Koosha Azim: Creator Mindset Video

I always preach that it is important for people to be positive about themselves and be optimistic when in adversity. In the following LinkedIn video, Koosha Azim explains the idea of a Victim and Creator Mindset.

Having a Creator mindset helps in both business settings and with the rest of daily lives. Contrastingly, a Victim mindset could potentially hurt relationships and hurt mental health.

To learn more about Koosha Azim, check out his blog on his personal website.

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The National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme in Nigeria (Part 2)

 

Nigeria is fast on its way to becoming the leader in Africa in the National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme, by feeding over 9.7 Million pupils and still counting.

As of today, 103,992 cooks are on the government payroll, feeding 9,714,342 pupils in 53,715 government primary schools around 31 States. These children are able to eat a balanced diet, towards improving their learning outcomes and the government was able to spend less on nutritious meals by sourcing for all ingredients directly from the farmers, without using middlemen, in which the government is spending about N70 to feed a child under the programme.

Every six months, the government deworms the children benefiting from the programme, to reduce the frequency of infections, likewise, small farmers are smiling to the banks through the programme because the government source from farmers least seven million eggs every week, over 600 cattle, 83 metric tonnes of fish and lots of fruits and vegetables.

The government might be feeding more children in Kaduna State this year as the Kaduna State Government and World Bank have concluded plans to enrol no fewer than 145,000 out-of-school children and almajiris into primary schools across the state by September, out of the 727,000 out-of-school children in Kaduna State.

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Connecting Education with  Information Computer Technology in Africa

The adaptive nature of ICTs means that technology can be used to support traditional teaching patterns as much as it can be used to support moves to resourced-based and open learning. It should be noted that, one of the myths of ICT and education is that ‘merely providing ICTs to schools transforms the learning process, and merely connecting to the Internet changes the learner’s world’. The introduction of ICT into education at all levels cannot be seen as independent of educational reform more generally, nor of the context within which this takes place. 

Understanding the term ‘information and communication technologies’ (or its acronym ICT) needs to begin with how the term technology itself is used. This term is derives from the 17th-century use of the word to describe ‘systematic study…or the terminology of a particular art’. Over time, the word came to be increasingly associated with ‘practical arts’, finally leading to a ‘familiar modern distinction between knowledge (science) and its practical application (technology), within the selected field.

The full integration of ICTs and leveraging the Internet for education requires clear vision and strategy, and most importantly, commitment accompanied with investment in equipment, broadband connectivity, learning resources, and technical support.Education and the Internet are important global assets, and have transformed the lives of billions of people. Considerable progress has been made in education and Internet connectivity worldwide over the last three decades, but the intersection between these two is far from reality in Africa. Commitments and actions of the policy makers, teachers, principals and parents are essential to unlock the potential of the Internet for learning and to meet the global education for sustainable development. 

 

The last two decades have seen a variety of innovations in education delivered over the Internet. Many countries, including Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Dominica, Finland, Ghana, India, Kenya, Korea, Malaysia, Namibia, Nepal, Peru, the Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Turkey, Tanzania, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay and Zambia have been making progress in drawing up comprehensive polices for ICT in education, providing students and teachers with necessary equipment (e.g. one-to-one computing), connecting schools to the Internet and supporting the development of National Research and Education Networks (NRENs). Progress with Open Educational Resources (OER), Massive Open Online Classes (Courses), cloud computing, and mobile learning has also created options for expanding learning opportunities anywhere and anytime.

Education is the basis for social and economic development. For Africa, a skilled workforce that utilizes ICTs effectively is a key factor in determining its competitiveness in the global digital economy and for harnessing its natural resources for sustainable growth. The region faces considerable challenges in education ranging from the absence of quality teachers, outdated or unavailable learning and teaching materials, and inadequate physical space (school infrastructure) for fast-growing learners. 

Over 110 million school children between 6-18 years of age are out of school in Africa. Thirty-seven million young peoplerequire technical and vocational training and/or other forms of education that facilitate paths to their employment. Only about 6 percent of secondary school graduates find places in higher education in sub-Saharan Africa.There is no reliable data on the use of the Internet for learning in Africa. Schoolnet projects typically begin with equipping selected “league schools” with computer labs, training teachers, and where possible, providing students and teachers with learning materials. 

