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Ensuring Education Technology Grows in Nigeria

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  • 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.

Inadequate training

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.

Inadequate infrastructure

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.

Conclusion

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.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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FinTech Investments in Q3 2020 Drop by 16% Quarter-over-Quarter to $12.15 Billion

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The total value of fintech investments worldwide fell by 16% quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) to $12.15 billion in Q3 2020. However, deal volume grew by 26% to 716 deals.

According to the research data analyzed and published by Comprar Acciones, the United States accounted for 64.7% of the total deal value, with 340 deals worth $7.85 billion.

Also, there were 25 mega-rounds during the period, accounting for 60% of the total funding value. Compared to Q2 2020, the total mega-rounds value increased by 64% to $6.4 billion, as non-mega rounds fell by 16%.

Payment Industry Deals Soar by 41% to $6.22B as InsurTech Grows by 63% to $2.5B

Payment industry deals took center stage, totaling $6.22 billion according to Global Data, marking a 41.9% QoQ increase.

The top five deals in the segment accounted for 58.4% of the total. Klarna bank had the highest raise, at $650 million at a post-money valuation of $10.65 billion. It made it the highest valued private fintech in Europe and the fourth highest globally.

Klarna, which is a buy now, pay later app, had 12 million monthly active users and 55,000 daily downloads. In H1 2020, its global transaction volume shot up by 44% YoY to $22 billion as revenue soared by 36% YoY to $466 million.

On the other hand, the insurtech sector raised $2.5 billion globally across 104 deals according to Willis Tower Watson. It marked a 63% increase in funding value and a 41% growth in deal volume. The number of mega-round deals in the segment increased by 50% QoQ.

Six mega-rounds drove 69% of the total insurtech funding. Top on the list was Bright Health with $500 million and another $500 million by Ki. Early stage companies in the sector grew by 57% QoQ during the period, compared to a record low of 42% in Q2 2020.

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World’s Richest Man Jeff Bezos Backed African Fintech Startup, Chipper Cash

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The world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos, has invested in an African fintech start-up, Chipper Cash, according to the latest report from Tech Crunch.

Chipper Cash, a startup that helps facilitate money transfer across Africa and beyond, raised a $30 million Series B funding round led by Ribbit Capital with participation from Bezos Expeditions, a personal VC fund of Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon Inc.

Chipper Cash currently has 3 million users on its platform and processes an average of 80,000 transactions per day. The startup operates in the following seven African countries; Ghana, Uganda, Nigeria, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Africa and Kenya.

According to Ham Serunjogi, the Chief Executive Officer, Chipper Cash, the company attained a monthly payments value of $100 million in June 2020.

As part of efforts to grow beyond its current market, Chipper Cash plans to expand its product and geographical reach. In terms of product, the company plans to add cryptocurrency trading options and investment services.

We’ll always be a P2P financial transfer platform at our core. But we’ve had demand from our users to offer other value services…like purchasing cryptocurrency assets and making investments in stocks,” Serunjogi stated on the phone.The fintech company recently added beta dropdowns to its website and mobile application to enable customers to buy and sell Bitcoin and even invest in United States stocks from Africa. It partners DriveWealth, a U.S financial services company, to allow stock trading.

We’ll launch [the stock product] in Nigeria first so Nigerians have the option to buy fractional stocks — Tesla shares, Apple shares or Amazon shares and others — through our app. We’ll expand into other countries thereafter,” said Serunjogi.

On the financial service side, Chipper Cash plans to offer more API payments solutions. “We’ve been getting a lot of requests from people on our P2P platform, who also have business enterprises, to be able to collect payments for sale of goods,” explained Serunjogi.

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Top Four Social Networks Boast 8 Billion Active Users in Q3 2020

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In Q3 2020, Facebook inched closer to becoming the first social network with 3 billion users. Based on the research data analyzed and published by Comprar Acciones, it had 2.74 billion monthly active users at the end of September 2020, up by 12% year-over-year (YoY).

Facebook was the most popular social networking platform. YouTube and WhatsApp followed with 2 billion users each, while Messenger was third with 1.3 billion. In total, the four had a cumulative 8 billion users.

Facebook Family User Base Grows to 3.21 Billion in Q3 2020

During the period, Facebook also had a 12% quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) increase in the total number of its daily active users (DAUs), to reach 1.82 billion. Asia Pacific led in DAUs, going from 699 million in Q2 to 727 million in Q3 2020. Europe remained flat at 305 million, while the US & Canada dropped from 198 million to 196 million.

In terms of monthly active users (MAUs), Asia Pacific was also the top market with 1.17 billion users. Europe followed with 413 million, while the US & Canada had 255 million.

In the same period, the Facebook family of apps had a total of 3.21 billion users globally. Of its messaging platforms, WhatsApp was the most popular with 2 billion monthly users in October 2020. Facebook Messenger was second with 1.3 billion monthly users.

On the other hand, YouTube reported that its Premium and Music services had 30 million paid subscribers in Q3 2020. The number had doubled in less than 18 months as it only had 15 million paid subscribers in May 2019.

According to Sensor Tower, Youtube was the second highest grossing mobile app in Q3 2020 across both Google Play Store and Apple App Store. During the period, its revenue increased by 59% YoY. On the other hand, Facebook came in second on the list of top mobile apps by downloads, in spite of a 2% YoY drop.

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