A SURVEY carried out by EdFin Microfinance Bank, MfB and Gray Matters Capital has shown that over 67 per cent of schools serving low income households in Lagos are considering digital channels for education. EdFin MfB is Nigeria’s first specialised bank focused solely on education financing while Gray Matters Capital is a US-based impact investor.
The survey titled: ‘Remote Schooling Readiness’ shows that the findings were based on responses from low cost private schools in Lagos in April 2020. Further findings revealed that WhatsApp was the preferred platform of choice for teachers to engage with students, parents and collaborate among themselves.
The survey report shows that: “63 percent of responses showed that WhatsApp is the preferred platform of choice for teachers to engage with students, parents 71 percent and for collaboration with other teachers 74 percent, among trouncing Zoom, Google Classroom and others.”
The survey findings showed that: “67.8 percent of schools are considering continuing operations via remote learning. Of the schools willing to take the online route, over 80 percent seek technological assistance for setting up remote learning operations. Nine percent of the schools surveyed have initiated full-scale remote learning. 36 percent have initiated partial remote learning (for selected classes and subjects) while 43percent are exploring remote learning tools to implement.
“Of those schools who have initiated remote learning, the highest number of virtual classes being conducted for primary schools is about 38 percent. Interestingly, nearly 44 percent of the schools have indicated parents of students not yet open to remote learning for their children.”
This can be adduced to reasons such as low disposable income to access digital infrastructure and services (such as mobile phones, tablets, personal computers and internet services), and lack of tangibility associated with remote learning, among others.
Findings on access to digital devices showed that of the low-cost private schools surveyed, 21 percent responded that their students do not have access to any digital device for online learning. Only 13 percent of the schools had all their students equipped with an internet enabled device for online learning, while 63 percent schools responded that only a few of their students had access to devices and good connectivity. 19 percent of the respondents had all their teachers equipped with digital devices to conduct remote learning, while 66.2 percent responded that only some of their teachers had digital devices.”
Showing further result on core competencies of teachers for online classes, less than 21percent of the private schools surveyed had teachers with all the skills needed for conducting remote classes, while 62.8 percent had some of the basic skills. 23.6 percent of schools planning to charge fees for home schooling; 66.4 percent of schools willing to avail loans to equip teachers and students with digital devices for remote learning.