The initiative has been led by Robert and John Ltd, a Nigerian innovative Research & Development company, in partnership with the Lagos State Government and KaiOS.
The First Bank of Nigeria Ltd is sponsoring the first batch of 20,000 KaiOS-enabled devices which come with activated MTN data SIM cards. These devices are being distributed to school children from low-income families (where household income is below US$100 a month) who have one year of state secondary school left. Communal solar panels are being installed at central places within the villages so that the devices can easily be charged.
These smart feature phones running on KaiOS will have the Roducate app – and a handful of other useful apps preloaded. Access to other content will be blocked so the device will be solely for educational purposes.
Designed and developed by Robert and John, Roducate is the first mobile learning app in Nigeria with all the approved curriculum materials for Primary, Secondary and select University courses. It was launched in 2014 and is fully endorsed by Nigerian Educational Research Development Council (NERDC), National Universities Commission (NUC), Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), African Union, and Microsoft.Roducate gives students access to full curriculum-based lecture notes, assignments, tutorial videos, podcasts, and mock exams with answers for state and nation-wide exams at all levels. The content can be downloaded onto the KaiOS phone and used online or offline.
Speaking from his office during a ceremony to mark the distribution of the first 20,000 smart feature phones, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, the Governor of Lagos State, requested that private companies in Lagos and beyond contribute to the initiative, with a target to sponsor 300,000 devices to school children in the coming months.
I am proud that Lagos State is taking the lead in Nigeria in using innovative technology to help improve the education of the next generation. I am grateful to Robert and John for developing this impactful app, KaiOS for supporting the platform that integrates well the Roducate app and other essential content in affordable smart feature phones – and to First Bank for funding the first KaiOS devices.Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, the Governor of Lagos State
Mrs. Folashade Adefisayo, Lagos State Commissioner for Education, said “The pandemic may well bring permanent changes to how we teach. We need to use every channel possible to reach children including e-learning”.
Mr Femisola Awosika, CEO, Robert and John, said: “Smart feature phones enabled by KaiOS are the best device for the target demographic for this project; the children of low-income families. They have been specifically designed to minimise data usage with a long-life battery. Lagos is the pace-setter embracing new technologies to help improve the quality of education. We hope that the other states in Nigeria – and indeed countries across Africa – are watching carefully”.
This is an impressive e-learning initiative that has launched at a time when so many children are not at school. It fits perfectly with our mission to provide connectivity and services to the hundreds of millions of Africans who still don’t have access to the internet. Roducate provides everything the children in Nigeria need to continue their education at a very high standard.Sebastien Codeville, CEO of KaiOS Technologies
Robert and John is currently working with First Bank Plc, the Lagos State government, as well as other state governments and private institutions in Nigeria to secure more funding for additional KaiOS devices.