AFRICA Reinsurance Corporation, Africa Re, has launched its stand-alone firm to take care of its corporate social responsibility.  Called Africa Re, the foundation is to commence operation in January 2019.

The foundation is to ensure that all its stakeholders around the continent are fairly represented in the comity of countries.

Speaking at the first meeting of the council, the Group Managing Director of Africa Re, Mr. Corneille Karekezi attributed the corporation’s commitment to strong confidence that the council members will deliver on its mandate. “We have expanded our CSR which will be launched in Mauritius. 

Before we used to manage the CSR internally but now it will be a foundation and that foundation will be separate from Africa Re with the council of members who will be driving it. “As part of its activities, Africa Re foundation  will provide grants for capacity  development and risk management solution in member countries; raise awareness on major risk; support innovation and research in insurance, risk prevention and protection; partner  with academic institutions in member countries to develop risk mapping  and modeling; support training and development of young insurance professionals in Africa.”

The Foundation, according to him, is to also contribute to the research and development of risk management scheme and development; promote excellence among the African insurance industry players and stakeholders; support any other initiative which contributes to the development of the African insurance industry.

By Favour Nnabugwu


Theme: Redefining the African Educational Pathway for Economic Development.


The Africa Education Congress (AEC) is an annual meeting of leaders and actors in Africa’s education sector, where they examine, discuss and develop common policy perspectives on a range of issues affecting the continents higher education sector, and to proffer solutions towards the molding of Africa’s development future. The event with the theme: Redefining the African Educational Pathway for Economic Development; is designed the buttress the importance and impact of the sector as a component of continent’s socio-economic development, while putting into perspective issues affecting the progress of the sector and reexamine it pathway.

This congress is organized by Edu-Insight Magazine, a Pan-African flagship education journal dedicated to showcasing the best of Africa’s education strides to a global audience. The magazine has created this platform as avenue through which in-depth analytical solutions will be proffered to the peculiar challenges being faced by the continent’s education sector, while shinning the spotlight on best practices and outstanding leadership contributions in all spheres of the African life.


The meeting will engage heads of education regulatory bodies in Africa,Policymakers, development consultants, ministers of education, representatives of higher institutions, chancellors of universities, professors, and other stakeholders, who are committed to the pursuit of excellence in Africa’s education system, with an agenda geared towards fostering economic and social change and the molding of Africa’s development.


The African Education Congress is designed to engage key policymakers in the sector and development stakeholders from Africa including:

  • Heads of Government Agencies and Education regulatory bodies
  • Vice Chancellors and Professors and other stakeholders in Africa’s Higher Institutions
  • Financial Institutions and Representatives
  • Development Agenciesand Consultants
  • Ministers of Education
  • Private Sector and Multilateral Organizations
  • Representatives of Public and Private sector  educational institutions
  • International NGOs/CBOs, etc.


  • Panel Session on Cross-border co-operation and regional integration, unlocking potential opportunities for investments in Africa’s educational infrastructure development
  • African Diplomatic Roundtable
  • Unrivalled Networking Sessions


The place of education as the bedrock of social and economic development cannot be over stated. Education is in every sense, one of the fundamental factors of development, and over the past decade, African systems and institutions have made efforts to reform, and innovatehigher education with more involvement of the private sector.

No nation can achieve sustainable economic development without substantial investment in human capital. Education enriches the people’s understanding of themselves and world, and raises the people’s productivity and creativity, improves the quality of lives and leads to broad social benefits for individuals and the society, promoting entrepreneurship and technological advancement. Education also plays a very important role in securing economic and social progress and improving income distribution.Having this in mind, it is fair to say that all aspects of economic and social developmentincludingHuman Capital Development, Poverty Eradication, Labour and Productivity, Technology and Infrastructural Advancement, etc. are directly linked to the education sector.

It is on this basis that the Education Insight Magazine organizes The Africa Education Congress, for stakeholders to contribute towards the discussions on the improvement of the African higher education sector, and the African Educational Excellence Awards, to recognize, celebrate and reward Africa’s top institutions and education stakeholders, who have demonstrated institutional commitment and are committed to the pursuit of excellence in higher education, who by dint of hard work, are molding Africa’s future, by fostering economic and social development through Education.