Despite efforts over the last two decades, there has been limited success in rollout of ICTs and the Internet in African schools, because of lack of resources and the absence of a holistic and integrated vision and strategy. There is a great need for governments to advance inclusive knowledge societies, taking into account the Internet universality principles adopted by the UNESCO’s General Assembly that advocate for a human rights-based open and accessible Internet to all. 

Policy makers have crucial roles in creating the necessary ecosystem for ICT integration in education. The improved connectivity in the region and the vast learning resources that are available over the Internet can be harnessed to advance access and quality of education in Africa. Policy makers primarily need to articulate a holistic vision for a blended form of learning by crafting and implementing an ICT for education policy that covers the entire spectrum of learning (pre-primary, primary, secondary,  higher education, distance, on the job and lifelong learning). Through the ICT in education policy:

 

  • Policy makers need to address three interlinked areas proposed by the Internet Society Enabling Environment Framework – namely, promoting infrastructure investment, fostering entrepreneurship and skills, and promoting supportive governance. 
  • The need to ensure affordable broadband connectivity is available to schools, colleges and universities to facilitate real time interaction. Efforts are also needed to extend access to electricity, that often constrains the use of Internet for learning. It is also essential for policy makers advocate for and promote 21st-century buildings that make blended forms of learning a reality. 
  • Regulators and decision makers in educational sectors in Africa, need to create an enabling environment for private sector investment in infrastructure and content. They need to set the principles and rules that promote services, applications and human capacity development.

ICT in education initiatives should also ensure that teachers are given a prominent role, their skills upgraded, and incentives put in place to reward their efforts in ICT integration in teaching, learning and assessment processes. All education and training involves processes of communication between an educational provider and learners, and it is essential to develop an understanding of the modes of communication most appropriate to a particular teaching and learning process. 

There are must be a need to strive to participate in the global efforts for promotion and exchange of Open Educational Resources (OERs) as outlined in the Paris Declaration of OER. They need to support local efforts that promote creation, adaptation and exchange of learning resources. 

Inclusion and attainment of the educational goals of SDGs, attention should be given to gender equity and unconstrained access to learning powered by technology to disabled people. Furthermore, there is a need for addressing digital safety issues, either through capacity building for youth, teachers and children and by creating legislative frameworks and enforcing them. Governments need to support all technical, legal and institutional means to reduce risks to children. 

Significant gap exists in applying ICTs for job creation and using it for training youth to tap into global ICT Enabled Services. This requires initiatives that stimulate a blended form of learning that combines traditional and online education in institutions, for example by encouraging access to state of the art education available through Open Educational Resources. The stakeholders in educational sectors in various African countries, must be supporting access to broadband infrastructure, and ensuring that budgets for NRENs are allocated centrally.

Regulators can also play a great role by ensuring schools have access to high bandwidth under favourable commercial terms, allocating a portion of the Universal Service Funds and providing them with preferential access to the radio frequency spectrum.  Data and research are key to assess the impact of the investment of ICTs in education. Therefore, investment  in data gathering on ICT access and use by students and teachers, and support centers of excellence that undertake research and disseminate it to improve learning from previous experiences. 

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 Embracing Digital Transformation in Africa

 

 

Digital Transformation (DT) is not necessarily about digital technology, but

about the fact that technology, which is digital, allows people to solve their

traditional problems. And they prefer this digital solution to the old solution.

The transformation stage means that digital usages inherently enable new types

of innovation and creativity in a particular domain, rather than simply enhance

and support traditional methods.

 

In a narrower sense, “digital transformation” may refer to the concept of

“going paperless”, and reaching a “digital business maturity” which affects both

individual businesses and whole segments of society, such as government, mass

communications, art, medicine, and science.

 

While the impact of this on businesses has been profound, many are struggling to

realise the full potential of what digitisation and this is also clearly divided by

Geography. According to the McKinsey Global Institute’s Industry Digitization

Index, Europe is currently operating at 12% of its digital potential, while the USA

is operating at 18%. Even within the leading economies of Europe there are also

some significant differences as, according to the study, Germany operates at 10%

of its digital potential, while the UK is almost on par with the USA at 17%. This

clearly demonstrates that, while business processes are undergoing great change

making much progress in the adoption of digitisation, even advanced economies

are struggling to exploit the full potential of digitisation but still African countries

can still embrace this development for maximum developmental process the continent

is facing.

 

Early Development

With the introduction of the World Wide Web, the scope, dimension, scale, speed

as well as effects of digitalization fundamentally changed, resulting in the

increased pressure on the societal transformation process.

