N: Tell us about yourself
My name is Olubolade Ayokunle. I am an Educational Technology (Ed-tech), Mobile Learning, Public Relations, and Communication specialist. I am a philanthropist who always seeks to promote the welfare of others through generous innovations to good causes. I was born in Lagos, Nigeria on the 22nd of April 1987. I attended Grace High School, Gbagada for my Junior high school and Seagate College Apapa for my Senior high school.
Then, I obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Information and Communication at the University of Lyon, France. I am also an alumnus of the prestigious Swansea University in Wales, United Kingdom, where I obtained a Master of Arts in Communication, Media Practice, and Public Relations. Currently, I am the Chairman and one of the founders of the most innovative and EdTech foundation in Africa – called FoundationFAE (Foundation For Adequate Education). In addition, I am the C.E.O of PRICT Multiservices and Solutions (an ICT, Public Relations, and Media, and company in Nigeria).
I believe that education is the key to building a great nation. I have great commitment and dedication to the development of the educational sector in Africa. Education is key to innovation in our cities and villages in Africa. The words of Nelson Mandela "Education is the most powerful tool which you can use to change the world" motivate me to keep learning and moving forward, because I know we all, as individuals can create a better world for the next African generation.
Tell us about FAE and the inspiration behind it.
FoundationFAE is the first Ed-tech (Educational Technology), Edutainment and Mobile Learning, Non-Governmental Organization based in Nigeria. The main purpose of FAE is to provide adequate learning materials (virtual and physical) and infrastructure strictly to institutions in Africa. FAE creates both public and media awareness of the current state of education in institutions across Africa. Read More about FoundationFAE
The Inspiration behind FoundationFAE
I was inspired to start FoundationFAE while I was studying in Lyon, France, but then I didn't know how to go about it. The idea later finalized itself while I was at Swansea University. It was at this point I realized the value and essence of education in one's life as a student. A clear depiction of how learning should be for the next generation of African students came to my mind. Then, I asked myself why education was not this intuitive and fun back home in Nigeria.I realized it was missing EdTech and Mobile Learning. This led to the decision to start the Foundation. Eventually, I realized that EdTech and M-learning increased one's curiosity to gain knowledge. In my case, I had access to both EdTech tools and learning materials at my Fingertips (Mobile device). The ability to see learning from a different point of view, i.e. not a teacher-centered-learning system that we are familiar with in Africa, but to a student-centered-learning system, where learning revolves around the pupils in classrooms. Upon my arrival in Nigeria, I called some of my friends who shared the same ideology and passion with me and that was how FoundationFAE came into existence.
When did you start this project?
Well, FoundationFAE started late 2015 towards early 2016, but the official paperwork was completed May 2016. We launched our office, campaign, and website the same year.
What impact has it had so far?
Our greatest impact is at the tertiary institution level because we have visited campuses and organized programmes with Campus Torch. We have also visited some primary and secondary schools to donate materials since we realized that most primary and secondary schools needed physical materials. We have been able to impact the students of tertiary institutions mentally through our campus shows or collaboration programmes (EdTech talks and conferences). These introduce students to EdTech tools and M-learning apps that they never believe existed.
How does your foundation help out-of-school children?
We created a virtual learning platform on our website that is supported by a mobile app, which is accessible to anyone with a mobile device or computer. On our platform, there are free educational materials for kids that can increase access to education for out-of-school children . Furthermore, there are courses and referenced sites on a wide range of subjects etc. which these children can easily access from any device. In addition, we also provide links to educational apps that can teach certain basic courses for kindergartens, primary and secondary schools. For seniors or adults, there are virtual learning sites, free simulation tools, MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) and so on, accessible on FoundationFAE site or app.
What are the potentials of EdTech for reducing poverty and creating opportunity in Nigeria?
It is a known fact that a well enlightened and educated individual has a lower tendency of being in poverty. EdTech helps expose individuals to knowledge which was beyond their reach at a click. It can also help create jobs across all regions. In addition, the integration and maintenance of EdTech in institutions creates a big opportunity for EdTech Specialists. With the use of EdTech and Mobile learning, individuals who previously had no access or opportunity to study can now learn at their own pace.
Let us be realistic, we are in the 21st generation and individuals mostly have access to a mobile device, (be it the first Android or Nokia Java phones) but they are not aware of the power it holds. All they need is enlightenment on how to harness the potential of what they already have in their hands.
Do you run FAE alone?
Definitely no, I can't run FoundationFAE alone. It will be too much work for an individual to handle. That is why we have members, partners, the board of trustees, volunteers etc.
Likewise, we have passionate partners and sponsors who believe that education is the key to one's success in life. Partners such as Campus Torch, OAM Foundation, Motivating Africa, NigerianNGO etc.
What challenges have you faced in the course of running FAE?
There are several challenges which we do overcome at times. For instance, the ability for some institutions to adapt or integrate to what we advocate for is quite tough. Most institutions are used to the old learning trend and don't want to support the new trend (due to cost or lack of technical expertise). Besides this, we face challenges of lack of basic infrastructure in most institutions. For example, imagine going to a campus tour show in an institution, where there is no electricity, no projectors , screen connectivity, streaming devices, audio speakers, Wi-Fi or stands to demonstrate with. These devices mentioned above help create an interactive session with students. Most of the time, we have to provide these devices ourselves. Also, there is the financial and material aspect, to cover various institutions in Africa. We have a limited budget or sponsors to support our events.
What are the plans you have for this project in the long run?
Our vision is to ensure all students in institutions in Africa have access to basic learning materials (virtual and physical) and infrastructure. In the long term, we hope to impact the educational system and standards across Africa into adapting the integration of EdTech and Mobile learning in institutions. Likewise, the creation of FoundationFAE centers in some African cities, where students can visit for free to learn and explore education in a whole new level.
Are there any plans to expand FAE?
Certainly yes, we plan to expand FoundationFAE to all parts of Africa. Currently, we have a presence in Nigeria and a few West African countries. We hope to get more members, volunteers, and partnerships with various organizations across Africa.
How has the project been funded till date?
Overall, we have been using our personal funds to keep the FoundationFAE project running. In addition, we also have sponsors and partners, who support us often.
How can other people connect with this project or support what you're doing?
They can connect, support or contact us via the following channels:
Email Address: info@foundationFAE.org
Suite 47C, Block D, Anon Plaza,
Gudu District, Apo,
Phone Number: 234 (817) 438 3785