MTN Nigeria Hosts High-level Forum to Innovate Digital Education 

Funmi Ogundare 

Key stakeholders from the public and private sector, academia, government agencies, as well as officials of MTN Nigeria recently converged on Rooftop MTN Plaza, Ikoyi, for a high-level focused group discussion on education.

It aimed to ensure the co-creation of ideas that would enhance digital learning for pupils.

Speaking with journalists, Aisha Mumuni, Chief Digital Officer of MTN Nigeria, expressed enthusiasm about the engagement, emphasising the need for accountability in government policy formulation and bridging the gap between the public and private sectors.

She noted, “Engagements like this begin with intention. Nigerians often rely too much on the government, forgetting that it cannot address issues alone. The private sector must ask what we can do and how we can help, aiming to close the divide with our ongoing conversation.”

Mrs. Toyosi Akerele-Ogunsiji, the founder of and lead consultant of #MTNFGDonED, described education as the epicentre of the development of any country, saying that there is a need for collaborative efforts from all stakeholders to create value and ensure that there is a solution to the problems affecting learning.

She commended the MTN team for the initiative, saying that digital capacity depends on people’s ability to learn independently.

“With our mobile phones, we want to completely revolutionise how we deliver learning in a seamless way to the Nigerian child. MTN wants to work in the digital space to co-create and transform its approach to delivering education,” she stated.

Dr. Ossom Ossom, Director of Social Mobilisation at the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), expressed concerns about the disconnect between the public and private sectors. He noted that many Nigerians rely on the government to resolve educational issues. He warned that if parents depend solely on the government for their children’s education, future outcomes may be disappointing. 

“If everyone is doing their best, why are we still struggling with education quality and the number of out-of-school children? There is a critical need for this conversation to merge ideas and find effective solutions,” stated Ossom.

He said traditional learning approaches are ineffective. UBEC has established digital centres nationwide and is ready to partner with stakeholders to enhance  its efforts.

“We need a paradigm shift from current practices. The capabilities of phones, data, and other technologies offer significant opportunities to transform our thinking and learning processes,” Ossom stated.

He recalled that the ministry of education, at both federal and state levels, along with SUBEB and faith-based organisations, once successfully operated schools, but government policies have since reduced their effectiveness.

“It’s now imperative to co-create. The organised private sector and MTN must foster open dialogue to drive essential changes. Otherwise, our future may not be one we can take pride in,” Ossom stressed.

UNICEF Chief Field Officer Celine Lafoucriere highlighted its digital learning solutions, including the Nigeria Learning Passport (NLP), which ensures continuous access to education and has been deployed in 19 states across the country. “There is a plethora of digital solutions available. We need to explore where MTN can partner,” she said.

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