DATE &VENUE Africa Education Congress is scheduled for March 22, 2019 at the Sandton Sun Hotel, Johannesburg South Africa.

How to Write a Good College Application Essay

Here are some tips compiled from experts for writing that all-important application essay, which can often mean the difference between getting accepted — or rejected — by the school of your choice.

The essay is your megaphone — your view of the world and your ambitions. It’s not just a resume or a regurgitation of everything you’ve done. It needs to tell a story with passion, using personal, entertaining anecdotes that showcase your character, your interests, your values, your life experiences, your views of the world, your ambitions and even your sense of humor.

Emphasize volunteer work or other ways you’ve helped people or made your community a better place. It helps if the activity is related to the subject you want to study. For example, Christopher Rim of Command Education Group, which coaches students, remembers that one student who wanted to become a dentist set up a nonprofit and held fund-raisers to distribute toothbrushes, toothpaste and other dental products to homeless shelters. Admissions staff members want to know how your presence will make the college a better place.

Mention internships, summer courses, extracurricular activities or lab work that show steps you’ve taken to learn and understand your field of interest. That will help show you know the field you’ve chosen to study and are passionate about it.

Explain with knowledge and passion why you want to study at this particular college rather than at others. Tell why the school’s size, curriculum, social atmosphere, location, professors or history influenced your choice.

Correct spelling, grammar and punctuation are critical. Use grammar, syntax and writing with a level of sophistication that shows you’re ready for college. Never use text-style abbreviations or rude or profane language.

After the essay is submitted, check your email and voice mail daily to make sure you see and respond promptly to messages from admissions staff members. Many students check only texts and sometimes miss emails asking follow-up questions or requesting an interview.

Hafeez Lakhani of Lakhani Coaching summed up the essay this way: “Every college is like a dinner table. What will make you the most interesting contributor to that dinner table conversation? What will make you help everyone else have a more interesting experience?” A good essay, rich with anecdotes and personality, will answer those questions and stand out from the pile.

By Janet Morrissey


A few days before her high school’s homecoming game, a cheerleader in Hartford, Mich., allegedly executed a sophisticated plot in her bid for queen.

Police told TV station WWMT that the 17-year-old at Hartford High School wanted the crown so badly that she showed up to school with a clever, but illegal, bit of homemade homecoming swag: a dozen pot brownies.

In the weeks prior, the girl had been nominated as a finalist for homecoming queen. Police say she hoped the brownies would sway her classmates to cast the votes she would need to win the title.

The cheerleader gave goody bags to football players, a standard practice before games, according to Hartford police, but hers also allegedly came with the brownies and their dose of THC.

The ambitious teen’s maneuvering was uncovered around Sept. 26, when police say someone used an app to anonymously notify state authorities, who then relayed the tip to Hartford police.

School officials were able to retrieve two brownies in their entirety and the partial remains of a third brownie, Hartford Superintendent Andrew Hubbard told The Washington Post.

Hubbard said at least eight students face possible expulsion for their roles or reactions to the scheme.

“I’ve read about things across this country. It has not happened with anything that I know of in this area,” Hartford police officer Michael Prince told Fox 17. “I’ve been an officer a long time, and whenever you think you’ve heard it all, something just about daily comes up, like, ‘Wow,’ ” Prince said.

Unfortunately for the teen, her quest for royalty was unsuccessful.

Hubbard says she did not attend Friday classes after the alleged plot was uncovered and was barred from participating in homecoming ceremonies.

Police told Fox 17 that the girl has moved out of state since the incident, but said that criminal charges will be pursued.

As for the brownies confiscated by school officials, police say the baked goods will be sent to a crime lab for testing and analysis.

Source: Washington Post, by Herman Wong and T.J. Ortenzi


In this piece, Head, Education Desk IYABO LAWAL writes on the age limit imposed on potential admission seekers into the various public universities in the country. To many Nigerians, it is a retrogressive measure by the institutions that anybody under 16 years cannot become a university student.