 

In 2000, digitalization began to be used more widely as a concept and argument

for an overall governmental introduction of IT, increased usage of internet and

IT on all levels. A similar development began in the general business climate in

order to raise awareness regarding the issue and opportunity. In the EU for

instance, an initiative called the Digital Single Market was developed, with

recommendations for national digital agendas in the EU, which gradually and

positively should contribute to the future societal transformation, with more

modern development of communities, structures and to create a basis for e-

governance and information society but in this case Africa is still struggling,

big thanks to technological companies like Facebook, Google and IBM who

are supporting millions of youths with high quality online digital skills

empowerment programmes with certificates which is helping africans to

relocate jobs and be usefull through digitilization .

 

The debate surrounding digitalization has therefore gained increased practical

importance for politics, business and social issues, and is linked to political work

issues for community development, new changes in the practical business

approaches, effective opportunities for organizations in operational and business

process development, with effect on internal and external efficiency of IT to

name a few.

 

Digitalization and Digital Transformation

 

Digitalization

Unlike digitization, digitalization is the actual ‘process’ of the technologically-

induced change within these industries. This process has enabled much of the

phenomena today known as the Internet of Things, Industrial Internet, Industry

4.0, Big data, machine to machine communication, blockchain, cryptocurrencies etc.

 

The academic discussion surrounding digitalization has been described as

problematic as no clear definition of the phenomena has been previously

developed. A common misconception is that digitalization essentially means the

usage of more IT, in order to enable and take advantage of digital technology and

data. This early definition however, has largely been replaced by the above

definition, now linked to holistic views on business and social change, horizontal

organizational and business development, as well as IT.

 

Digital transformation

Finally, digital transformation is described as “the total and overall

societal effect of digitalization”. Digitization has enabled the process of

digitalization, which resulted in stronger opportunities to transform and change

existing business models, consumption patterns, socio-economic structures, legal

and policy measures, organizational patterns, cultural barriers, etc.

Digitization (the conversion), digitalization (the process) and the digital

transformation (the effect) therefore accelerate and illuminate the already

existing and ongoing horizontal and global processes of change in society.

 

Opportunities and challenges

 

Digital transformation is a major challenge and opportunity. When planning for

digital transformation, organizations must factor the cultural changes they’ll

confront as workers and organizational leaders adjust to adopting and relying on

unfamiliar technologies. Digital transformation has created unique marketplace

challenges and opportunities, as organizations must contend with nimble

competitors who take advantage of the low barrier to entry that technology

provides. Additionally, due to the high importance given today to technology and

the widespread use of it, the implications of digitization for revenues, profits and

opportunities have a dramatic upside potential. We can understand digital

transformation through some real-world examples.

 

1. Digital transformation in hospitality management

It focuses on ambitious digital transformation, aiming to put the customer back

at the center of its strategy and operations. We need to assess organizational

structure to embrace digital transformation and identify how data from online

content and reviews might play a role in increasing booking. Latest advancement

in this respect are Online Travel Agencies, service aggregators like Expedia,

Booking.com. We have another competitor in market which is not only digitally

transforming the hospitality industry but actually bringing disruption with the

help of technology, AirBnb.

 

2. Digital Transformation in e-commerce

 

Digital experience has become inevitable without e-commerce interaction. Big

players like Amazon.com, Alibaba.com have already disrupted the shopping

journey. But now we have more challenging tasks of avoiding sequence of events

that lead to the security breaches like theft of debit and credit card numbers as

well as the personal information of millions of customers. We need to improve

over our infrastructure with minute details like safe transactional operations,

improved customer satisfaction along with data security.

 

3. Digital Transformation in banking

 

It focuses on digital transformation of banking sector in seeking regional growth

amidst a new digital era. Banks have already invested heavily in technology and

infrastructure, which bring dramatic changes and rewired this sector for digital

innovation. From online banking (bank in your pocket), to ATM availability at

every nook and corner has enriched the user experience. Major forces of the

digital transformation strategy involve the overhaul of organization, the rapid

enhancements of highly scalable digital platforms, the leverage on technology to

sculpt the customer experience, and the internal evolution and external

partnering in seeking new digital innovation.

 

4. Digital Transformation in training

 

With the increase of online learning tools and facilities organisations and

individuals are looking for more flexible ways per personal development. Using

video driven lectures, online learning communities and learning management

systems allows creating new business models which disrupt the traditional

lecture driven training sessions.

