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Airtel, UNICEF connect students to e-learning

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By Abiodun Okunloye

300,000 students across Nigeria will have access to the internet and devices.

To help connect 620 primary schools in Nigeria with digital learning over the next three months, Airtel has announced that it has partnered with UNICEF as part of the Reimagine Education Initiative. A total of 300,000 students around the country will have better access to the internet and electronic devices due to this agreement. During the first year of this five-year collaboration, Airtel and UNICEF will provide all digital tools and resources to the 620 designated schools, including reliable internet connectivity as well as free access to a world-class curriculum through the use of the Nigeria Learning Passport (NLP).

In a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signing ceremony held in Lagos to launch the program, Airtel said that it had completed the process of delivering free access to two digital platforms to the initiative’s intended beneficiaries. Airtel has pledged to provide free data worth US$1.3m over the first year for the two platforms and for students. In December 2022, 20 schools in Lagos and in Kano will be connected, and the remaining 600 schools will be connected by the end of February 2023.

Digital learning is part of the Airtel sustainability agenda for Nigeria.

Furthermore, at the launch of the event, Surendran Chemmenkotil, who is the Chief Executive Officer as well as Managing Director of Airtel in Nigeria, said that education, particularly digital learning, forms a significant part of the company’s sustainability agenda for a country like Nigeria and that the company will hold back nothing to connect the big digital gap which is a challenge that exists at the moment in mostly rural primary schools across the country.

Through this program and relationship, they are making it possible for thousands of children from disadvantaged backgrounds to participate in digital learning, and their mission is to connect, empower, and transform as many children and young people as they can. Education is the key to power, and connectedness is the lever that allows one to become unstoppable. According to him, the individuals who work at Airtel are positive that this investment would not only improve people’s lives but also pave the way for a bright future for millions of young people and children in Nigeria.

This partnership is a step toward reducing the digital divide in Nigeria.

According to Cristian Munduate, the UNICEF Country Representative in Nigeria, this achievement marks a significant milestone and brings the country one step closer to bridging the digital divide. Children and young people need the skills of the 21st century to reach their full potential and live the lives of their dreams. The quickest way to achieve these goals is for educators to provide them with high-quality digital learning opportunities. They are thrilled that Airtel Nigeria shares the goal of UNICEF and will contribute to the process of promoting the expansion of access to digital learning for young people and children in these schools.

Airtel and UNICEF have partnered for five years on the Re-imagine education project to speed up the adoption of digital learning by connecting schools to the internet and giving free access to learning platforms in 13 different countries. The cooperation will help to ensure that every child realizes his or her full potential by guaranteeing that all children have equitable access to high-quality digital education, with a particular focus on those children who are most vulnerable.

E-learning platform NLP offers online and offline capabilities.

The Nigeria Learning Passport (NLP) is an online and offline capability e-learning platform that was developed by the Federal Ministry of Education in collaboration with UNICEF and Microsoft to provide students with access to high-quality education regardless of where they are located. Students will benefit from having constant access to high-quality educational materials thanks to Airtel’s sponsorship. Airtel is also providing free access to Youth Agency Marketplace (YOMA), a digital platform developed by UNICEF for the purpose of skilling, upskilling, and boosting young people’s engagement. This benefit is available to any Airtel user. At the moment, there are 115,000 people using YOMA in Nigeria. With the backing of Airtel, it is anticipated that this number will increase, particularly among young people who live in remote locations that have limited to no access to data or the internet.

Related Link

NLP: Website

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