At 14, gangly and shy, Tochukwu Nwafor had already completed his secondary school education. He was as tall as a 16-year-old. Following a successful outing in his West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) and Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), the sky was his limit. For a certainty, young Nwafor was precocious. His parents’ face had lit with pride and fulfilment – that their beloved son would likely complete his first degree by the age of 18. While they entered into the admission of a federal university in the South-East with grace, they emerged with grief. The verdict: the university would not accept Nwafor because of his age.

Elsewhere in the South-West, Mrs Edara Udoh was cursing under breath as she said: “Rich and influential people brought their children that are not even as old as my daughter for admission and they were approved. My daughter is 15 years old and they said she has to wait one more year to seek admission into the university. What kind of system is this?

“Is it a crime for my daughter to be brilliant and be ready to gain university admission at 15? Whatever happens to ‘catch ‘em young’? And we say youths are the leaders of tomorrow. Please, I am begging the university authorities not dash my hope and that of my daughter.”

Faith Oyende, Lagos State University’s best graduating science student in 2017 further illustrates the angst of those denied admission by Nigerian universities because of age. Twice, young Oyende was denied admission into a university because he had not attained the age of 16. She eventually graduated at the age of 21 having studied Biochemistry and graduated with a 4.68 cumulative grade point average, (CGPA), to emerge the best graduating student.

When asked about her story, she stated: “It is a long story. I actually wanted to become a medical doctor. But I was denied admission at the University of Lagos, (UNILAG), and LASU because I was not yet 16 years old. Having finished secondary school at the age of15, I wrote and passed the Joint Admission Matriculation Board Examination. But during post-JAMB test, I was told I must have attained 16 years on or before October 1, 2011.” Unfortunately for her, she did not turn 16 until January 1, 2012.

In September 2018, the issue of age limit for university admission seekers came up again when 15-year-old Orisheneye Okorogheye sat for the May/June 2018 WASSCE, made A1 in all his subjects and could not be admitted into the university, not a few Nigerians are wondering if the nation’s ivory tower are progressive and futuristic in their thinking regarding their admission policy.

Although the 16 years age limit requirement for university admission has no legal backing, it has become the gold standard for some universities in Nigeria, which had in their post-Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) advertorial stated that “candidates, who will not be 16 years of age by October 31, 2018, are not eligible and need not apply.”

It is little wonder that the brilliant youngster, Okorogheye, was stopped in his tracks while trying to apply to UNILAG despite scoring 332 in the 2018 UTME.
Said to be an indigene of Delta State from Warri North Local Council, Okorogheye graduated from Starfields School, Iju and he had wanted to study Neurosurgery at the university. A cloudy, retrogressive educational policy has momentarily beclouded that shiny ambition.

As of September 2018, the estimated population of Nigeria is about 200 million, according to the United Nations with an average of 17.9 years. Most of that is a young population, with 42.54 per cent between the ages of one and 14. There is also a very high dependency ratio of the country at 88.2 dependents per non-dependents.Against the backdrop of the statistics, education experts argue that the continued implementation of the age-limit policy is a waiting disaster. With more and more vibrant and precocious kids completing their primary and secondary education earlier than ever imagined in the past and the universities shooing them away, claiming that they must be 16 years old before they can be fit to learn at the ivory tower, the Nigerian government should not wait until many of these kids become despondent.

The Director of Studies at Starfields, Chris Eigbe, had argued that people like Okorogheye should be given a scholarship and admission into the university so as to achieve their dreams at a young age.Similarly, the Vice Chancellor of Caleb University, Prof. Ayandiji Aina, pointed out that children with exceptional performance should be given a waiver. According to him, using age limit to momentarily halt their academic momentum might not be good for the nation and the individuals.

Aina stated: “I think the law in place states that you have to be 16 years before you are allowed entry into the university. But I think there should be an exception to every rule particularly for exceptionally brilliant students.”

However, an education consultant, Mrs. Busola Adegbaju, thinks differently. She posited: “The national curriculum and age range should be followed as it is a yardstick for admission into any academic institution. At a certain age, a child is expected to exhibit some skills morally, intellectually, emotionally and socially. I can assure you that the standard of education should be maintained following the national curriculum that will produce a total child who will in turn face future challenges that may not be academic related.”

