… As firm outlines investment impact in Africa
Four hightech scholars in Port Harcourt have won scholarships to study in Middlesex University in the United Kingdom (UK) and in Aptech Computer Education centre in Port Harcourt.
This is as Aptech has revealed its huge investment impacts in Nigeria and Africa where tens of thousands are trained every year in hitech and infotech which fetch massive jobs to Africans.
At a draw event in Port Harcourt on Friday, September 8, 2023, Felix Divine Chukwu Kamjiaka and Ifedibia Valentine won the scholarship to the UK (which offers 50 percent fee discount) to be paid by Aptech Nigeria.
Two other students from Port Harcourt, Onwukeme Sylvia Adanna and Nwokoro Mmesoma Victor won the Aptech scholarship for the PH Centre. The mother of Divine Chukwu Kamjiaka, Felix Chinyere, was overjoyed and commended Aptech.
Speaking at the event, the vice president of Aptech for Africa and Pakistan, Seetam Thakuri, who said it was his fourth visit in Port Harcourt, said the purpose of the event is to provide the pathway to international degree in infotech.
He told BusinessDay in a side interview that Aptech has invested and impacted the Nigerian infotech industry for 25. He said they began with focus on skill development in IT later realised the need for degree acquisition especially in international degrees.
So, he said, Aptech introduced UK degrees, but that the cost is very high. “To reduce cost, we did a partnership with a UK university, Middlesex University which is for three years with high fees plus accommodation and food, etc. But with our partnership with Middlesex, our students with Advance Diploma would proceed for a degree. So, it is two years in Aptech and one year in Middlesex, making total of three years.”
He went on: “The students study in Aptech for 100 hours and the credit load is transferrable through what is called Credit transfer Facility (CTF).
“They are directly enrolled in final year. This saves a lot of money. In your first two years, you study in Nigeria and probably from your home, save flying cost, and London costs.”
Thakuri said the syllabus is designed to be Middlesex University complaint so that when you get there for the final year courses, you have no issues. The certificates are from Middlesex.
He went on: “We run this programme all over the world such as Pakistan, Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, etc. We have big markets in four major markets and wherever the students want to work, they have the degree.”
Aptech’s dream for Nigeria and Africa is for the IT industry to grow big and changing the industry. “It is changing every year and we upgrade our curriculum. Most universities are not at par with what is happening in the industry, but we upgrade yearly. In fact, we upgraded in August and October 2022. So, we give the upgrade to all our students in Africa and Nigeria.
“The new technology we provide in Africa and Nigeria is the key thing. We give degrees which gives jobs. The students monetise the skills and degrees we give them. They are creating projects and scaling up. This is helping Africa. We see them going to the university and get jobs. Many of our students are CEOs of their companies. That is happening all over Africa.”
The vice president said the market share of Aptech will not be measured in monetary terms but in terms of the values provided. “We provide huge academic values. In India, over 15,000 students are admitted every year; Pakistan is about 18,000 per year, Egypt is 13,000, Nigeria enrolment is up to 4,000 every year. Over 300 students from Nigeria go to the UK and Dubai every year to study from Aptech. They come back with hitech to invest into the nation’s human capital and into national development. When students get big jobs with degrees, they represent our investment.”
He said the 45 centres run by Aptech in Nigeria with over 10,000 students in the circle is huge impact. He said focus is on quality, not number. “Students in schools can also join the programme along with their academic courses. We have professional courses. IT has no age limit. Elderly people are clicking and learning too. Almost 70 per cent of global population is into IT.
“Professionals can join. Our faculties are some of the best in the world. Students write exams to enter. We maintain high standards. You are interviewed right from India.”
On his advice to Nigerian youths in the dynamic worlds, Thakuri said: “Nigerians are very good in IT but they need the right tech to learn. They can come to Aptech to complement this. We provide the best that the industry needs. They need the right content and the right pathways.
“Many students from Nigeria go straight to the UK. They are paying three times higher than what you pay in Aptech. Our students also do IT in the UK. We provide the best content in the world and it is same all over the world. We provide opportunities to them.”
He said each time he came to Nigeria, he feels very happy and satisfied especially when he sees students calling from the UK and give testimonies of opportunities and life changing experiences. “It is about helping Nigeria bring skills home.”
Giving data and technical details of the IT world, the vice president said Aptech is the best IT group in Pakistan, and is an award-winning IT training firm. It’s a global network. “The degree Aptech offers is an international degree that gives competitive advantage. The knockout is the Credit Transfer Facility (CTF) which allows the transfer of credit hours and scores from Aptech campuses around Nigeria to the main campus being Middlesex University in the UK.”
He said Aptech makes one future-ready, with global opportunities galore. “There are global opportunities, networking and competition. By July 2023, world population is 8.05Bn out of which 5.56Bn or 69.1 per cent is connected with mobile subscription; 5.9Bn or 64.5 per cent individuals are on the internet; 4.88Bn or 60.6 per cent are on social media.”
He said the future is digital, predicting that in the next 15 years, hard copy newspapers and other media contents in analogue form would disappear. This will start in the next five years. He said AIML (Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning) will decide how humans think and do things. Technology trends revolve around AI/ML now.
He also said machines are studying humans online, reproducing human intelligence. He said a particular email group is preferred because of many features and different free packages but on the other hand they go with you wherever you go. They know everything about you because of their email you are using. As you sit here, they know who sits next to you. That’s how close. It is called Generative AI and Prompt Engineering (AI/PE).
He revealed how super machines have over 100 years of data. They can do anything. “AI/ML will not take your job but someone with AI/ML will. ChatGBT knows everything. If you ask it: I want to see a flying horse, it will bring it.
“The books you wrote in three years can be written in few hours. Just type in key words and the book is ready.”
On way out, he advised people to be open to new knowledge. “You can get a good job but a new tech can come and take it away. We can only guarantee to give you the best content around the world, but not to give the job or to protect it except by updating your knowledge. This place is the place for the best opportunities.”
A voice from Middlesex: Admissions Officer
Favour Ugboaja, the admissions officer in Nigeria, gave insight into how students manage both campuses. She gave background, saying Middlesex University has 40,000 students worldwide with 25,000 in the main campus in the UK. It has study centres in 140 countries; 1,700 staff members, and 130 years old, with 300 courses. The University which is ranked 15th in the world has UK and Dubai campuses but the third is coming up in Mauritius, she said.
“UK has 20,000 multinational corporations that support employment. There are 300,000 students in the UK. The library has 350,000 books and many others online.”
She gave tips on salary grade of #24,000 or N25m the degree certificate can earn in the UK. She also gave tips on the fees payable for the one year in the UK.
A student in Middlesex, Joshua Ayegba, speakin virtually, said Aptech helped him in admission processes to UK and that things were made easy for them at Middlesex.
A parent, John Lokobi, said Aptech has brought great relief to many parents wanting to train their children abroad. He said many may never know what parents training their children are passing through. He said the cost and process have been simplified and that fake agents have been eliminated.
He said parents would make maximum use of the opportunity, saying IT and infotech are the future. He said anyone without digital infotech in the future would be like stone.
Earlier, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Aptech, Sajan Rahan Survarna, gave an overview of the works of Aptech in Nigeria over the years and guided students on how to manage their pathway to success.