Submitted by admin on Thu, 12/31/2020 - 12:31
Nigerian Education personalities and outliers 2020

The rapid outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has presented an alarming crisis with a significant economic, commercial, and social impact that is felt globally. Africa, a continent with social-economic and political peculiarities has undoubtedly suffered a huge blow in the wake of the COVD-19 outbreak. Needless to say, the Nigerian education sector is most hit by the pandemic as it further jeopardizes an already feeble system.

Thanks to the resilience and unflagging commitment of Nigeria’s new generation of education champions, the year 2020, though most challenging, has brought some beacon of hope. This year, Nigeria saw some of the most laudable innovations, inventions, and interventions in the education space; disruptive edtech solutions, impactful education projects, and programmes; education-focused non-profit organizations and education-focused social enterprises, etc.

These achievements, recorded at a time when the larger part of the world’s population has resigned into a state of inactivity – due to the covid-19 pandemic – confirm the veracity of Nelson Mandela’s words, “Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do."

We present to you, Nigerian Education Outliers 2020.

The Nigerian Education Outliers by Edusko Africa annually recognizes individuals who have contributed immensely to the development of education in the country through their organizations or direct personal endeavours. This year, we spotlight some passionate Nigerians – among many others - championing the course of quality and equitable education for Nigerian children in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In no particular order, below are the Nigerian Education Outliers in 2020.

See Also: Nigerian Education Outliers 2019

See Also: Nigerian Education Outliers 2018

Top 5 education personalities in Nigeria – 2020

1. Sim Shagaya

Sim Shagaya is a Nigerian media and technology entrepreneur. He is the founder and CEO of uLesson Education Limited - an app built to make education available to learners across Africa. 

Sim is the founder and former C.E.O of one of West Africa's largest electronic commerce website and founder of E-Motion Advertising - a leading out-of-home media company acquired in 2019 by Loadstad Media.

When Ulesson launched in March 2020, Sim Shagaya probably didn’t foresee an epidemy that will completely disrupt education and traditional classroom learning. But he knew the product would bridge the huge education gap in Africa, so, he launched anyway.

A few months down the line, Ulesson is providing unfettered access to quality education for learners in anglophone West African countries, where ordinarily, access to quality education is a nightmare for millions, and with COVID-19, little or no learning would have taken place.

Ulesson is an app-based home education kit for students that leverages a network of tutors to bridge educational gaps for secondary school students in Nigeria. The startup already raised $3.1 million to scale its audiovisual education content service across Africa. Ulessons is democratizing access to quality education in Africa one kid at a time, and that’s big deal in 2020.

2. Olanrewaju Oniyitan

Olanrewaju Oniyitan is a consultant, entrepreneur, author, speaker & advocate, focusing on creating wealth, jobs, incomes, and economic growth. Lanre founded and leads W-Holistic Business Solutions. She also serves as the Executive Director for the firm’s social impact projects: SEED (Sustainable Education & Enterprise Development), Future4Kids Africa, and Acceler8 Hub.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lanre supported schools serving children from low-income families with the SEED C.A.R.E.S. (COVID-19 Advocacy, Relief, Empowerment & Support) intervention by ensuring they continue to learn despite the crisis and post COVID-19, are able to remain in school. The intervention provided food aid, hygiene packs, resources, radios, training, mentoring, income support, access to finance for parents, students, teachers, and school owners/leaders.

In addition, Lanre co-founded the Obama Leaders in Education Hub to inspire more education-focused interventions across the African continent through the Obama Africa Leaders network. She is also a mentor for We Are Family Foundation, currently mentoring a teenage, female Edtech leader in Tanzania.

The impact of her firm’s work in the education space led to its current involvement in the school reopening process following COVID-19 lockdowns through the Office of Education Quality Assurance, Ministry of Education, Lagos, Nigeria.

3. Isaac Oladipupo

Isaac Oladipupo is an award-winning disruptor at the intersection of education, technology, and social change. He is the co-founder of Afrilearn, an education technology corporation integrating genius teachers, animators, and developers to deliver a world-class education for Africans, anywhere.

In February 2020, out of 668 applications, Isaac emerged top 20 Nigerian entrepreneurs selected for the Netherland’s Orange Corners Incubation. He went on to emerge top 3, winning the Business Innovation Fund for Afrilearn.

In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic and school closure across Nigeria, on April 5, 2020, Afrilearn launched, an e-learning platform that provides complete primary and secondary education content online. Within a month, the platform amassed over 237,601 visits with thousands of registered users achieving improved learning outcomes. has since been ranked Nigeria’s most visited basic e-learning platform, empowering thousands of young Africans daily.

