Open Access Short Research Article
Small and medium sized companies (SMEs) should be drivers for national economies, also providing opportunities for socio-economic participation and mobility. But SMEs, more than bigger companies, have experienced difficulties during Covid-19 due to less customer demand for goods and services, limited resources and problems with digitalization. All these facts require rapid change in SME strategies. Based on literature research and on work with SMEs undertaken by the author during European projects, the goal of this communication paper is to illustrate some difficulties experienced by SMEs due to COVID-19 and problems they have with digitalization and skill gaps, as well as measures which could help them. First, the impact of Covid-19 on SMEs and the role of digitalization in their recovery and further developments are presented. Second, certain structures required within SMEs and necessary skills and competences are described in this context. Proposals are then made for reskilling processes within workplace learning and other learning approaches to improve the skills and competences necessary for SME recovery processes.
Lifelong learning (LLL) plays an important role in addressing the skills gap between what students have traditionally learned in formal education and the needs of employers and the labor market. LLL should be more connected with other forms of training/learning, digitally supported, interdisciplinary and practically oriented in order to contribute towards achieving the new skills and competences necessary during and after the COVID-19 pandemic and to promote digitalization as a driver to success. The paper also presents examples of the work of the Study Group Lifelong Learning of the IAT, coordinated by the author, and conclusions.
Open Access Original Research Article
This paper investigate the variability of Total Electron Content TEC over a terrestrial point within equatorial anomaly region using the NovAtel GSV 4000B GPS-SCINDA system at Akure (7.3°N, 5.2°E), Nigeria. This system is capable of tracking up to 14 GPS satellites simultaneously. Total Electron Content (TEC) over equatorial region using a real time data collected via a GPS-SCINDA facility were analyzed to study the ionospheric variations in terms of Total Electron Content (TEC) for the period of three years. Diurnal variations and Monthly mean variations of Total Electron Content within the equatorial anomaly region were examined. The diurnal variation of TEC showed pre-dawn minimum for a short period of time, followed by a steep early morning increase and then reached maximum value between 14:00 UT and 16:00 UT. The influence of solar activity on VTEC was investigated by taking the correlation coefficients between VTEC, F10.7cm radio flux index and sunspot numbers. The range of solar flux variation during the period of observation is very limited; there is high positive correlation (Correlation Coefficient 0.61) between daytime peak TEC and the solar F10.7 flux.
Open Access Original Research Article
In a field study conducted at the Teaching and Research Farm of Rivers State University PortHarcourt, Nigeria, to examine the ability of vetiver and guinea grasses amended with organic manures in remediation of crude oil polluted soil; soil polluted with Bonny light crude oil at 0 and 2% v/w was subjected to a remediation processes using vetiver (Vetiveria zizanioides) and Guinea grass (Panicum maximum) amended with organic manures for a period of twelve months. Two weeks after pollution, poultry and rabbit manures were applied at 0, 10, 20 and 30 tons per hectare respectively. Vetiver and guinea grasses were planted two weeks later. It was fitted in factorial split plots randomized block design. Results of the study revealed that remediation of the soil with grasses degraded the Total hydrocarbon content (THC) to 23 and 21.2% for vetiver and guinea grass respectively, while the quantity of heavy metals removed from the soil were 28.4% and 25.9% for iron, 37.3 and 32.8% for zinc, 35.8 and 30.8% for lead (Pb) and 23.1 and 38.5% cadmium for vetiver and guinea grass respectively. Amendment of the soil with 30 tons’ /ha organic manures increased the quantity of THC degraded to 70.6% and 67.9% for vetiver and guinea grass respectively while the concentration/quantity of heavy metals removed from the soil increased to 58.4 and 54.7% for Fe, 66.9 and 65.1% for Zn, 69.4 and 66.6% for Pb and 80.8 and 71.2%, in Cd for vetiver and guinea grass respectively. The quantity and concentration of THC and heavy metals degraded in the soil was higher in vetiver than guinea grass plots and in vetiver amended with poultry manure than in guinea grass amended with rabbit manure. There was a significant (P<0.05) difference in uptake of THC and heavy metals in plant tissues between vetiver and guinea grass. Vetiver accumulated more of the contaminants in their tissues than guinea grass. Amendment of the soil with organic manures reduced the uptake of the contaminants (THC and heavy metals) from the plant tissues. Generally, both grasses have the capability to remediate crude oil contaminated soil. Augmentation of the two grasses with organic manures enhanced their capability.