As the issue has become a recurring decimal, experts have called on the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, to avert the looming disaster of wasting the brains of young, vibrant and scholarly youngsters. Three years ago, education stakeholders had engaged in spirited arguments – for and against – the age-limit admission policy by the universities. The age limit has become a norm with the exception of few universities admitting admission seekers as young as 14 and 15 years old.

For Dada Olanrewaju, a career guidance counsellor, the dynamic nature of contemporary society and the attendant globalisation are some of the factors responsible for the diverse changes witnessed along this line. Maintaining that 16 is still a reasonable age for a student to gain admission into a university, Olanrewaju, however, regretted that some parents and institutions have abused the policy.

“Globalisation has made students very smart in learning, due to the introduction of advanced learning gadgets, as well as the Internet. But it is not always advisable to allow students below the age of 18 into the universities owing to the fact that, most of them possess low Intelligent Quotient (IQ) and cannot meet up with the demands of the society,” he stated.

Arguing further, Olanrewaju noted: “Admitting students below the approved age could also lead to stress and mental instability. Some of these students are just not equal to the multi-tasking nature of life in higher institutions. We have seen a case at the University of Lagos where a student went berserk because his mental capacity was incapable of assimilating what he was learning and getting used to the way of life in the university.”

Adding another but familiar twist to the issue, an educationist, Adewunmi Peter, would rather accuse the elites of abusing the age limit in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions using their financial muscle. Peter claimed that 60 per cent of students below the stipulated age limit in different schools are children of the rich, whose parents could afford to spirit them through schools to acquire degrees at a tender age.

“However,” he said, “one thing they fail to understand is that these children are barely matured for some of the stages they find themselves. Nonetheless, the fast learners among them assimilate easily in terms of academics, while some of them are just unserious and end up becoming a bunch of nuisance. Yet, Peter admitted: “The good thing is that some of these students end up achieving their life’s ambition in good time, while their parents also put off the burden of funding their education quite early in life.”


Worried by the increased cases of violence and insecurity across the country, particularly in schools, the Nigerian Safe School Initiative has launched the ‘Safe School Year Awareness Campaign’.

The campaign according to the convener, Mr Oshunmakinde Adedayo, is designed to foster collaboration amongst academic communities, the government, civil society, religious groups, parents and students on how to work together towards creating schools that are welcoming, safe and inclusive.

Adedayo who lamented the security situation in Nigerian schools especially in the north east where students are not only killed but injured and abducted, said the campaign would step up actions on how to better protect Nigerian schools against all forms of violence and potential threats, which can endanger the objectives of education if no measure is taken.

Through the campaign, activities like training, community sensitisation and emergency preparedness drills are packaged to help prepare the academic communities for unforeseen challenges, awaken the courage of adults and children on school safety matters, and also coordinate the security of schools across the country as well as the communities in which they are located.

He said, “This campaign awareness is being envisioned by National Intelligence Department for School Safety (NIDSS), an arm of MYK Crime Control Services, in collaboration with Women Advocate for Safer Schools Network and other security agencies. It seeks to mobilise parents, policymakers, school officials, students and religious groups across the nation.

Purportedly, this initiative defines everyone’s role as per school safety matters, and ready to connect voices as against any anti-social behaviour within the school environment, and that of the security challenges confronting the society which children are the most vulnerable of.

“The goals of this campaign awareness is to educate the audience on the elements of school safety, engage all stakeholders in making more schools safer, and facilitate the development of strategic plans that will effectively address each school’s unique safety and security concerns. Intimidation, harassment, bullying, suicide bombing activities, kidnapping threat and other anti-social behaviors can serve as the foundation for lethal events in the future, if no serious action is taken, and it is consider now to be predictors of more serious crimes in schools and elsewhere.“From statistics, as of September 2006, there were more than 1.7million internally displaced persons in the state of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa which was most affected by Boko Haram insurgency.

“No child should have to worry about safety when in school. This initiative is not a cookie cutter awareness programme; it is a network of school-led, civil populace initiative and that share common belief on the importance of school and children safety. While federal, state and local partners have primary responsibility for the physical security at schools, through training, best practices guide, workshops, and table top exercises loaded under this initiative, we hope to foster a culture of preparedness in our academic communities,” Adedayo said.

