Facebook on Tuesday said it had partnered with the Edo Government to provide more access to online training for over 2,000 teachers and schools through its communication platform called ‘Workplace for Good’.
Adaora Ikenze, Facebook’s Head of Public Policy for Anglophone West Africa, who made this known in a statement, said the company partnered with Edo as part of its ongoing commitment to building community and improving connectivity.
She said that Workplace was Facebook’s communication platform, which transformed teams and organisations into connected, empowered and purposeful communities.
Ikenze said the platform used familiar features like Live video calling, chat, feeds and Safety check to connect everyone and turn ideas into action.
“In order to build on its Infrastructure and Connectivity projects for schools within the area, Facebook has also partnered with MainOne and Tizeti to provide fast, affordable, and reliable Internet through Facebook’s Express Wi-Fi programme.
“The programme which started early 2019, now provides free connectivity for teachers in four schools within Edo,’’ she said.
She noted that to further support the tech ecosystem, Facebook also invested in a meeting space in the South-South Innovation Hub for teacher training and local developer meetups.
Ikenze said the company was delighted to be pioneering such projects in Nigeria and across Africa.
She noted that the partnership with the Edo Government was a perfect example of how technology could positively impact education not only for students but teachers alike.
“According to the Edo Basic Education Transformation Sector (Edo-BEST), one in five teachers do not receive relevant training to improve learning outcomes in their classrooms and that is why partnerships like this are critical in impacting positive change in classrooms,” she said.
Adam Seldow, Director of Education Partnerships, at Facebook added that they were impressed to see that a number of partners had come together to help drive impact in the Edo programme including the Edo Government.
“We are impressed to see our education partners re-learn, and our infrastructure and connectivity partners MainOne and Tizeti coming together to impact in the Edo State programme.
“We look forward to continuing our work in adding value to education in Edo State, with an additional 8,000 primary school teachers who will be added to this programme throughout 2020, but also further afield across Nigeria and Africa.”
“Due to its current success, the Edo State Government has committed additional budget to connect 100 new schools in the State by leveraging on the fibre investments and Express Wi-Fi, ensuring that over 15,000 students and teachers will have continued internet access,” Seldow said
Dr Joan Oviawe, Chairperson of the Edo State Universal Basic Education Board said the support from Facebook would assist the state government in preparing pupils to compete with their contemporaries not only in Nigeria, but across Africa.
“We have to prepare the Edo child for a competitive world; a world without boundaries where they can build valuable skills for the future, using technology,’’ Oviawe said.
The Chief Executive Officer of MainOne, Mrs Funke Opeke, said her company was committed to bridging the digital divide across Nigeria through continued investment in infrastructure that contributed to the growth of local economies.
She commended the Edo Government for its commitment to empowering the next generation of digitally-enabled youths and teachers to transform education in the state.