the load off SA’s stressed teachers

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Edly, a new cloud-based platform has launched in South Africa with an aim to raise the standards of education by lightening the load for SA’s stressed teachers.

Edly, developed by DataDIGEST, comprises three integrated apps based on the insight that better results are achieved when parents, teachers and students collaborate. The edly Behaviour and edly Attendance apps allow teachers to easily track, record and share with other teachers class attendance and student behaviour, while edly Note! sends real-time reports to parents.

According to DataDIGEST CEO David de Villiers: “We believe teachers are the key to a great education and that’s why we develop solutions that empower them in the classroom. Here in South Africa, social challenges and syllabi that keep changing are just some of the challenges teachers face. With edly we hope to at least help lighten their administrative load.”

Villiers says that Edly will open its platform to more developers to integrate more apps to save teachers time and make their job easier.

The platform is highly customisable, so schools can create their own unique presets to suit, for example, their particular code of conduct.


“DataDIGEST is passionate about education, so for us it’s a fantastic achievement to be able to contribute to its development through edly. We look forward to seeing the platform grow and giving every teacher in South Africa the opportunity to experience its positive outcomes in their schools,” concludes DataDIGEST COO Alastair Christian.

15-year-old high-school student creates model for a solar-powered airport

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A 15-year-old student from Aga Khan Academy Mombasa has created a model for a solar -powered airport for Mombasa, which could save millions of shillings a year in energy charges.

The Energy Research in Airports Review of May 2016 reports that a standard airport spends $94,000 a year on electricity. However, with Mombasa experiencing an average of 173 days of sunshine a year, its potential for renewable solar power production is sufficient to power the airport, and even surrounding suburbs.

This potential inspired Shashank Arvindan to work on a model of a solar-powered airport as his Year 10 Personal Project, which is part of the International Baccalaureate programme at the Aga Khan Academy that challenges students to undertake in-depth research on a topic of their own interest and deliver a viable product or outcome.

“I wanted a project based on my passion and that could solve a specific global issue. There are a lot of pollution concerns in the aviation field and this prompted me to look into solar power as part of the globalisation and sustainability aspects of the project. I actually started thinking of sustainable energy when my family moved to Mombasa in 2007 and began experiencing the hot climate,” said Arvindan.

The student has been an aviation enthusiast since the age of eight, when he accompanied his aunt, a chemical engineer, to the National Aviational Museum in India in an adventure that changed his life. “I developed a love for airplanes at a very young age, which is evident from the variety of plane toys I owned. When I was in India, my aunt, who used to frequently visit our family, saw how passionate I was about aviation and began mentoring me,” said Arvindan.

This kind of mentoring, further supported by schooling that is geared towards problem solving, has been shown to achieve exceptional academic results.
A survey of graduate students at the University of Nebraska Lincoln in 2005, found that students who had developed mentoring relationships tended to be more productive in research, conference presentations, pre-doctoral publications, and instructional development, and performed better in academic coursework by 33 per cent.

At the Aga Khan Academy Mombasa, mentoring is further institutionalized through programmes such as the Year 10 Personal Project.

“The role we play as supervisors is like that of professors in a college or undergraduate thesis. We give guidance to get the students to bring out their personal interest, develop research skills as well as think about the global context and how the project solves the specific concern mentioned. For instance, when he said the model was eco-friendly, it wasn’t clear in his presentation so I asked him to conduct more research and explain how the solar panels help reduce carbon emissions,’’ said Rodney Bosire, AKA Mombasa teacher and Arvindan’s Personal Project mentor.

For Arvindan, the solar-powered airport model saw him reach out for expert advice as well.

“I remember a day when I was attempting to assemble the prototype and got a burn injury while connecting the circuit. However, two engineers from Kenya Aviation Authority (KAA) and Baobab Beach Resort helped me understand how to assemble the circuit, solar panel, resistors and the battery to get the model working,” he said.

The model itself required a battery, electrical cables, solar panel, lights, and wood, which Arvindan assembled into a replica of Mombasa airport with a runway, functional lights and a source of electricity.
Arvindan, who is now working to present the model to Mombasa Airport and other relevant authorities, is one of more than 80 students who developed new products and concepts for this year’s personal projects at AKA Mombasa, with other projects spanning phone apps to manage diabetes, an in-car pothole detector, and an enjoyable retirement home for the elderly.

