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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Crazy about education

"Many schools that currently lack sufficient textbooks could soon access the world’s best educational content on affordable tablets or e‑books; teachers, too, will benefit from more effective training. The technology-related productivity gains in education could reach $30 billion to almost $70 billion—enabling governments to achieve more with their education budgets and providing millions of students with the foundation for a better future."

in Lions go digital: The Internet’s transformative potential in Africa


This is what teachers should be doing now, online teacher-training experiences.  Cheap or free, world-class, and supported by public and private organizations.  Not to over-promise, but it's the path to modern classrooms - modernizing our teachers' tools and orientation is an efficient path to delivering education that works.
  
Details and Modules: The Commonwealth Education Trust invests in primary and secondary education and the professional development of teachers throughout their careers. Through education it seeks to enhance the opportunities for children from all walks of life to contribute to the sustainable development of their communities. 
Foundations of Teaching for Learning 1: Introduction
FTL 2: Being a Teacher
FTL 3: Learners and Learning
FTL 4: Curriculum
FTL 5: Planning for Teaching and Learning
FTL 6: Introduction to Student Assessment    
FTL 7: Being a Professional 
FTL 8: Developing Relationships

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

The high crimes and high life of Ibori and co.



  • James Ibori defrauded £157m from west African nation's oil rich Delta State
  • He spent millions on luxury mansions, private jet, fleet of cars and hotel trips
  • He admitted conspiracy to launder funds during his eight-year governorship
  • The 51-year-old is accused of personally pocketing £50million of the money
  • But his defence lawyer claims he did not make a single penny from the fraud
  • Full confiscation order under Proceeds of Crime Act on Friday will determine how much he will be ordered to repay


  • A former Wickes cashier who became a Nigerian state governor and defrauded £157million of public funds to live a lavish lifestyle may not have to pay a single penny back.
    James Ibori, 51, is said to have personally pocketed £50million of cash stolen from the west African nation’s oil-rich Delta State during his eight-year tenure.
    The former £5,000-a-year Wickes cashier blew millions on luxury homes, a £12.6million private jet, fees at some of the UK’s most expensive boarding schools for his children, first-class travel and exclusive hotels.
    James Ibori, 51, of Hampstead, London,  is said to have personally pocketed £50million of cash stolen from the west African nation's oil-rich Delta State during his eight-year tenure
    James Ibori, 51, of Hampstead, London, is said to have personally pocketed £50million of cash stolen from the west African nation's oil-rich Delta State during his eight-year tenure
    The former Wickes cashier blew millions on luxury homes, a £12.6million private jet, fees at some of the UK's most expensive boarding schools for his children and exclusive hotels
    The former Wickes cashier blew millions on luxury homes, a £12.6million private jet, fees at some of the UK's most expensive boarding schools for his children and exclusive hotels
    He owned a £600,000 fleet of armoured Range Rovers, a £120,000 Bentley and a £340,000 Mercedes Maybach that was shipped direct to his £3.2million mansion in Johannesburg.
    Described as one of Nigeria’s most influential and wealthy politicians, Ibori rigged lucrative state contracts with the help of his wife, mistress, sister, and an inner circle of corrupt officials and lifted money straight out of state funds.
    He also sold £23million of state-owned shares in telecoms company Vee Mobile to fund a lavish lifestyle, including £125,000 monthly credit card bills while his people languished in poverty.
    Ibori, who now lives in Hampstead, north west London, was sentenced to 13 years behind bars in April 2012 after admitting a raft of fraud and money laundering offences.
    He is due to face a confiscation hearing at Southwark Crown Court but it was claimed today that he did not make a single penny from the £157million fraud.
    Applying to have confiscation proceedings thrown out, Ivan Krolick, defending, said Ibori’s pleas of guilt were not an admission that he personally profited from the scam.
    Ibori owned a £120,000 Bentley, a £340,000 Mercedes Maybach that was shipped direct to his £3.2million mansion in Johannesburg and a range of homes including one in Dorset, pictured
    Ibori owned a £120,000 Bentley, a £340,000 Mercedes Maybach that was shipped direct to his £3.2million mansion in Johannesburg and a range of homes including one in Dorset, pictured
    The former £5,000-a-year Wickes cashier owned a £600,000 fleet of armoured Range Rovers and sold £23million of state-owned shares to fund a lavish lifestyle, including £125,000 monthly credit card bills
    The former £5,000-a-year Wickes cashier owned a £600,000 fleet of armoured Range Rovers and sold £23million of state-owned shares to fund a lavish lifestyle, including £125,000 monthly credit card bills
    The court heard if the full confiscation hearing does go ahead under the Proceeds of Crime Act, the fraudster may only be ordered to pay back £330,000.
    Prosecutor Sasha Wass QC said: ‘The handling of the money itself gave rise to the crime so the benefit of the crime in the context of this case would be the same thing.
    ‘It gives rise to the proceeds of crime.
    ‘The Crown has been taken wholly by surprise that Mr Krolick should address the court and say that there was no evidence in effect that Mr Ibori benefited’.
    Nigerian-born Ibori moved to the UK in the 1980s where he married his wife, Theresa, and worked as a cashier at Wickes in Ruislip, Middlesex.
    In 1990 the pair were convicted of stealing goods from the store and fined £300. A year later Ibori was fined £100 for handling a stolen credit card before he moved back to his homeland.
    Ibori was elected as governor of Delta State in 1999 after tricking his way into power by hiding details of his previous convictions in the UK for theft and changing his age.
    In 2003, he was re-elected as governor for another four year term, after failing to disclose his previous convictions and financial status.
    Ibori, 51, who now lives in Hampstead, north west London, pictured, was previously convicted of stealing goods from hope improvement store Wickes and handling a stolen credit card
    Ibori, 51, who now lives in Hampstead, north west London, pictured, was previously convicted of stealing goods from home-improvement store Wickes and handling a stolen credit card
    Ibori, described as one of Nigeria's most influential and wealthy politicians, bought a £120,000 Bentley, pictured, a £340,000 Mercedes Maybach and a £600,000 fleet of armoured Range Rovers
    Ibori, described as one of Nigeria's most influential and wealthy politicians, bought a £120,000 Bentley, pictured, a £340,000 Mercedes Maybach and a £600,000 fleet of armoured Range Rovers
    During that time he systematically stole funds from the public purse, secreting them in bank accounts across the world.
    His methods included the inflation of State contracts, kickbacks and the transfer of cash from the State accounts by unscrupulous employees in his inner circle.
    In one instance he rigged the tendering process for state contracts in cahoots with his mistress Udoumaka Okoronkwo, who would be due to face confiscation proceedings alongside Ibori.
    The couple used Okoronkwo’s companies Sagicon, Rivbbed and Saagaris - the latter of which their four-month old love-child was named as a director of - to ‘bid’ for inflated deals to provide items to the state including china and vehicles.
    The money was then channelled out of Nigeria before it was laundered through a series of off-shore trusts and companies.
    Ibori was also helped to steal the cash by his wife Theresa, sister Christine Ibori-Ibie, and a series of corrupt professionals - UK London based lawyer, Bhadresh Gohil, fiduciary agent Daniel Benedict McCann and corporate financier, Lambertus De Boer.
    Ibori was also helped to steal the cash by his sister Christine Ibori-Ibie, whose plush home is pictured above, wife Theresa and a series of corrupt professionals including London based lawyer Bhadresh Gohil
    Ibori was also helped to steal the cash by his sister Christine Ibori-Ibie, whose plush home is pictured above, wife Theresa and a series of corrupt professionals including London based lawyer Bhadresh Gohil
    Two years later at a court in Ibori’s hometown in Asaba, 170 charges of corruption were dismissed on the basis that there was no clear evidence to convict.
    The case was reopened in April 2010 by the EFCC before Ibori fled to Dubai. He was finally extradited back to the UK in April 2011.
    Ibori admitted ten offences relating to conspiracy to launder funds from Delta State, substantive counts of money laundering and one count of obtaining a money transfer by deception and fraud.
    He was excused from attending today’s hearing and Judge Anthony Pitts is expected to rule on Friday whether he will face a full confiscation hearing.

    Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2600746/Former-Wickes-cashier-Nigerian-state-governor-defrauded-worlds-poorest-people-157million-not-pay-penny.html

    Wednesday, April 02, 2014

    All about solutions...The Smallholder Foundation and Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu

    http://www.bmw-stiftung.de/en/people-ideas-views/bmw-foundation-young-leaders/an-interview-with-nnaemeka-ikegwuonu/

    NI: We at the SmallHolders Foundation believe that education is critical – education is development for us. Education opens the mind and motivates the quest for results. We believe that an educated person will make a better choice, more than an uneducated person. In that case we looked at the whole chain and we saw that one of the things that kept farmers trapped in poverty was the inefficient agricultural extension services. Agricultural extension services should be a tool that organizations and government agencies can use to educate farmers about new techniques, new crop varieties, new livestock, how to control crop and livestock diseases. But this critical service does not exist anymore. 

    So we decided that we have to establish a radio station. In 2007, we established a smallholder farmer’s rural radio. Today the radio station designs and broadcasts agriculture environment and market information to 250.000 small farmer listeners, in the local Ibo language, 10 hours a day. It teaches them how, when and where to cultivate and for whom there are cultivating; how to rear livestock properly and at the same time the market to sell livestock. For example, we taught them how to gather rainwater during the abundant rainy season to use for vegetable gardening in the dry season.

    The radio station is also educating farmers how to open bank accounts, the need for accurate record keeping and how they can check their input and their output. I believe that by the time a farmer decides to cultivate maize, he should make a simple budget, Every morning the radio station gives farmers commodity prices from eighteen regional markets so they decide which market to go to.

    I think we are better because so many of the organizations have not been able to attract knowledge from farmers themselves. Farmers have knowledge. Farmers know the environment more than those organizations. Farmers know where it hurts most, why there are not increasing their agricultural yield year after year. What farmer A is doing can also be applicable to farmer B, C and D. Several organizations design projects for farmers; they don’t allow farmers to design projects for themselves. For a very long time that has been the norm within the government and civil society sector in designing agricultural projects and I think that has to stop. I’m a farmer myself. I know how difficult it is to get an agricultural loan. Because so many loans out there, even the ones given by microcredit funds, are not designed for agriculture. Why? Because agriculture is high risk.  We can’t even control the weather. There could be flooding tomorrow; the whole harvest can be lost for the year. That is why no loan is specifically made for farmers.

    Read the full BMW Foundation interview with Nnaemeka, founder and executive director of the Smallholder Foundation here.  In 2011, he was named Young Person of the Year at the Future Nigeria Awards. 

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