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Erik Gregory, Pearson Foundation; Emeka Oparah, Airtel Nigeria; Atinuke Adelekun, BridgeIT project; Kamarudeen Abatan,  Lagos

Phone maker Nokia, Pearson Foundation, and telecommunications service provider Airtel Nigeria have completed the training of teachers in Public Schools in Lagos State on the use of mobile technology to deliver rich media content to students in their classrooms.

The 62 teachers, from 32 public schools in Lagos State, were trained under the Airtel, Nokia, and Pearson Foundation technology-driven education initiative, BridgeIT, in collaboration with the Lagos state government through the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB).

The schools are part of a pre-pilot program and the number is expected to grow to more grade levels and subject areas over the next two years.

BridgeIT combines mobile technology, the use of mobile phones and teachers to deliver and share high quality educational content in public schools where IT infrastructure may be limited.

Teachers will receive digital educational programming – videos, pictures, text, and audio files – over mobile network already in use in their community, and are empowered to share these materials with students in ways that improve student learning.

The commencement of the pilot BridgeIT programme is a follow up to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Nokia, Pearson, Airtel and Longman with the Lagos State Government early in May, this year.

In the arrangement, while Nokia will provide the technology - a mobile application known as Nokia Education Delivery (NED) - Pearson Foundation, the charitable arm of the world’s largest learning company – Pearson - will provide the educational content. Airtel Nigeria, has the duty to provide the network coverage that will enable teachers download the videos to their phones, which are used as instructional materials.

After viewing educational content, students participate in interactive lessons facilitated by teachers who have benefited from professional development workshops that promote collaboration and the use of mobile technology in the classroom. The implementation of the programme begins this academic session in schools drawn mostly from suburban parts of Lagos.

The CEO of Airtel Nigeria, Rajan Swaroop, expressed his company’s delight that the programme is eventually taking off and said the BridgeIT has the potential to transform lives of school children, the leaders of tomorrow.

He explained that the BridgeIT program was in line with Airtel’s Corporate Social Responsibility thrust, the Adopt- A-School Programme, which underscores the company’s commitment to providing the much-needed support for the improvement of the educational sector in the country.

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