“AKA Mombasa’s curriculum and policies are rooted in ensuring we get the best out of our students as we prepare them for the future. We have very talented young people in the country and mentoring such minds is very important in propelling the development of Africa and the world,” said Bosire.

Inside the surrender & death of Kenya’s peer-to-peer learning platform Shakili.com

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Despite having Dr. Bitange Ndemo, former PS; Ministry of Information & Communications as an advisor and mentor, Shakili.com,  a peer-to-peer learning platform that aimed to connect educators to students and experts to professionals around their talents, careers, and interests never took off.

Founded by Nest Africa magician Muthuri Kinyamu, and friends Zack Kiuna and Nick Stewart, Shakili was coined from Share and Akili Swahili for knowledge as a knowledge sharing platform.

Kinyamu told TechMoran that Shakili woukd enable users to set up e-schools and create courses online and share knowledge and content with peers and their educators, researchers, motivation speakers like me and not-so-fanatic religious leaders.

On the eve of the Shakili’s launch he said the start-up expected to ease digital content sharing and networking among varsity students and educators.

SHAKILI LOGO(1)“Through Shakili educators can create, upload and share digital content in various formats with students to make learning more fun and mobile and make learning possible beyond the school borders,” he said adding that it was a great idea as none of the local universities meet the recommended teacher-student ration.

We believed him until he took up another magician job at Growth Hub and became so vocal on Twitter forgetting to help lecturers connect virtually with their students-an intrusion students abhor to death.

“Our curriculum needs to be progressive to current needs of industry and marketplace. Shakili.com provides a chance for industry to also offer courses. Professionals are looking for ongoing learning and career development without necessarily incurring the costs of a traditional education. Shakili allows users to take up self-scheduled courses that allow flexible learning at their own pace.”, the team said.

Shakili’s primary target users were universities & colleges where lecturers or students create e-schools and courses to upload & share study content and aggregate already existing educational content from the web to the courses created.

Research Institutions, Corporate entities and NGO’s that want to share educative content in a social could also use it as well as speakers, coaches, tutors and consultants and bloggers and content creators.

Shakili’s value proposition was the magic of presence – with peers and teachers, the almost infinite access in the virtual world and the democratization of education by offering access to high quality content for students and giving experts a platform to share knowledge with interested learners.

The platform aimed at offering people the opportunity to expand knowledge & pursue their interests without dedicating fixed periods of time to fit in a university schedule like what Eneza Education is doing with Shupavu; but in a controlled environment.

With the potential to change lives by making the process of learning fun and mobile, Shakili never hit step one of their mission particularly because higher education in Kenya is limited to the physical contact and the lecturer determines the format of learning. Digital platforms are only used to send students notes and class assignments.

At the time of launch, the education sector was highly closed from one university to the other. Universities never shared knowledge even though they shared lecturers and tutors. Shakili was also never well marketed and might never have on boarded any university students or lecturers and even if it had; user on-boarding in institutions of higher learning for education is not an easy feat especially when the founders are not lecturers.

Adults, non-traditional learners or people that just need a little extra skill to advance in their careers had hardly heard of a browser leave alone an online learning platform.

Competition from platforms such as Blackboard among others have made entry into the virtual classroom industry not as easy as it appears.

Kinyamu, might have been overconfident about his venture with somehow strong connections then as the lead strategist at Social Edge Africa; a social media agency and as the troublemaker at SocialPRO social media clubs for universities which both doing so well.

 

Nigeria’s Covenant University Now Owns An Incubation Hub 

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Universities have a key role to play in contributing to the development of Nigeria’s startup eco-system. However, in the country presently only the University of Nigeria has a startup incubator. This is not good for a country that has 153 universities.

The consequence of the non-existence of incubators in the universities has resulted in the mass production of job-seeking graduates rather than job-creating graduates.

This is a part reason why there are so many unemployed graduates searching for employment.

To give credence to this, the National Bureau of Statistics says the country’s unemployment rate rose from 13.3% in the 2nd quarter to 13.9 per cent in the 3rd quarter of 2016. And every year, tertiary institutions produces up to 500,000 graduates.

Now there is another incubator in a Nigerian University. It is called Hebron Startup Labs by Covenant University, one of the leading Universities in Nigeria.