Source: Guardian Nigeria, by Ujunwa Atueyi


Five Nigerian teenagers recently won first place in the junior division of the Technovation World Pitch Summit held in San Jose, California with an app that has the potential to save thousands of lives. The euphoria of such great feat has kept the Nigerian government dancing and gloating about their commitment to education, but the real questions to ask would be, what happens next? How do we put this invention to work? What steps can we take to horn these amazing talents, while encouraging others to follow the path of creativity.

I really admire what these young girls have achieved, also taking into consideration where they are coming from and the reputation of Technovation.

Iridescent’s 2018 Technovation World Pitch Summit is the world’s largest tech entrepreneurship program for girls. The program invites girls from ages ten to eighteen from all over the world to identify a problem in their community and then challenges the girls to solve it.

Team Save-a-Soul was selected from 2,000 mobile app developers to represent Africa at the pitch competition. Their winning mobile app, FD Detector (Fake Drug Detector), tackles the problem of counterfeit pharmaceutical products in Nigeria. This team won ahead of rivals from the US, Spain, Turkey, Uzbekistan and China.

We need to understand that Nigeria’s National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), has struggled for years to close in on a rampant fake drug market. Though the exact number of counterfeit drugs is contested, many malaria deaths in Nigeria are have been linked to the use fake medicines. African countries are the dumping ground for 40% of the world’s recorded counterfeit drugs, so it would not be out of place to say that Team Save-a-Soul’ app addresses a real life and death issue in Nigeria.

Report has it that the girls plan to partner with NAFDAC to create a database of certified pharmaceutical products. Once authorized by the agency, a pharmaceutical company can upload its drugs onto the platform and be admitted to the database. Consequently, anyone with a smartphone camera, both health professionals and consumers, can scan the barcode of a drug and the app will let then them know if the drug is real or fake and display its expiration date. The app also allows users to report cases of fake drugs directly to NAFDAC.

We will keep celebrating this team of five girls from Regina Pacies Secondary School Onitsha, Anambra State: Promise Nnalue, Jessica Osita, Nwabuka Ossai, Adaeze Onuigbo and Vivian Okoye and their Mentor Uchenna Onwuamaegbu Ugwu a 2017 Mandela Washington Fellow and founder of Edufun Technik STEM Center for making Africa proud and representing what the future holds for Edu-Tech.


Iraq’s biggest university has entered the Times Higher Education World University Rankings for the first time.

The University of Baghdad, emerging from Iraq’s conflicts, has appeared in the rankings of the top 1,250 research universities around the world.
It was praised for building up international academic partnerships.

Oxford University is in first place for a third consecutive year – but the UK’s overall standing is described as in “modest decline”.

Loss of reputation

Oxford and Cambridge take the top two places, but the rankings’ publishers say that such “individual stars” are against a background of UK universities slipping back.

For the first time, there are more Japanese than UK universities in the rankings.

Phil Baty, editorial director of the rankings, said UK universities had “taken a hit” in terms of their international reputation.

Oxford vice chancellor, Professor Louise Richardson, said the university was “gratified” by the result.

But she warned that as UK universities “face the great unknown that is Brexit we look forward to ever deeper cooperation with colleagues abroad. It has never been more important that we engage internationally”.

US universities continue to take the most places, with Stanford the highest ranked, alongside Massachusetts Institute of Technology, California Institute of Technology and Harvard University.

Oxford and Cambridge’s retention of the top places is despite a growing wealth gap.

Harvard this month announced that a fundraising drive had brought in $9.6bn (£7.3bn), believed to be the biggest ever such amount raised by a university from donations.

Alistair Jarvis, of Universities UK, said: “We know that other countries are seeing the benefits of higher education and are investing heavily in developing their universities.

“If the UK is to maintain its leading position, we must match this investment and ensure that the UK projects a more open and welcoming message for talented international staff and students.

“This is more important than ever as Brexit negotiations near their end.”

