- Ensuring Education Technology Grows in Nigeria
Globally, education technology, also called EduTech or EdTech, is growing rapidly, especially in more advanced countries, where the required infrastructures are already in place. Be that as it may, a number of African countries such as Rwanda, South Africa and Kenya, are keen on ensuring that EdTech grows at a much faster pace.
It must be acknowledged that in Nigeria, a handful of privately-owned school administrators are now adopting technology in classrooms, in order to beef-up the learning process, while helping students improve academically. Unlike the traditional method of using notebooks, writing on slates or boards, the students in the EdTech era come to classes with their laptops or tablets connected to the Internet.
In some parts of the world, authorities provide students with the required devices at no extra cost, while it could also be at the expense of the students. Through these devices, students are given assignments, class projects or research topics, which make it imperative for them to have access to devices, while instructors, on the other hand, use projectors or smart boards to communicate with the students during classes.
Education technology is basically a learning process through which the Internet serves as the bedrock. And not just any Internet, I am referring to high-speed broadband. EdTech in Nigeria is advancing at a very slow pace. This does not mean I do not acknowledge the efforts of a number of start-ups such as Bola Lawal, ScholarX.co; Gossy Ukanwoke, Beni American University; Wale Ogunjobi, Primal Tutor; Nkem Begho, Future Software, and a few others, that are working hard to ensure EdTech takes root in Nigeria. In my candid opinion, they should not only be applauded but also supported, especially by policy makers and school authorities.
The factors affecting education technology in Nigeria are quite enormous, considering the fact that the level of technological advancement is still relatively low. Some of the biggest barriers to the adoption include:
High cost of technology
Obviously, this is one of the major factors adversely affecting education technology in Nigeria. Technology is not cheap! Adopting modern technologies is capital intensive and sadly, all major software and hardware products have to be imported.
The Nigerian government needs to start allocating a large percentage of its budget to EdTech, to propel its adoption in the country.
Although some private institutions have managed to adopt education technology in the country, they have, however, resorted to the policy of BYOD, (Bring Your Own Device), which is a welcome development. However, what about students in publicly-owned institutions? If we ignore them, then it will keep expanding the digital divide which is not good for the overall well-being of our dear nation.
It is therefore imperative that both federal and state governments increase funding for the education sector. Not just for teachers welfare, but also to improve infrastructure and invest in the required technology, otherwise those who are supposed to be the leaders of tomorrow will be unable to compete.
Yes, technology is trendy but there is still inadequate manpower to get the ball rolling. Technology requires you to be constantly updated by learning new things. Mind you, instructors and teachers themselves are not digital natives, but as they are the ones to transfer the knowledge and skills to students, they, therefore, need to be constantly trained to keep them up to date. School administrators must be ready to invest funds in various types of capacity development to keep their human resources up to speed.
In other words, even if teachers have access to technologies, but they are not receiving the proper training to harness these technologies, it becomes a waste of time and resources.
Inability to adopt new technologies
There are series of factors that contribute to this problem. Some of the instructors and teachers feel reluctant to change, thus, resisting the adoption of new technologies. Adopting new technology usually requires special training of the teachers. Obviously, when there is lack of support from the teachers who are wary of adopting new classroom technologies, this becomes difficult.
Some start-ups have been able to develop good products and services that can improve the sector but sadly, school administrators are often not patronising them for one reason or the other. I urge those in authority to be more open to new ideas and disruptive solutions because whether we like it or not, some of our current strategies are now obsolete.
I have often stressed the fact that without power, there can be no meaningful technological development. Technology and power go hand-in-hand. This is why technology hubs and co-working spaces have become hugely popular because they solve the most basic challenge, which is power.
Next would be Internet access, particularly high-speed broadband. Once upon a time, the government launched a broadband plan that would have seen a rapid broadband by 2018. We hope that this plan is still in motion because broadband is required for the next phase of technology advancement. Virtually all the programmes are Internet-driven and the lack of necessary infrastructure to drive the Internet becomes a barrier.
It is a fact that a number of students are missing out on the opportunity to improve their technology skills and digital literacy. Investing in education technology is capital intensive but it is better than not investing. It is therefore imperative that we put the right environment in place to drive EdTech in Nigeria.
In my view, one of the effective strategies and models to resuscitate the rapidly deteriorating educational system in Nigeria is to fund and invest in technologies that can bring about a more updated and modernised curriculum.
Smart City Startups to Generate $110.7B in Revenue by 2025, a Trifold Increase in Five Years
Smart city startups offer innovative solutions for urban challenges, including public and cybersecurity threats, traffic congestion, energy management, and e-governance. Over the years, the revenues of these companies increased significantly and are expected to continue growing in the future.
According to data presented by Aksje Bloggen, smart city startups worldwide are expected to generate $110.7bn in revenue by 2025, a trifold increase in five years.