Stephen Oluwatobi, the Director of the Centre for Entrepreneurship Development Studies, Covenant University said this is very good for the University and they are looking at whether to allow the public access to the. His words: “The original intention was to see what we can do with our students. But since photos of the hub surfaced online a lot of persons have been asking how the external community can enroll. what we are looking out is someone who is passionate about what they are doing, has a solid team and a solution that addresses key problems in the society.”

This is a welcome development and it is expected that the launch of Hebron Startup Labs will encourage other universities in Nigeria to establish their own incubation hub.

 

 

Tezza Partners With Gebeya to Improve IT Skills In Africa

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Online developer workplace Gebeya has partnered with software testing and development firm Tezza Business Solutions to improve IT skills of software testers, increase their quantity and quality in Ethiopia and Kenya.

The deal will see Gebeya identify software quality assurance prospects, offer talent and software development services to Tezza as per need basis. The two firms will also offer training in Enterprise Application, architecture and API Engineering for DevOps from various companies in the region.

According to Amadou Daffe, Chief Executive Officer, Gebeya: “At Gebeya we pride ourselves in matching skilled and certified IT professionals with corporates in order to develop solutions that equal their needs. Our partnership with Tezza a respected industry leader in the areas of quality assurance, Software Testing and Software development enables us to train and provide our customers with wide range world class professionals in various areas that have witnessed a shortage in the past who can in turn develop innovative, efficient and scalable technology solutions.”

The two firms aim to provide more advanced skills and training to ICT professionals and organizations in the local market for better more reliable software benchmarked to international standards. Gebeya also expects to allow developers create more African user friendly software developed with the customer needs in hand hence encouraging better adoption and integration by the market.

Tezza Business Solutions will offer quality assurance and testing training services for Gebeya recruits or corporate clients as well as contract Gebeya to provide software development services or talent for projects.

The training specifically targets to transfer knowledge that will enable IT professionals gain thorough knowledge of testing approaches that can be integrated into the software life cycle as well as provide knowledge on how to design products that are functional and maintainable.

Roland Omoresemi, Chief Executive Officer, Tezza Business Solutions said the partnership with Gebeya will enable the firm to provide businesses and corporates with better trained and professional quality assurance certifiers, software testers and engineers.

 

 

 

Why should I pay for my education?

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E-learning: invest now and reap the benefits later

Online education is big business. With a plethora of different e-learning courses and qualifications available, it can be difficult to choose between education apps, online portals, MOOCs and old-fashioned courses in brick and mortar institutions. Similarly, providers offering free online courses have begun to flood the web so why should people pay for the right to engage in distance education? And how do we select the right one?

The website apps-for-learning.com lists the major e-learning providers and compares them, with a special look on the African market and needs.

1. Relevance of e-learning
The world is changing rapidly. Twenty-first century workers are no longer happy to stay in the same job for most of their salaried lives but are more likely to undertake a range of different employments in a variety of different contexts. Consequently, education is having to transform at an equally rapid rate in order to keep up with employers’ demands for new and further advanced skills. Learners of all ages including those already in employment are now looking to improve their skills and the range of different online courses with education apps means there is something for everyone with a desire to improve themselves and increase their earnings. Young people today are preparing for jobs that may not have even been created yet and the gap between skills and requirements is ever-widening. E-learning, educational apps and distance education are fast becoming essential tools enabling learners of all ages to prepare for a better range of jobs and keep ahead of the game.

In a fast-paced society, traditional routes of education quickly become dated and obsolete. Take computers, for example: by the time a text book can be written and published consumers will be purchasing the next generation. In all fields of academia, new research and findings are produced all the time. Previously, only students at the best institutions with access to the most dynamic tutors would be able to keep up; now distance education can make experts of us all.

So why pay when some providers are offering courses for free?
It has become so simple for anyone to post material on-line that it is almost impossible to know which online courses to trust. Free e-learning often comes with a hidden price-tag attached and that secret agenda might compromise the quality and suitability of the material provided. Remember: “If you’re not paying for the product, you ARE the product.” (Andrew Lewis) Paid distant education providers do not need to look elsewhere for their funding bringing freedom to focus entirely on the relevance of their materials. Students become customers, a higher profile in the eyes of providers. Regular income allows for continual improvement in education technology keeping the content as thorough and recent as possible. Furthermore, research suggests that students who pay tuition fees are far more likely to complete the course. And with a marketplace like Udemy to match open courses with individual needs it is easy to find the right online courses to set you on track for your future.

