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MTN Foundation and Oracle collaborate to boost ICT skills in Nigeria

MTN Foundation and Oracle are collaborating on an ICT training project for MTNF scholars.

The partnership will see two projects come to fruition: a bursary funded by Oracle for one student to attend the CERN openlab Summer School in Switzerland, and plans to train up to 2,000 MTNF scholars in database design and SQL and Java programming skills.

“We are delighted with this collaboration that will see Mufutau Akuruyejo, an MTN Foundation scholar, leave for Switzerland to participate in the nine-week CERN openlab programme. Akuruyejo will be the first Nigerian to participate in this intensive programme,” said Akinwale Goodluck, Corporate Service Executive, MTN Nigeria.

CERN openlab is a unique public-private partnership between CERN and leading ICT companies. Its mission is to accelerate the development of cutting-edge solutions to be used by the worldwide LHC (large hadron collider) community.

“Our highly competitive student programme is a cornerstone of CERN openlab, with the students bringing new ideas and invigorating our collaboration,” says Alberto Di Meglio, Head of CERN openlab. “This year, we received over 1,500 applications from all over the globe and have selected students of the highest possible caliber. We’re very excited to be welcoming them to CERN very soon.”

The MTNF Science & Technology Scholarship Scheme has provided hundreds of indigent students the opportunity to acquire qualitative tertiary education. The programme is expected to encourage Nigerian students to take interest in science and technology-related courses for the ultimate benefit of the country.

The second initiative focuses on teaching database design and SQL and Java programming skills to MTN Foundation scholars, using Oracle Academy curriculum and hosted online learning materials. Students will be taught by two Oracle Academy trained faculty from the Ajayi Crowther University and Aived International who have attended and passed the formal Oracle Academy faculty training courses.

Commenting on the Oracle Academy programme, Goodluck said it would help to further boost the ICT skills in beneficiaries and avail them of valuable opportunities after completing the database design and SQL and Java programming courses.

“With the rapid adoption of technology in Nigeria, it is imperative that students are equipped with the right skills to take advantage of career and entrepreneurial opportunities,” said Adebayo Sanni, Country Managing Director, Oracle Nigeria. “When public and private organisations collaborate, we have the opportunity to effect innovative change and create new opportunities,” he added.

The MTNF Scholarship Scheme covers tuition, books and pocket allowance. It is renewable provided recipients maintain a minimum of 3.5 Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) in their course of study and an overall 2.5 CGPA. In 2012, the scholarship was extended to visually impaired students in public tertiary schools who meet the requirements.

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