 

 

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Google Africa Certifications Scholarships 2019 (Fully Funded to learn Mobile Web, Android and Google Cloud)

Google is partnering with Pluralsight to give you free access to Pluralsight course content plus support from the Andela Learning Community across three skills development tracks: Mobile Web, Android and Google Cloud.After completing your desired skills development track, you will be eligible to receive a Google certification grant to take Google’s Associate Android Developer, Mobile Web Specialist and Associate Cloud Engineer certification exams.

Building upon our pledge to provide mobile developer training to 100,000 Africans to develop world class apps, today we are pleased to announce the next round of Google Africa Certification Scholarships aimed at helping developers become certified on Google’s Android, Web, and Cloud technologies.

This year, we are offering 30,000 additional scholarship opportunities and 1,000 grants for the Google Associate Android DeveloperMobile Web Specialist, and Associate Cloud Engineer certifications. The scholarship program will be delivered by our partners, Pluralsight andAndela, through an intensive learning curriculum designed to prepare motivated learners for entry-level and intermediate roles as software developers. Interested students in Africa can learn more about the Google Africa Certifications Scholarships and apply here

According to World Bank, Africa is on track to have the largest working-age population (1.1 billion) by 2034. Today’s announcement marks a transition from inspiring new developers to preparing them for the jobs of tomorrow. Google’s developer certifications are performance-based. They are developed around a job-task analysis which test learners for skills that employers expect developers to have.

  • Access to expert-led videos, available on-demand with our mobile app and offline capabilities
  • Guided skill development with curated paths and channels according to your chosen track
  • Skill assessments that help you identify knowledge gaps and strengths, and allow you to share your proficiency on Facebook, Twitter and Stack Overflow
  • Support from the Pluralsight Help Center and the Andela Learning Community to help you complete your track and prepare for your chosen Google certification exam

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the Google Africa Certifications 

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WHY ENTREPRENEURSHIP WILL REDUCE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE IN NIGERIA ?

 

In Nigeria today, it takes 4-5 years to get real and fulfilled job in the giant of Africa. Job hunting trauma is really high out there. Blood pressure rises everyday due stress from job interviews and selection process in most cities. Learning a vocational skill is preferable and a great choice. Academic pursuits by average Nigerians is seen as an illusion and a benefit to few.

Entrepreneurship generates growth because it serves as a vehicle for innovation, change, and a conduit for knowledge spillovers. Thus, in a regime of increased globalization, the comparative advantages of modern economies are shifting towards knowledge based economic activity, not only do entrepreneurship play a more important role, but also a recommendation for economic growth.

THE UNEMPLOYMENT REALITY

Unemployment Rate in Nigeria increased to 18.80 percent in the third quarter of 2017 from 16.20 percent in the second quarter of 2017. Unemployment Rate in Nigeria averaged 10.63 percent from 2006 until 2017, reaching an all time high of 19.70 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009 and a record low of 5.10 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010.

In Nigeria, the unemployment rate measures the number of people actively looking for a job as a percentage of the labour force. This page provides the latest reported value for – Nigeria Unemployment Rate – plus previous releases, historical high and low, short-term forecast and long-term prediction, economic calendar, survey consensus and news.

Nigeria Unemployment Rate – actual data, historical chart and calendar of releases – was last updated on September of 2018 Becoming self-sufficient is the desire of every Nigerian, but only an insignificant number actually find a way to make it happen. Too many people do give up on their dreams too soon, when education and guidance could show them the way to success.

THE VACCUUM 

The dearth of entrepreneurs or people with entrepreneurial mentality has been one of the major inhibitors to the development of a virile indigenous private sector in Nigeria. Nigeria has vast human and material resources but people are still leaving below the poverty level.

Unemployment especially among the youths has been the major problem. This problem was attributed to the fact that most of the graduates do not acquire the needed skills and competence that will make them be self-employed. Youths of these days want everything fast and free; they lack the patience and the willingness to learn.

There is a great need to provide the appropriate counseling, economic and social conditions to encourage the emergence of individuals with required entrepreneurial skills. The problem this study addressed therefore was the determination of whether entrepreneurship education enhances acquisition of the necessary skills for gainful self-employment in Nigeria and to identify challenges that hinder imparting sound entrepreneurship education in our schools.