Academic reconstruction

The University of Baghdad has appeared in other international rankings but makes a first appearance in the Times Higher tables, in the 801 to 1,000 band.
Mr Baty said the Iraqi university had been “very strong in international co-operation” and this reflected the importance being placed on universities in post-war reconstruction.

Iraq’s Mosul University had been taken over by the so-called Islamic State group in 2014 and its academics had faced intense violence and terror, along with the destruction of its library.

The University of the West Indies is Jamaica’s first entrant in the rankings, also praised for its international outlook and rated in the 501 to 600 banding.
The vice chancellor, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, said the university’s excellence “has been a well-kept secret for far too long”.

“Now, with these very impressive global ranking results we can begin to share with the world the story of this academic enterprise in the West Indies that highlights the intellectual achievement and scholastic contributions of the Caribbean community.”

Tsinghua University, in China, is the highest ranked Asian university, in 22nd place, one of 72 Chinese universities in the league table.

After the US, Japan and the UK, China now has the fourth biggest contingent of institutions in this global ranking of research universities.

Japan’s universities were rising after years of being “too insular and lacking investment”, said rankings director, Mr Baty.

Rise of Asia

After recognising that they were being overtaken by China and South Korea, he said, Japan’s universities had been making efforts to return to “the world stage” for research.

“Stiff competition from Asia will put European universities under a great deal of pressure over the coming 12 months,” said Ellie Bothwell, of the THE rankings.
She said European universities could also lose out if there was pressure on “academic freedom in countries such as Hungary”.

Russia has had a public strategy of wanting more of its universities in such international rankings – and this year the number has risen to 35 institutions, with Lomonosov Moscow State University in 199th place.
Kazakhstan, Nepal and Tanzania have also joined the table for the first time this year.

The annual global rankings are based on factors such as:
• Research output and impact
• Academic reputation
• Teaching
• Income from industry
• International links
Top 20 Times Higher Education World University Rankings
1. University of Oxford
2. University of Cambridge
3. Stanford University
4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
5. California Institute of Technology
6. Harvard University
7. Princeton University
8. Yale University
9. Imperial College London
10. University of Chicago
11. ETH Zurich
12. Johns Hopkins University
13. University of Pennsylvania
14. University College London
15. University of California, Berkeley
16. Columbia University
17. University of California, Los Angeles
18. Duke University
19. Cornell University
20. University of Michigan

Source: BBC News education and family correspondent; written by Sean Coughlan

Budgetary allocation for interest-free education loans to be hiked: Prakash Javdekar

The Union government in India has decided to increase their annual allocation for interest-free loans to students and digitalize over 15 lakh classrooms as part of their resolve to ensure quality education in the country.

The Union Minister Prakash Javdekar while addressing the 2nd Higher Education Human Resource Conclave made this known. The annual budget which provided interest-free loans to 10 lakh students would be increased to Rs 2,200 crore in next three years.

Over 15 lakh classrooms from standard 9 to post-graduate levels would be digitalized under ‘Operation Digital Board’, he told the conclave, organized with an aim “to promote an environment of innovations, employability and entrepreneurship across the country”.

Talking of the government’s plan to further hike the budgetary allocation for the interest-free loans to students, he said over four to five lakh youths used to get interest-free loans amounting to Rs 800 crore in 2014.

Under the present BJP-led government at the Centre, it has been increased to Rs 1,800 crore to benefit over 8 lakh students, said the minister, addressing the conclave, being attended by education ministers of various states, including those from Rajasthan, Manipur and Uttarakhand.

The conclave was also attended by representatives from various universities and colleges along with the HR managers, corporate leaders and employers, start-ups, CSR agencies and venture capitalists from across the country, besides educationists and senior government officials.

AICTE Chairman Anil Sahastrabuddhe attended the conclave as a special guest.

Demonstrating the government’s resolve to metamorphosize education in the country, Javdekar said when Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led BJP government assumed charges, the country’s education was pegged at a mere Rs 63,000 crore, which has now gone up to Rs 1.10 lakh crore.

He said the HRD ministry has allocated Rs 4,000 crore each for the first and second phase of Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) while the phase-three scheme was in pipeline.

The Centre has provided over Rs 6,000 crore to Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttrakhand, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Andaman, Rajasthana and Bihar under Technical Education Quality Improvement Program for providing quality education, he said.