2. Flexibility of e-learning
Digital advancements have already transformed the face of education technology, making distance education far more flexible and accessible for anyone across the world. In addition, the phenomenal pace of advancements in education apps for smartphones, edtech and better network connectivity across Africa means almost everyone can access better e-learning opportunities in a way that suits their needs. Any time. Anywhere. Have a family? Want to study in England but live in Africa? No problem: educational apps allow you to work off-line so you choose when and how you wish to study. E-learning gives us flexibility to put ourselves first without putting anything else last. Finally, we can have it all.

Gone the need to travel to a fixed location by a fixed time to join a lesson. Online courses offer freedom; e-learning comes to you whenever and wherever you choose. There are currently an enormous number of young people in Africa who need to develop their skills; all that remains is to match each individual with the vast array of available open courses through Udemy.com.

An Alternative to University?
Indeed, distance education does not replace those much-loved institutions as all of the best universities are taking advantage of advancements in education technology to offer a vast range of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) themselves. Consequently, educators are able to accommodate many more students at a time and edtech allows better interaction with tutors and access to all the latest resources without library waiting lists or opening hours. In contrast, Udemy does not intend to compete with established universities but adds an extra dimension by offering e-learning to professionals and those who might not consider college.

3. Efficiency of e-learning
With less overheads, elearning is certainly more cost effective for both student and tutor as there are no extra living costs or buildings to maintain. As described, the range of open courses available is vast. At university, students rely on name and tradition to feel confident they are buying into a trusted institution. How can independent online providers compete? Some trust non-profit providers such as Khan Academy or EdX as they are not driven by financial reward. However, it is becoming clearer that commercial providers can offer far better materials and a wider range of educational apps making the whole elearning experience more relevant, enjoyable and affordable.

Commercial e-learning providers with available app:
Coursera
Coursera is an online platform offering a range of MOOCs through partnership with universities throughout the world. Most courses are “accessible for free” with the choice of paying for enhanced services including verified certificates. Assessments include peer marking or exams instantly marked on-line to reduce costs. Over 1,000 business, technology and personal development courses are available using edtech such as lively video clips. Education apps are available and the platform is presented in 8 different languages offering sub-titles in a further 26. No academic credit is given for any courses at present.

Coursmos
Unlike the long-term commitment required by most MOOCs, Coursmos offers “bite-sized learning” (TechCrunch) in the form of micro-learning with most lessons based on videos no more than three minutes long. It offers over 36,000 open courses in 12 different languages from university and commercial partners on every topic imaginable including stress management, music and cookery. It uses videos and YouTube and also has education apps with links to Facebook and other social media sites. Some online courses are free but most are charged for through monthly payments with prices determined by instructors.

Skillshare
An online e-learning community offering practical interactive elearning with no access criteria, Skillshare’s courses are self-paced but no accreditation is available. Payment for over 6,000 online courses in the premium service is through monthly subscription though around 600 classes are free and cover a range of subjects from technology and the creative industry. Lessons are focused video clips and there are apps although offline access is only accessible through the premium service. Most partners are not universities but relevant companies and brands: Skillshare is primarily English speaking.

Lynda
Offering technology, business and creative skills in up to 5,000 online courses, Lynda is another industrial oriented platform based on video tutorials. Payment is monthly and a range of educational apps are available. Now owned by LinkedIn, instruction is available in five languages and while there is no accreditation teachers are industrial experts.

Udemy

As leading online course marketplace Udemy offers e-learning for all kind of topics, starting from academic courses but also small entities around every day life questions. The courses are relatively short (1 hour – 5 hours average), so they can be easily integrated in the day. No Udemy courses are currently credentialed for college credit; students take courses largely as a means of improving job-related skills. Some courses generate credit toward technical certification. Udemy has made a special effort to attract corporate trainers seeking to create coursework for employees of their company.

E-learning is one of the relatively new applications which use the new internet and mobile phone based technologies to improve the access to some basic needs or skills, such as mhealth, app based language learning or cheap online money transfers.

By the way, there is a rising amount of local and regional companies which provide products and materials for online courses and exam preparations, the classical fields of m-learning. This African providers guide illustrates a list of edtech startups in several countries.

 Online courses – Boost your skills now!

For more information about this important and exciting educational market, visit my apps-for-learning.com site. Alternatively, if you wish, contact me directly today: Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter (@JensIschebeck) or Google+. Whether you are a student or teaching professional, we specialize in mobile education within Africa and will be pleased to help you with your inquiry.