The firm of the innovative entrepreneur will consequently grow through the dual process of taking market shares from existing suppliers and increasing overall demand for the products offered in the market.

Finding new combinations of factors of production is a process of entrepreneurial discovery that will become the engine that drives economic development. These new combinations constitute better ways to meet existing demand or create new products which often make current technologies and products obsolete (in a process of creative destruction).

ENTREPRENEURSHIP: A WAY OUT

Entrepreneurship encourages creativity. Creativity denotes generation of new technology, new ideas and innovations as the translation of new ideas into a new company, new technology, and new products, or new service. The consequences of the association between entrepreneurship and environmental change are the role that entrepreneurs play in promoting innovative technologies, products and services.

The firm of the innovative entrepreneur will consequently grow through the dual process of taking market shares from existing suppliers and increasing overall demand for the products offered in the market.

Finally, an effective strategy to develop the indigenous private sector is through entrepreneurship education and programmers which will reduce unemployment rates, that may arouse the entrepreneurial consciousness required to undertake the formation and acquisition of small scale business enterprises in Nigeria.

Read more:

* Bertram, O.A et al (2016). Entrepreneurship education: a panacea for unemployment in Nigeria. NG-Journal of Social Development, VOL. 5, No. 2, January 2016 available (Online) at :www.arabianjbmr.com/NGJSD_index.php

* Trading Economics. Nigeria Unemployment Rate 2006-2018 . Available (Online) at : https://tradingeconomics.com/nigeria/unemployment-rate

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Google Classroom: The Basics for Teachers and Students

Google Classroom is a free web service developed by Google for schools that aim to simplify creating, distributing and grading assignments in a paperless way. The primary purpose of Google Classroom is to streamline the process of sharing files between teachers and students.

Google Classroom combines Google Drive for assignment creation and distribution, Google Docs, Sheets and Slides for writing, Gmail for communication, and Google Calendar for scheduling. Students can be invited to join a class through a private code, or automatically imported from a school domain. Each class creates a separate folder in the respective user’s Drive, where the student can submit work to be a graded by a teacher. Mobile apps, available for iOS and Android devices, let users take photos and attach to assignments, share files from other apps, and access information offline. Teachers can monitor the progress for each student, and after being graded, teachers can return work,along with comments.

Features
Google Classroom ties Google Drive, Google Docs, Sheets and Slides, and Gmail together to help educational institutions go to a paperless system. Google Calendarwas later integrated to help with assignment due dates, field trips, and class speakers. Students can be invited to classrooms through the institution’s database, through a private code that can then be added in the student’s user interface or automatically imported from a school domain. Each class created with Google Classroom creates a separate folder in the respective user’s Google Drive, where the student can submit work to be graded by a teacher.

Assignments
Assignments are stored and graded on Google’s suite of productivity applications that allow collaboration between the teacher and the student or student to student. Instead of sharing documents that reside on the student’s Google Drive with the teacher, files are hosted on the student’s Drive and then submitted for grading. Teachers may choose a file that can then be treated as a template so that every student can edit their own copy and then turn back in for a grade instead of allowing all students to view, copy, or edit the same document. Students can also choose to attach additional documents from their Drive to the assignment.

Grading
Google Classroom supports many different grading schemes. Teachers have the option to attach files to the assignment which students can view, edit, or get an individual copy. Students can create files and then attach them to the assignment if a copy of a file wasn’t created by the teacher. Teachers have the option to monitor the progress of each student on the assignment where they can make comments and edit. Turned in assignments can be graded by the teacher and returned with comments to allow the student to revise the assignment and turn back in. Once graded, assignments can only be edited by the teacher unless the teacher turns the assignment back in.

Communication
Announcements can be posted by teachers to the class stream which can be commented on by students allowing for two-way communication between the teacher and students. Students can also post to the class stream but won’t be as high of a priority as an announcement by a teacher and can be moderated. Multiple types of media from Google products such as YouTube videos and Google Drive files can be attached to announcements and posts to share content. Gmail also provides email options for teachers to send emails to one or more students in the Google Classroom interface. Classroom can be accessed on the web or via the Android and iOS Classroom mobile apps.

Archive course
Classroom allows instructors to archive courses at the end of a term or year. When a course is archived, it is removed from the homepage and placed in the Archived Classes area to help teachers keep their current classes organized. When a course is archived, teachers and students can view it, but won’t be able to make any changes to it until it is restored.