In November 2020, to reduce the failure rate end help people prepare for local and international exams for free, Afrilearn released the viral Exambly App and Web, which instantly took #2 Trending Education App rank on Google Play Store, with overwhelming feedback. Afrilearn also got selected among the African Union’s Top 50 Innovations for Education in Africa. In December, Afrilearn won the U.S. Chamber Digital Innovation Award 2020.

4. Emmanuel Orji Kanu

Emmanuel Orji Kanu is a seasoned teacher, school administrator, Chairman of Rockford schools, and one of the pioneers of the Association for Formidable Educational Development (AFED) where he served as the General Secretary for 8 years and is currently the National President of the Association.

In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, Orji trained over 1,500 educators on managing online schools as soon as schools were closed due to the pandemic. The training impacted educators who prior to that had no clue on how to leverage technology in teaching their pupils. Orji also trained AFED teachers online to help bridge the gap created by COVID 19 through Mrs. Toyin Akingbade.

Emmanuel Orji Kanu ensured the provision of Covid-19 standard-compliant buckets produced by an affiliate company, EdTech and supported by WhyBlueSky to engender safe and risk-free resumption of students. They also mass-produced nose masks for member schools with support from donors. These initiatives enabled member schools to meet the criteria by the government for safe school resumption.

In combating COVID-19, Emmanual Orji Kanu led the creation of the COVID-19 safety committee, visitations to schools, procurement of cost-friendly COVID-19 necessary safety equipment like infrared thermometer, hand gloves, etc.         

5. Titi Adewusi

Titi is passionate about revolutionizing education and has been a volunteer teacher for over 15 years. She is currently the chairwoman of Bethesda Child Support Agency, an NGO that has provided free education to over 5000 children across poor & underserved communities across sub-Saharan Nigeria.

Titi is one of the three female Co-founders of 9ijakids Educational Games. 9ijakids is one of the leading voices driving gamification and digital content in the Edtech space. It is a digital learning experience that exposes children ages 5-11 years to major 21st-century skills using digital games and content. The learning platform has over 200 educational games.

Titi partnered with Access Bank Nigeria in April 2020 to provide free online access to educational games to ensure thousands of children kept learning during the lockdown. She was also a part of the team of Educators that trained teachers in Lagos State public schools as part of initiatives toward the physical resumption of schools after the lockdown.

In conclusion, beyond the shadow of a doubt, Africa’s future rests largely on the quality of education our children receive and how equitable and accessible quality education becomes for every single child. If we would tap into the great potential that is in the African continent, we must not just see education as a way to escape poverty but as a tool for fighting it.

As we look forward to unveiling the Nigerian Education Outliers in 2021, we hope that you continue to bear the light and make the world a little better than you met it.

Nominations for Nigerian Education Outliers 2021 is now open. Feel free to nominate potential outliers here.



Submitted by Ogunyemi babat… (not verified) on Thu, 12/31/2020 - 21:22

I nominated afed national president hon orji emmanuel kalu, he has really encouraged , supported and champion the course on low income school's owners.


Submitted by OSIGBOSIN TemiTope (not verified) on Thu, 12/31/2020 - 23:31


Orji Kanu Emmanuel

Submitted by Uche Nwaekpe (not verified) on Fri, 01/01/2021 - 12:58

I vote Hon. Orji Kanu Emmanuel for the award as he is eminently qualified

Orji Emmanuel

Submitted by Oluwasina Oladele (not verified) on Fri, 01/01/2021 - 13:09

An outstanding leader with passion to take out of the streets children without education

Voting for Emmanuel Orji

Submitted by Obafemi Richard (not verified) on Fri, 01/01/2021 - 13:36

Mr Orji Emmanuel has written his name on gold for his tremendous effort to bring out of children to limeline in education sector in Lagos and Nigeria. He has collaborated with government to make education better through Association For Formidable Educational Development (AFED).

Orji Emmanuel Kanu

Submitted by Ezeh Justina (not verified) on Fri, 01/01/2021 - 13:36

He deserve it.