If you are interested in foreign language learning by an app, just check my language app site.

Enjoy the article and let me know what you think by posting your comment below. I would be grateful if you also and share this post with friends and colleagues.

Your e-learning and online courses specialist,

Jens Ischebeck, www.apps-for-learning.com

 

China Europe International Business School(CEIBS) Alumni Hold Event In Lagos, Nigeria

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Alumni of the China Europe International Business school(CEIBS), the number 1 MBA in Asia according to Forbes, financial times, Bloomberg and Business week, and 11th in the world according to the financial times held their reunion and induction ceremony in Lagos, Nigeria on the 18th of March 2017.

CEIBS which according to Alumni and analysts is unparalleled in preparing internationals to do business in and with China, has 19,000 Alumni globally and was founded by the Chinese government and European union in 1994.

CEIBS Alumni Event
L-R: Head of SME banking, Stanbic IBTC Bank,Obinna Ukachukwu ; Council Member China Europe International Business School, Alumni Nigeria Chapter,Mrs Omoyemi Chukwurah; Acting President CEIBS/Group Head Private Sector, eTranzact, Mr Sunday Adebayo Agboola; Head,Business Development, Sales and Marketing, Africa, CEIBS Dr. Thelma Opara and Professor Mathew Tsamenyi, Professor of Accounting and Academic Director, Africa,CEIBS =during the reunion and Induction ceremony of CEIBS Alumni Association, Nigeria Chapter held in Lagos.

The reunion and induction ceremony was organized by the CEIBS Nigeria chapter headed by acting President, Mr Adebayo Sunday Agboola, Group Head, Private Sector, eTranzact International PLC and also had in attendance, Head of SME banking, Stanbic IBTC Bank,Obinna Ukachukwu , Head,Business Development, Sales and Marketing, Africa,CEIBS, Dr. Thelma Opara and Professor Mathew Tsamenyi. Professor of Accounting and Academic Director, Africa,CEIBS.

CEIBS Alumni Event 2

The event allowed the acting president of the Nigeria Alumni chapter to share his vision and mission with the Alumni body comprising of captains of various industries and graduates of CEIBS’s Global Executive MBA, Women Entrepreneurship & Leadership for Africa Programme (WELA) and the FCMBA.

In his address, the acting president, Sunday Adebayo Agboola thanked all the members for working hard to make the event a success.

He said; “As Alumni of CEIBS, we play a key role in extending the opportunity we enjoyed with CEIBS to other Africans. We have a lot of work to do in establishing and maintaining the CEIBS brand in Africa especially at a time where Asia- Africa relations are on the rise and more synergies for growth are emerging.

Today, we will be inducting new members into the Alumni as well as creating committees that will help us realize our goals”.

CEIBS Alumni 3

The Alumni body also came together to present a cheque of N3 million naira to Mrs Adebimpe Talabi, the wife of the late president of the Nigerian Alumni chapter.

The CEIBS Africa project was launched in 2008 with a mission to prepare highly competent innovation oriented managers and executives who are capable of leading and growing their organisations in the increasingly dynamic African economic environment. These are leaders who are capable of negotiating the forces of globalisation and international competition for the benefit of their organisations.

Andela opens doors to developers in Uganda

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Jeremy Johnson, CEO Andela Image credits:YouTube

 

The Andela Fellowship, a full-time employment opportunity that will enable you to own your learning as you hone the skills you need to become a global technology leader has opened doors to developers and would-be developers in Kampala, Uganda.
“We seek out exceptional people from a variety of backgrounds who are committed to unlocking their full potential and improving the world through technology,” announced the firm which already has operations in Kenya and Nigeria.
Through four years of intensive learning and real work experience on the world’s leading engineering teams, developers are expected to master professional and technical skills needed to make them global technology leaders.Applicants are asked to complete a free application and within two weeks of their application, they will receive an online evaluation that measures logical reasoning and personality fit.

They will then be required to complete an introduction to software development self-study course focused on Python, complete a Technical Skills Test and then be invited to a Slack Community called “Open Andela” to help guide and support them throughout the process.

Andela then will do Aptitude Assessment and Technical Skills Test and invite a select group of applicants for physical interviews. Successful applicants participate in a one-week immersive onsite training on product development and then the best are accepted into Andela’s four-year Technical Leadership Program.