Mobile applications
Google Classroom mobile apps, introduced in January 2015, are available for iOS and Android devices. The apps let users take photos and attach them to their assignments, share files from other apps, and support offline access.

Privacy
In contrast to Google’s consumer services, Google Classroom, as part of G Suite for Education, does not show any advertisements in its interface for students, faculty, and teachers, and user data is not scanned or used for advertising purposes.

Reception
eLearningIndustry tested and made a review of Google Classroom, in which they highlighted many positive and negative aspects. Among Classroom’s strengths, the review highlighted ease of use, universal device accessibility, use of Google Drive as an effective way for teachers to quickly share assignments with students, the paperless process meaning the end of printing, handing out, and potentially losing work, and the fast feedback system between students and teachers. Among Classroom’s disadvantages, the review highlighted the service’s heavy integration of Google apps and services with limited or no support for external files or services, lack of automated quizzes and tests, and a lack of live chats that can aid in feedback efforts.

Google has been criticized for allegedly data mining students’ browsing history, searches, and other usage of services for advertising. In April 2014, Google announced that it would stop scanning students’ Gmail messages for advertising purposes, following privacy concerns. TechCrunch wrote that, while ads weren’t included in the education program, data and information learned from users through the program was used to show advertisements at later times in other areas. On December 1, 2015, the Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, alleging that Google “broke a pledge to honor student privacy with its educational tools”. EFF staff attorney Sophia Cope stated that “We are calling on the FTC to investigate Google’s conduct, stop the company from using student personal information for its own purposes, and order the company to destroy all information it has collected that’s not for educational purposes”. Google responded the following day: “While we appreciate the EFF’s focus on student data privacy, we are confident that our tools comply with both the law and our promises, including the Student Privacy Pledge, which we signed earlier this year”. The Foundation made new allegations against Google in April 2017, focusing particularly on the company’s actions of “dumping millions of low-cost Chromebooks on U.S. schools, enabling the mass collection and storage of information on children without the consent of their parents”.

Source: wikipedia.org

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Speak Like a Pro

Have you ever wondered what the biggest fear is for most people?
You’re probably thinking that it might be fearing heights, snakes, small spaces, deep water, loneliness, or even death. However, according to Toastmasters International for Public Speaking and Leadership Education, number one fear is Public Speaking. Exactly, public speaking comes on the top of the list of fears, even before death.
 

If not properly handled, public speaking fear can result into a serious phobia named Glossophobia or speech anxiety, which has symptoms similar to nausea, dry mouth, breathing difficulty, increased blood pressure, and feelings of distress or panic under some circumstances.

Whether you are a job seeker, a student, a lecturer, a manager, or other, there comes a time when you need to speak in front of strangers to present your idea in an impressive way that demonstrates knowledge, self-confidence, and uniqueness, which leads to reaching your goals and experiencing the joyful moments of success.

The first time you say something, it’s heard; the second time, it’s recognized; the third time, it’s learned, as per John Maxwell (author and speaker, who has written many books, primarily focusing on leadership).

As per Dale Carnegie, only the prepared speaker deserves to be confident.

The good news is that public speaking is a skill that can be acquired and developed. 

Below are most of the helpful public speaking tips I’ve learned from hands-on experience, researches by Washington and Harvard Universities, Dale Carnegie, John Maxwell, Brian Tracy, and other public speakers and leaders.

I personally tried them, and they helped me to successfully speak on important meetings, interviews, events, sessions, and have better social interactions. They work like magic if you’re giving a presentation. Try them, and simply speak like a Pro. 

