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Young innovators get global Science funding to promote e-learning in Nigeria


Two young Nigerians have been named among four recipients of funding under a major global Science initiative supporting projects developed by young people to promote literacy across the world.

The Waterloo Global Science Initiative (WGSI) announced the launch its Equinox Fellowship, a programme that funds projects initiated by young people between the ages of 18 and 30 inspired by the priorities outlined in its Equinox Blueprint: Learning 2030 which launched globally this month in Oxford, UK at the World Literacy Summit.

One of the Nigerian recipients, Iyinoluwa Aboeyeji has come up with a radical idea to make better teachers in Lagos.

Aboeyeji is the Co-Founder and CEO of Fora, a start-up that connects young Africans to e-learning resources, and a recent graduate of the University of Waterloo.

His new project, Teaching for Learning is program that will use e-learning resources from Coursera and the Commonwealth Education Trust in Foundation of Teaching and Learning to expose primary and secondary school teachers in Lagos, Nigeria to new ideas about pedagogy and tools that will allow them to become better teachers, the programme promoters announced.

On the other hand, the second Nigerian recipient of the fund, Olatunde Ajoke Omoware, who has come up with the Agbado e-Learning Centre to leverage technology tools and the Internet to promote learning.

Omoware is the Human Resources and Project Coordinator for the non-profit AGDC Employability and Enterprise.

“Her project targets children from the poorest homes in Agbado, Nigeria who are almost a year behind their classmates by the time they start school. In an area serviced by only one government secondary school, Agbado e-Learning Centre will provide children with access to the basics of ICT and Internet usage as well as books and literacy resources”, WGSI says.

According to WGSI, the Equinox Fellows are eligible for up to $5,000 in launch support and project leaders will be matched with a mentor to assist and support the project’s development.

Also, another Nigerian, Omorinola Odeyinka of the West Africa Vocational Education (WAVE) Project, a which seeks to identify, train and place talented West African youths in wage-earning jobs in the hospitality sector, was also named recipient of an Ideation grant of up to $1000.

According to WGSI, the Equinox Blueprint: Learning 2030’s student-centered vision for the future of education was developed at last fall’s Equinox Summit: Learning 2030. Half of its collaborators were high school students, student leaders, entrepreneurs, and activists between 18 and 30.

In partnership with leading youth social entrepreneurship network, TakingITGlobal, a cohort of 30 young innovators participated in the Sprout e-course to develop a project and be eligible for a Project Launch Grant and mentorship opportunities provided by TakingITGlobal and MaRS Discovery District.

Another recipient, Eric Kennedy from Phoenix, USA, is developing the International Interdisciplinary Student Network (IIN) to connect student leaders across the world.

Kennedy, a PhD. Student in the Consortium for Science Policy and Outcomes at Arizona State University and graduate of the University of Waterloo’s Centre for Knowledge Integration, is developing IIN to link, empower, and support interdisciplinary student associations and their young leaders around the world.

Also, Bryson McLachlan from has come up with Design Thinking Module.

McLachlan, a student in the Centre for Knowledge Integration at the University of Waterloo, is developing a learning module for middle and high school students that introduces them to design thinking and collaborative work. The long-term goal is to equip young people with a resilient and flexible skill set that can be adapted to difficult problems that stretch across multiple disciplines and outside school walls.


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