The ‘digital classes’ would improve the quality of education and bring about a radical change, said the minister.

The Centre aims at launching ‘Operation Digital Board’ in all schools in five years, said an official release earlier, adding the venture would “ensure quality, equity, accessibility and accountability in education by pro-active action and plan”.

The novel venture aims at empowering students “with 360 degree information with interesting learning experience and increased teachers’ accountability. Interacting with college students in various districts of the state via video conferencing, Javdekar said “the digital technology has changed our lives.”

“I am happy that Hindi and other Indian languages are being used more than English on Google,” he said. The minister also lauded the improvement of educational standard in Rajasthan, saying the state has entered a new era on educational front.

Speaking on the occasion, Rajasthan Education Minister Kiran Maheshwari listed the state’s various innovations and reforms in higher education in the last four and a half years. She said 81 new colleges were set up in the state and 75 others were provided funds to add to their infrastructure.

Manipur Higher Education Minister T Radheshyam Singh urged educationists participating in the conclave “to connect, engage and participate” in his state for upgrading its education system. He said “people believe the Northeast is limited to Assam and Guwahati, but it is much more beyond that.”
He urged people to visit Manipur and participate in its development, and said the state has one Central University, besides a ‘cluster university’ and 40 colleges under RUSA.

A cluster university is an initiative of the centrally-sponsored RUSA to create new universities by upgrading existing colleges and converting them into a cluster.

Cluster universities have also been set up in Jammu and Srinagar. This helps colleges to introduce new courses and engage in more research work.

Uttarakhand Higher Education Minister Dhan Singh Rawat said his state would organsie ‘gyankhumb,’ an important, two-day conclave on education, in Haridwar from November 3 to 5. The event will be inaugurated by the President Ram Nath Kovind.

Source: The Economic Times

Nigerian Communications Commission to fund more researches & innovations

Prof. Umar Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), during the just concluded Second Stakeholders’ Forum tasked telecommunications companies on the need to fund researches and innovations as a means of improving the industry.

The Forum with the theme “Academia Acceleration for Innovation, Industry Growth and Sustainability’’. was organized to foster a better working relationship between the telecommunications companies and the Academia.

He urged telecom companies to embark on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives to drive local content development. and this they can achieve through establishing research and innovation centres in Nigerian universities, taking a cue from what NCC is doing to transform research and development.

He further noted that the telecommunications industry should encourage the funding of academia and while the academia must understand that research sponsors have a stake in the outcomes, even as their input is necessary for curriculum development. While stressing the hike in research proposals, which has also increased the budgetary allocation in order to achieve success within the sector.

Danbatta noted that NCC also recently approved a Collaborative Academia Stakeholders Meetings to discuss more on how to improve on Research and Development (R&D).

He said that apart from the involvement of the university heads, such meetings would meaningfully engage lecturers currently teaching in Nigerian tertiary institutions.

Among other notable speakers was Prof. Eghosa Osaghae, former Vice-Chancellor, Igbinedion University, Okada, who said that the country lacked what it took to embrace research and development seriously. He expressed concern that industries in the countries invest so little on R&D and the academia.

Noting “Our best brains prefer developed countries where they have immensely contributed, doing extraordinary things in science, technology and medicine, to further develop their developing receiving countries.

“The industrial sector in Nigeria has to critically re-examine itself. It must de-colonise its import-substitution orientation to be able to make use of the academia in any meaningful way,’’

NCC Executive Commissioner, Technical Services, Mr Ubale Maska while addressing the forum, stated the importance of meeting, which would help the academia play a vital role in the growth of the industry.

Maska said that the academia could produce research-oriented results that would create opportunities and add value to the industry.

Noting “This forum is one of the many initiatives of the commission that supports one the EVC’s 8-point agenda, which is “Facilitates Strategic Collaboration and partnership’’.

“With the advancement of technology and development of new ICT applications, we expect more researches in telecom and ICT related fields.

“I am very positive that discussions here will immeasurably help in improving our collaborative efforts and actions aimed at accelerating innovation, industrial growth and sustainable development of the telecommunications sector,’’.