 

Send an email to [email protected]

Edtech: A growth area for Africa

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A new educational frontier for Africa

EdTech is the use of digital education technology to facilitate teaching and learning. It’s a rapidly expanding sector with enormous potential. Providers around the world are now incorporating education technology into their delivery strategies. The development of mobile technology such as tablets and smartphones offers great opportunities for anywhere, anytime learning. E-learning, mlearning (mobile learning) and online courses have particular potential in areas where access to more traditional forms of education is restricted or non-existent.

Edtech is one of the relatively new applications which use the new internet and mobile phone based technologies to improve the access to some basic needs or skills, such as mhealth, app based language learning or cheap online money transfers.

 A growth area for Africa

With the possibilities it offers for distance and independent learning, EdTech has specific relevance for the continent of Africa, where it’s becoming one of the biggest and most important developing educational markets. A pressing need for high level skills is leading to a rising demand for higher education in a part of the world where traditional education models are not always appropriate. Using education technology in teaching and learning is a way of thinking differently and increasing opportunity.

Some figures to underline this:

  • 128 million school-aged children in Africa, but 17 million will never attend school
  • Average age of the African population are 19.5 years, this means a really young “continent”
  • 60% of the population lives in rural areas, far away of higher education centers.

A flexible approach to learning

One of the major strengths of EdTech is that it can be tailored to meet the different needs of learners. It can be used to augment and enrich teaching and learning in a classroom setting. Perhaps its most powerful application, however, is in opening up new areas outside the classroom by facilitating distance and independent learning via online courses. Students can have the convenience of on demand resources combined with the support of a tutor. Digital connectivity can provide the collegiality of a learning group, but students can also learn alone at a time that suits them. Education technology also enables the exploration of fresh approaches to enhance learning, such as learning through games (gamification).

Edtech Key terms

EdTech is a dynamic, ever-evolving area that is not always talked about in the clearest possible language. Discussion can be poorly informed and confusing with words and phrases used imprecisely and interchangeably. In addition to discussing some of the benefits of education technology, this article aims to offer some clarity by highlighting and explaining some key terms and abbreviations.

E-learning

This is a commonly used abbreviation for ‘electronic learning’ and means the use of computer technology to deliver programs of study either in whole or in part. This might be by standalone packages or, increasingly frequently, though online courses where resources and tuition are accessed via the internet. E-learning is a way of expanding opportunities for learning beyond traditional settings using digital technology such as PCs, laptops, notebooks, tablets and smartphones.

Mobile learning

As digital technology becomes increasingly portable, mobile learning, often referred to as m-learning or mlearning, is emerging as a key element of e-learning strategies. M-learning means that a student is not tied to a particular place and can learn wherever they are. In an African context, m-learning is a means of reaching potential students, for example by their mobile phone, in areas that would otherwise be inaccessible. This might be by a distance learning course hosted by a university or other institution or through independent study.

MOOCs

Massive open online courses, commonly abbreviated to MOOCs, are courses made available for free over the internet to large numbers of people. MOOCs give learners access to a whole range of resources that would otherwise be unavailable to them. They also connect students to expert tuition, wherever they are. As a means of providing large scale distance learning for geographically dispersed students, they have great potential in Africa as part of a mobile learning strategy.

M-learning is a rapidly evolving market in education in general and in Africa in particular. Students can learn via their mobile phones or other portable devices anywhere and anytime. As mobile and e-learning is independent of geography, it does not need the traditional infrastructure of schools, classrooms and libraries. This means that development steps can be leapfrogged and gaps in skills and training can be filled more quickly.

There is a rising amount of local and regional companies which provide products and materials for online courses and exam preparations, the classical fields of m-learning. This African providers guide illustrates a list of edtech startups in several countries.

Online courses – Boost your skills now!

For more information about this important and exciting educational market, visit my apps-for-learning.com site. Alternatively, if you wish, contact me directly today: Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter (@JensIschebeck) or Google+. Whether you are a student or teaching professional, we specialize in mobile education within Africa and will be pleased to help you with your enquiry.

If you are interested in foreign language learning by an app, just check my language app site.

Enjoy the article and let me know what you think by posting your comment below. I would be grateful if you also and share this post with friends and colleagues.

Your e-learning and online courses specialist,

Jens Ischebeck, www.apps-for-learning.com