To cast my vote

Submitted by Hassan olayinka (not verified) on Fri, 01/01/2021 - 14:05

I appreciate the good work hon Orji KANU Emmanuel afed president has been doing and deserve the award

Honourable Orgy Emmanuel

Submitted by Afolabi (not verified) on Fri, 01/01/2021 - 14:06

Voted for

Honourable Orgy Emmanuel

Submitted by Afolabi (not verified) on Fri, 01/01/2021 - 14:06

Voted for

Voting Emmanuel Orji Kalu

Submitted by Comrade Salami… (not verified) on Fri, 01/01/2021 - 15:22

Educationally relevant especially to the low cost education providers in Nigeria. A champion of No out of school children in Nigeria

Voting Emmanuel Orji Kalu

Submitted by Comrade Salami… (not verified) on Fri, 01/01/2021 - 15:26

A leader per excellence

Voting Emmanuel Orji Kalu

Submitted by Comrade Salami… (not verified) on Fri, 01/01/2021 - 15:32

An advocate of No Out of School Children in Nigeria

Emmanuel Orji Kanu - Nigeria Education Outlier

Submitted by Timoni Ayotund… (not verified) on Fri, 01/01/2021 - 16:40

His passionate pursuit of supporting low fee paying schoolsl and directly educating the future generations leaders qualify him to be chosen.

Voting for Emmanuel Orji

Submitted by Ntinu Ibidun (not verified) on Fri, 01/01/2021 - 17:08

He is a dynamic leader with passionate heart. Fighting to make sure all children have access to quality education at a minimum cost.

Nomination for Nigerian out Education outlier

Submitted by Olotu Stella M… (not verified) on Fri, 01/01/2021 - 18:08

I wish to nominate Mr Orji Kanu Emmanuel.
Thanks you

Voting for Emmanuel Orji Kalu

Submitted by Comrade Salami… (not verified) on Fri, 01/01/2021 - 19:39

An advocate of No out of school children in Nigeria

Honourable Orgy Emmanuel

Submitted by Pastor Afolabi… (not verified) on Fri, 01/01/2021 - 21:52


Education Outliers 2021

Submitted by Nwankwo Sunday (not verified) on Fri, 01/01/2021 - 23:34

Honourable Emmanuel Orji KANU deserves the award in contention because of his unquantifiable impact in advancing education in the grassroot , building and sustaining capacity which drives the interest of educators and learners in the presence of various discouraging factors. For example during the novel corona virus pandemic, his innovative ideologies gave and sustained educational future of many Nigerian children from poor and low income earning families. Hon. E.O.KANU is a genius.

Education Outliers 2021

Submitted by Nwankwo Sunday (not verified) on Fri, 01/01/2021 - 23:58

In addition to earlier comments submitted. I wish to add that Hon Emmanuel Orji KANU is an extra visionary educational manager with proactive sensitivity and creative acumen to discover the best improvised methodology in the absence of conventional system to achieve same result : when remote or rural or countryside teaching and learning is involved. He deserves a part at his back. Thank you.

Hnr Orji Emmanuel

Submitted by Victoria Ville (not verified) on Sat, 01/02/2021 - 09:34



Submitted by MRS AMAECHI, MATILDA (not verified) on Sat, 01/02/2021 - 18:31

My nomination goes to Emmanuel Orji Kanu. As the AFED President, he has touched our schools and lives positively, especially the Burkingham University brought to us.

Orji Kalu

Submitted by Uzoma Samuel (not verified) on Sat, 01/02/2021 - 20:06

He has impacted greatly into the educational sector and he is a blessing to many

Voting for Mr. Kanu

Submitted by EZEH MATTHIAS … (not verified) on Sun, 01/03/2021 - 13:41

I want to vote for Mr Kanu

I nominate Emmanuel Orji Kanu

Submitted by Mrs Ayeni Abio… (not verified) on Sun, 01/03/2021 - 16:20

I believe he has the ability, potential and capacity to take Educational Sector to the peak of it's best in Nigeria.

Nigerian Education Outliers 2020

Submitted by Chituru Ademoy… (not verified) on Sun, 01/03/2021 - 18:19

Vote Emmanuel Orji Kanu

Nigerian Education Outliers 2021

Submitted by Ifeanyichukwu Nkechi (not verified) on Sun, 01/03/2021 - 21:07

I vote Emmanuel Orji Kanu


Submitted by NKECHI UMEOKANA (not verified) on Wed, 01/06/2021 - 09:16

I vote Emmanuel Orji Kanu, He is a good leader that'll take us forward.

I vote Emmanuel Orji Kanu,…

Submitted by NKECHI UMEOKANA (not verified) on Wed, 01/06/2021 - 09:19

I vote Emmanuel Orji Kanu, He is a good leader that'll take us forward.


Submitted by NKECHI UMEOKANA (not verified) on Wed, 01/06/2021 - 12:53

Emmanuel Orji Kanu is worthy to move education forward. He is a good leader and will always be.

Voting for Emmanuel Orji Kanu

Submitted by Udechukwu, Est… (not verified) on Mon, 01/11/2021 - 20:34

His devotion and dedication in making sure that children of low income earners are not out of school are commendable. So, I believe is eligible to take the award

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