C002D5556 Tuesday 06 March 2018 34 BUSINESS DAY EDUCATION Weekly insight on current and future trends in education Primary/Secondary Higher Human Capital Nigeria’s serial entrepreneurs move to create sustainable mentorship ecosystem …As Ausso Leadership Academy berths in Lagos STEPHEN ONYEKWELU Serial Nigerian entrepreneurs, with over three decades of experience and success building businesses under their belts have launched a mentorship ecosystem to groom budding entrepreneurs. Ausso Leadership Academy, an umbrella group that is bringing together the entrepreneurial elite of Nigeria, has berthed in Lagos, designed to create support for Nigerian entrepreneurs, Silicon Valley style. Nigeria is at a point when the ecosystem is visibly maturing and entrepreneurial opportunities are vastly increasing. ALA’s goal is to drive economic development through high-impact entrepreneurs, who will become a strong economic force that can take advantage of the opportunities to transform the country. ALA aims to Impact at least 200 Entrepreneurs each year in cohorts of 40 per Masterclass, with the first Masterclass coming on stream as early as April and for which registration has commenced. It is expected that the entrepreneurs will achieve double-digit growth in their revenue a year after impact and would have imbibed a code of Governance and a culture of Succession and Legacy. “One of the cardinal principles of the Ausso Leadership Academy is to instill the mentality of building a Solid Structure for the business with more emphasis on institutionalisation than the concept of an All-Knowing Strongman; an erroneous concept which has led KELECHI EWUZIE Nigeria joined the rest of the globe to mark World book day on the first of March, 2018, and education sector operators have called for a strategic collaboration between the private and public sectors to achieve any meaningful impact in addressing deteriorating reading culture among Nigerian youths. They argue that there is need to find a sustainable model driving required investment in the sector if the next generations of youth are to be globally competitive. It is therefore in line with this that Laterna Ventures Limited, leading book sales and distribution company organised a reading sessions for Pupils of Ocean Crest School, Lekki and Princeton School, Surulere. The event which was held in L-R: Ekuah Abudu, proprietor and director of Administration, Greenwood House School; Atunyota Alleluya Akpobome (Alibaba), a comedian; Olubunmi Aboderin Talabi, author and publisher, Clever Clogs Books; Funke Fowler-Amba, director, Vivian Fowler Memorial School, at the launch of the Clever Clogs, Books by Olubunmi Aboderin Talabi. to the demise of many enterprises after the departure of the founder” Austin Okere, one of the promoters of ALA and founder of CWG Plc (NSE: CWG), the largest security in the ICT Sector of the Nigerian Stock Exchange said. Okere has subsequently honed his craft in Entrepreneurial Executive Education, becoming an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Columbia Business School, New York and being appointed into the Advisory Board of the Global Business School Network (GBSN) in Washington DC. On what inspired him to set up the Academy, Okere said “Being a serial entrepreneur, it was intuitive for me to conceive the idea of the Ausso Leadership Academy and the commemoration of the world book day with the theme: ‘Books are priceless gifts encourage the habit of reading by giving a book to someone today’ represents the company’s own response to foster an endearing love for books among young people in order to mould a generation of leaders who are readers. unique differentiation it offers. The first inspiration was what I would have advised my younger self and the second inspiration was to be the Mentor I wish I had.” The huge gap in the entrepreneurial ecosystem is due to the lack of a personalised mentorship programme to complement what professors teach entrepreneurs at business schools. Entrepreneurs are best mentored by other entrepreneurs who understand the trailblasing journey and how to spot opportunities from challenges and create new businesses for themselves and others. The need for resourcefulness and an innovative mind-set to reinvent oneself when disruption knocks on the door is a key skill which Nnaji Ugbaja, head of corporate affairs unit, Laterna Ventures Limited while speaking at the programme said the world book day is a global event that the company uses as an opportunity to encourage the culture of book reading among students. Ugbaja observed that most of the information needed to sucentrepreneurs need to imbibe. ALA provides the medium for veteran entrepreneurs to pass on this experiential skill, emphasizing what has worked in their own journeys, and the pitfalls to avoid. The champions of entrepreneurship are role models who reinvest their knowledge, credibility and time in the next generation of entrepreneurs, thus multiplying their network and influence. Among the Champions who will be sharing their experiences are Ibukun Awosika, Aigboje Aig-Imokhuede, Tony Elumelu, John Momoh, Frank Aigbogun, Austin Avuru, Dotun Suleiman, Ndidi Nwuneli, Ernest Ndukwe, Mitchel Elegbe, Charles Anudu, Seyi Bickerseth and Deji Alli to mention a few. World Book Day: Private, public collaboration to address challenges of reading culture …Laterna ventures host reading session Left- Pupils of Ocean Crest School, Lekki. Right- Pupils of Princeton School, Surulere at Laterna Book Store to mark the World Book Day 2018 ceed in life is usually buried in books saying the whole idea of the programme is just to ensure that children are exposed to books at early age. According to him, “As you know, readers are leaders. If children imbibed the habit of reading from childhood, it becomes a habit and a lifestyle for them even as they grow older. He disclosed that the company has for several years been celebrating the world book day, adding that in the past Laterna goes to schools, hold reading sessions as part of its contribution to inspire younger generation to embrace the culture of reading early. He further said the that company has for over 20 years being in the business