Public Speaking Tips

  1. Prepare a rich, organized, and meaningful content.
  2. Use visuals during your presentation (e.g. posters, charts, PowerPoint presentation).
  3. Make sure your presentation have 3 main parts: Opening, body, and closing.
  4. Let your personality shine through: Be honest, unique, cheerful, open, and confident.
  5. Show passion and enthusiasm about what you present.
  6. Practice your presentation with colleagues, friends, or family, and get their feedbacks.
  7. Record your presentation for self-analysis: You can simply practice in front of the mirror, or shoot a video using a smartphone.
  8. Arrange the location before the presentation: Make it comfortable, clean, and neat.
  9. Smile.        
  10. Breathe.
  11. Focus on delivering your message, not on how you feel.
  12. Make eye contact with your audience.
  13. Consider a short icebreaker related to the topic of your presentation (e.g. question, short story, quote).
  14. Give a warm welcome, and remember to introduce yourself.
  15. Thank your audience for coming.
  16. Clarify your topic and objectives at the beginning.
  17. Provide your audience with the roadmap of your presentation at the beginning.
  18. Use a clear voice.
  19. Use intonation (different tones of your voice).
  20. Use hand gestures naturally.
  21. Maintain good posture of your body.
  22. Occasionally, move from one spot to another with a purpose (e.g. to get closer to your audience, or make a movement fitting with what you’re saying).
  23. Allow questions, and assign them a specific and limited time period.
  24. Listen attentively before responding to questions.
  25. Talk at a natural pace (not too fast, not too slow).
  26. Speak to the knowledge level of your audience.
  27. Talk to your audience and ask questions to keep them engaged.
  28. Encourage interactions between audience members.
  29. Involve your audience in small activities related to your presentation.
  30. Make your audience laugh from time to another.
  31. Create surprises and suspense.
  32. Give examples, tell stories, or share real-life experiences.
  33. Conclude with a strong ending.
  34. Summarize key points at the end.
  35. Thank your audience at the end.



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Reinventing Education in Africa

Originally published on July 9, 2018 – by The Bridge Leadership Foundation 

Education across Africa has always been faulted as not far reaching and not enough to cater for the educational need of the continent’s population. The literacy rate of Africa, with the exception of a few countries, is disturbing and needs a lot of efforts in addressing. According to UNESCO, Africa is the only continent where more than half of the parents cannot help their children with their homework because of illiteracy.
This is quite alarming because education is needed in acquiring basic skills needed to get through challenges we go through in life, be you a kid, teenager or adult. With the absence of education, little wonder the epileptic growth of most African countries in the areas of economic growth and development.
The core issues of African education are the continent’s inability to adapt its curricular, research and teaching methods to a changing continent and world. In so many African educational institutions, outdated books, theories, researches, teaching methods etc. are still in use widely and these tell on the grade of graduates they produce. Graduates who think old, who aren’t well versed with new theories and thoughts, thus a bit backward in a fast changing world as compared to the west. This is why when students graduate; their skills do not fit what the society demands of them.
Another issue with education is accessibility and quality. It is worthy to note that availability does not determine quality. In so many African countries, the availability of schools is limited and cannot accommodate the fast growing population. The available ones are mostly substandard when compared to their counterparts in the west. You go to some African schools and you find students sitting on the floor and windows in classes and the usage of slate, bad chalkboards and the likes for taking notes and teaching respectively. This is quite sad.
There is the need to build more schools to cater for the need of the chronic rise in population. It is the case of unavailability of schools that makes children sit back at home; or have to walk or take buses to long distances to get to school; or overcrowding in classrooms of the available schools. Little is assimilated when a class is crowded and rowdy. And in the case of higher education, due to unavailability of so many universities in some countries, rigorous benchmarks are set to reduce candidates for admission, leaving thousands back and unable to gain admission till the following year. This is quite depressing because this causes emotional trauma for so many people, people giving up on their dreams after so many trials and moving into trade and the likes.
Also the acute shortage of trained teachers for basic education is quite frustrating good education in Africa. This problem is quite vivid in sub-Saharan Africa. According to UNESCO, sub-Saharan Africa would need a number of 2.2 million new teaching positions by 2030, while filling about 3.9 vacant positions due to attrition. The continuous employment of untrained teachers for basic education is of course not advisable as the continent has realized its shortcomings over the years of indulging in such.
This reality is acknowledged by so many governments in Africa and their efforts towards resuscitating the standards of education in their various countries cannot be belittled. But it is also worthy to note that there is still need for more efforts geared in addressing this concern.
The governments of Africa should put more efforts in reforming and revitalizing higher education to better address issues of access, relevance and quality. This should be done for all levels of education.
The government more efforts in capacity building in training and research for higher education institutions in order to strengthen the knowledge society. Also, promoting the use of ICT as a tool to broaden access to information and knowledge and open new opportunities for education should be an approach that should be utilized and maximized.
Also, there is the need for the employment of quality teachers. Trained teachers, and not people who just dabble into the line of teaching because of unemployment, should be employed as teachers and lecturers of schools and tertiary institutions respectively.
Africa is a continent endowed with potentials, talents, creativity and enthusiasm. Access to education and resources to make these endowments thrive would make the continent experience an intense turnaround for good and greatness.

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