Asian, European and American Smart City Startups to Witness Three-Digit Revenue Growth
Smart cities aim to cater to the growing urban population while improving on safety, sustainability, and mobility. These initiatives are backed by new technologies like artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things using sensors and data collection to gather large amounts of public data available for researchers and startups to work with.
Last year, smart city startups worldwide generated $32.3bn in revenue, revealed the Statista survey. This figure includes all revenue that companies generated by offering technologies and products that use information, data and connectivity technologies to create more value within the public city environment.
In 2021, smart city startups’ revenues are expected to grow by $6.7bn and then surge by a staggering $71.7bn in the next four years.
Analyzed by regions, Asian smart city startups are expected to generate $14.9bn or 38% of total revenues in 2021. By 2025, this figure is forecast to soar by 232% to $49.6bn.
European smart city startups are expected to witness a 166% revenue growth in this period, rising from $8.7bn in 2021 to $23.16bn in 2025.
North American startups follow with $12.3bn in revenue in 2021. Statista data show this value is set to grow by 152% and reach $31.2bn in the next four years.
Smart Utilities the Largest Revenue Stream, Environmental Solutions to Witness the Biggest Growth
The Statista survey revealed that smart utilities generate the highest share of startup revenues in the smart city market. In 2021, these startups are expected to make $10.7bn or one-third of total revenues.
Smart utilities are companies in the electric, gas and water sectors that employ connected sensors across their grids to analyze operations and deliver services more efficiently. Most of them are heavy users of the IoT technology and the latest communications, software, computing, and mapping solutions. By 2025, the entire segment will grow by 180% and hit a $30bn value.
As the second-largest revenue stream, the mobility segment is set to reach a $9.4bn value this year. Statista predicts this figure to jump by nearly 190% to $27.2bn in the next four years.
Smart buildings are expected to witness a 172% revenue growth in this period, with the figure rising from $7.2bn in 2021 to $19.2bn in 2025.
However, startups delivering environmental solutions for smart cities are set to witness the most significant growth in the following years. Between 2021 and 2025, their revenues are expected to surge by 210% and hit $16.4bn globally.
Uber Raises Tfare By 13 Percent In Lagos
The economy option for ride-share giant company, Uber, popularly referred to as UberX, has been increased by 13 percent in Lagos State.
An electronic mail message from the ride-hailing firm to its drivers stated that the increment would start from May 11, 2021.
Uber said the increase was to ensure a reliable earning opportunity for driver-partners.
“At Uber, we remain committed to providing a reliable earning opportunity for driver-partners, as well as a reliable and affordable service for riders. With this in mind, starting 11th May 2021, we are increasing prices on UberX by about 13 percent,” the message read.
Earlier, Uber and Bolt drivers under the aegis of Professional E-hailing Drivers and Partners Association, declared a strike in April in Lagos, seeking an upward review of e-cab fares to reflect the current economic
They also wanted both companies to reduce the commission charged on rides from 25 percent to 10 percent.
National President of PEDPA, Mr. Idris Shonuga, had at a news conference in Lagos, said, “Instead of fixing a new and reasonable fare in line with inflation, the companies have recklessly continued to maintain the low fare, thereby, impoverishing hard-working young Nigerians who are diligently and lawfully trying to make a decent living.”
The e-cab operators also demanded adequate welfare package for drivers and compensation to the families of those that lost their lives or are permanently disabled in the line of duty.
The association said that more than 15 drivers had lost their lives, while some had been permanently disabled in accidents in the course of the service.
It also said more than 20 others have also lost their lives through kidnapping or killed by ritualists without any compensation from the operators.
CEOs of Major Tech Companies Have Sold Over $6 Billion of Their Stocks in 2021
Data acquired and calculated by Finbold indicates that CEOs of the five selected major tech firms have sold $6.36 billion worth of shares between January 1 and May 10, 2021.
Jeff Bezos leads, having offloaded AMZN shares worth $4.9 billion. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has sold $1.2 billion of his stock. Cumulatively, the two executives have offloaded $6.1 billion worth of shares from their respective companies.
Elsewhere, Nvidia CEO Huang Jen Hsun has sold $77.28 million worth of shares to rank third. Microsoft chief executive Nadella Satya has offloaded $65.44 million of MSFT stock, while Alphabet’s Pichai Sundar has sold $33.05 million. Among the top tech companies, only Tesla and Apple CEOs have not sold any of their stock in 2021.
Insider selling follows a surge in tech stocks
The highlighted companies have recorded a spike in the stock value over the past year, and the research report notes that:
“The sales come in the wake of tech sector stocks surging to new highs amid the coronavirus pandemic. In the pandemic, with wide-scale lockdowns, the companies run by the CEOs played a key role by offering services and products to help people manage the effects of the health crisis. The attention on these services drives the stock prices to record levels.”
Although insider trading is increasing in popularity, the activity is an essential indicator for investors to predict future price movement.
Overall, insider trades offer the overall market and investor outlook. When a single executive increases selling activity but others hold their shares, it does not call for alarm among investors.
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