of providing unique books, ensuring that it fills in the gap of providing books that customers do not readily find anywhere in Nigeria. LEAP-Africa partners Citi Foundation to empower Nigeria’s youth STEPHEN ONYEKWELU LEAP-Africa in collaboration with Citibank Nigeria hosted one-day roundtable meeting with stakeholders from the educational sector to discuss the needs, approach, gaps, challenges and opportunities in the Nigerian education sector with specific focus on low-income communities. Stakeholders from the government, Education and Youth Ministries, as well as youth focused Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) deliberated and shared innovative solutions and intervention programmes. Discussions highlighted the significance of inculcating leadership and life skills into the Nigerian curriculum particularly for secondary schools and discussing the dynamics of its adoption. This implies growing understanding that the purpose of education goes beyond acquiring technical skills, and that it is a powerful tool for changing the mind-set of children to live productively and ethically. Given the structural conditions that limit opportunities for social mobility, more can be done by educational systems in helping youth manoeuvre existing limitations and contribute meaningfully to society. Results from the discussion will be deployed to improve the learning outcomes of young people in Nigerian secondary schools through the Be the Change (BTC) programme. Be the Change is part of Citi and the Citi Foundation’s Pathways to Progress initiative to prepare urban youth to thrive in today’s economy. Led by the philanthropic efforts of the Citi Foundation, and strengthened by the active involvement of dedicated Citi volunteers, the Pathways to Progress initiative supports programmes that help young people build an entrepreneurial mind-set, acquire leadership, financial and workplace skills, and begin to engage in the formal economy through a first job. BTC is designed to equip youth between the ages of 13 – 18 years with the leadership, life and employability skills required to achieve personal excellence, stretch their career ambition and help them transition into higher education, paid employment or profitable selfemployment. BTC aims at reaching 450 students and 15 teachers in public schools in Lagos State from 2018 to 2019. Pathways to Progress and BTC also support the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal No. 8 - Reducing Youth Unemployment – the next generation of global leaders faces an enormous challenge: The unemployment rate for young people ages 16–24 is three times higher than it is for adults, with an estimated 71 million youth around the world looking for work in 2017.
Tuesday 06 March 2018 BUSINESS DAY 35 EDUCATION Entrepreneurship in education is helping solve sector’s challenges higher OYIN EGBEYEMI Many international and humanitarian organisations have, in one way or the other, stated that education is a basic human right. Such organisations include the United Nations through the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), through the Convention Against Discrimination in Education, and Organisation of African Unity (OAU) through the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights. While this list is not exhaustive, many other nonprofit organisations and smaller humanitarian groups have been established for the sole purpose of addressing what has now become a critical global issue. Today, the popular notion is that a nation that is not educated should be concerned about its future. Many recent studies and literature have linked education or the lack thereof to economic prosperity or economic crisis respectively. Due to the gravity of this matter today, we could forget that before the eighteenth century in Europe and not very long ago in Africa (postslave trade era), education was actually the responsibility of the church and families. It was a matter of choice or culture and was a private arrangement. It did not become a public service until after the French and American Revolutions in the late eighteenth century. Before this period, while fathers were away at war, women and children went to the factories to work in order to make ends meet. But after child labour laws were put in place, thereby reducing and eventually eliminating the number of hours children spent working; the focus began to shift towards educating children and keeping their minds busy with some form of productivity which would benefit their future outside a factory. As much as education has been declared vital, up to 70million children in the world still do not enjoy this basic right that it is supposed to be; and most of these children are in Sub-Saharan Africa. There is some sense to this imbalance by virtue of the way the world has developed and some historical factors such as the Western world having always been ahead in such advancement, as well as colonisation and slave trade which on one hand could be viewed as a setback for Africa but on another could be viewed as the means of introducing such western phenomena as religion and education which may never have been a part of our culture in the first place. While the world is where it is today, we have to take a critical look at what education as a basic human right actually means. According to the Right to Education Project, the right to education should fulfil the 4 A’s Framework that is, Availability, Accessibility, Acceptability and Adaptability. Availability – the platform, infrastructure, materials and curriculum; accessibility – the removal of any discrimination that would prevent a person from enjoying their right to education such as gender, religion, disability, socio-economic status; acceptability – ensuring that educational objectives are met, unbiased and to an acceptable standard and adaptability – flexibility to the needs of the community as well as societal and global changes in the grand scheme of things Bearing all this in mind and bringing it to the Nigerian context, can we confidently say that we have the public platform available to exercise our basic right to education? This is a difficult question that we need to ask our leaders and ourselves. While the government plays its role in providing this public service, there are observable gaps in these four areas; and this is evident in our educational outcomes (results from examinations and teachers’ literacy skills have shown). Almost inevitably, this is where the private sector comes in. Throughout my experience in the education sector, I have come to observe that a good number of private schools were established out of the passion and care for children, as well as great concern over our dwindling educational standards and as a result, our future as a nation. Through private education, there is increased availability to higher standards of learning opportunities (some of which are international standards). However, the concept of private education has a few setbacks. The first is accessibility, as those who cannot afford it cannot access it and are left behind. Others include inadequate monitoring, poor quality assurance and uncontrollable school fees. Another situation peculiar to Nigeria is the establishment of substandard private schools, which do not fully address educational needs but are viewed to have better offerings than public schools – schools that lower income earners who cannot afford the high fees of the average private school may choose over public schools. It is quite disconcerting that people have to sacrifice large sums of money to access what should be their basic right, but there is hope in what seems to be a shift in focus to education, evident through some initiatives that the government, private sector and non-profit organisations are taking. Some general examples include sponsorships, mentoring and training teachers, donation of facilities and focus group discussions. Also bearing in mind the large and growing youth population in Nigeria, there is still a lot of work required to bring us to that place where our educational standards will meet the requirements of our future economy and the global environment at a small fee. Oyin Egbeyemi is an Executive Administrator at the Foreshore Schools, Ikoyi, Lagos. ‘Continuous professional training key to Human development’ STEPHEN ONYEKWELU The Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria (CIPM) has reiterated the important role continuous professional training plays in the overall work place as key to human development of any society. Ajibola Ponnle, Registrar/CEO, CIPM, while speaking at the CIPM 2018 February Diet Exams held recently in Abuja said being a certified Professional demonstrates the ability to achieve the highest levels of knowledge and skill that enable the individual attain industry excellence. “Even at a global level, there is an overwhelming skills shortage that is making the recruitment of competent HR professionals very difficult. Organisations continue to find themselves in competition with each other to secure the most capable candidates. We believe that becoming a member of CIPM gives Practitioner a competitive advantage and also positions them as the best choice for HR roles by discerning organisations,” said Ponnle. According to her, CIPM membership shows the HR practitioner is a member of a specialised community, while the Practitioner Licence shows that the individual is a current and active HR practitioner. Ponnle opined that becoming a member of CIPM connects a practitioner to a special community with common interests and passion for HR with access to a database of competencies, resources and specialised tools which enhance professional credibility and endorsement. The CIPM Professional Exams is one of the three available routes to becoming a member of the institute and is geared towards professional and career development by the use of well curated questions, including scenario based assessments of global HRM standards within the local context covering the full spectrum of the HR value chain. L-R: Onyeka Akumah, CEO, Farmcrowdy; Subomi Plumptre, Executive, Alder Consulting; Oluwatosin Olaseinde, CEO, Money Africa; Segun Akintemi, CEO, Page Financials and Tunji Andrews, Lead Economist at Time, Trade and Commodities (TTAC), Africa at the Social Media Week panel session in Lagos. UI offers 30% of applicants admission into PG programmes AKINREMI FEYISIPO, Ibadan The University of Ibadan has offered only 30 percent of applicants admission to its post graduate programmes, in order words, of 15, 000 applicants, 5, 000 were admitted. The University of Ibadan’s postgraduate school which has been designated as Centre of Excellence for Postgraduate studies said it now has more candidates interested in pursuing their graduate degrees. Jonathan Babalola, the Dean of Postgraduate School, University of Ibadan stated this shortly after presiding over the 73rd Interdisciplinary Research Discourse of the premier university entitled Synthetic Biology: From Biology to Engineering delivered by Professor James Sturgis of the Aix-Marseille University, France. According to Babalola, a professor at the PG school has continued to ensure quality control of its applicants by setting aptitude test (Use of English) which majority of the applicants failed. While noting that many are looking to UI to crown their undergraduate degrees, the Dean maintained that the institution will continue to maintain standards and quality to ensure that the best of applicants gain admission to the premier university. Earlier in his lecture, France James the Professor of Biology from Aix- Marseille University, Sturgis called on Universities and Government of Nigeria to invest in Synthetic biology to develop solutions to improve crops, livestock and health of its citizenry. While describing it as a low investment with huge returns, professor Sturgis maintained that synthetic biology investment will ensure the independence of Nigeria from foreign interests and multinationals companies. He however called for appropriate establishment of legal and regulatory framework to ensure biosafety, bio-security and ethics. Idowu Olayinka, the Vice Chancellor and a professor who was the Chairman at the lecture promised that the university will ensure partnership with the Aix-Marseille University to develop fully in the area of synthetic biology.