Educational Technology In Nigeria: Forcing Development at all School Levels

Education is an important aspect of the development of any country as a key indicator of the development index of any country is the effectiveness and efficiency of its educational sector. In Nigeria, there have been improvements in the education system over the last two decades and the advent of technology solutions in the development of the education sector cannot be overlooked with technology playing a pivotal role in the access to and methods of education in Nigeria.

Over the last decade, the increased use of technology in Nigeria in different areas of our lives ranging from finances to business automation. Technology is perhaps best served in the educational sector in Nigeria. The government and educational institutions are increasingly looking for ways to use technology to improve:
Technology has various applications within education in Nigeria today. Teachers, students and indeed schools are constantly looking for ed-tech solutions to improve the teaching and learning experience in classrooms while school administrators are becoming more reliant on technology to help manage and organize their institutions. 
With various institutions and multiple stakeholders in the educational sector in Nigeria, there is increasing demand for efficient and functional educational technology solutions in Nigeria. We recognize this growing need and are committed to creating solutions for all stakeholders using the latest technology to achieve our primary objective: Improving edtech in Nigeria.

Flexisaf: Innovating Education in Nigeria with EdTech

We are committed to building simple edtech solutions for all stakeholders in Nigeria. Our core target include building solutions for
We build and design solutions that improve the teaching and learning experience for all involved.
Our primary objective is to improve edtech inNigeria by developing simple but efficient digital tools to help with
  1. School Management
  2. Admissions and Documentation
  3. Student Management
  4. Teaching and Learning
  5. Teacher Development and management
  6. Parent Engagement
  7. Fees Payment and Financial Documentation
Using the most up to date methods and the latest technology, we are building solutions to help schools, teachers andstudents to do more with less effort and achieve better results in the future.

School Management Technology

School Management is an important part of the education process. And creating technology that allows school administrators to execute non-academic activities and documentation allows for effective running of the school.
In an ever-evolving world, school administrators require efficiency to manage teachers and school processes. Some of these processes include
  • Staff assignments
  • Student record management and;
  • School fees documentation
These activities can be carried out digitally using SAFSMS: a simple school management solution designed for school administrators to manage, document and record school activities.

Student Management

Without student management, it is impossible to run a school. Student management encompasses so many activities including:
  • Knowing which students are assigned to which classes
  • Knowing the number of students within a school at a certain time and;
  • Monitoring academic performances individually and collectively for classes and subjects
  • Sending out acceptance and rejection letters.
Student management takes up as much time and energy as teaching and student assessments. One will argue that if student management is not efficient, students will not be effectively educated as it will become increasingly difficult to highlight areas that need improvement within the current teaching and learning structure in the school. This is why it is important to put the right system in place to:
  • Manage student-teacher relationships
  • Monitor student performance and;
  • Seamlessly oversee all student activities.
Effective student management can help teachers, school owners and administrators determine
  • Areas of improvement in student engagement
  • Areas of concern in teacher efficiency and management
  • Student performance, strengths and weaknesses
  • Challenges students or teachers might be facing in any subject
  • High performing and non-performing students, teachers and subjects
  • Students that will require guidance and counseling and the kind of interaction they might need.
Effectively managing students especially as a school grows requires the administrators to be able to access all necessary information in formats that allow them to visualize, and easily analyze this information. Using SAFSMS, teachers and school administrators can easily manage students within a school and help improve students and engage them in the most beneficial way for their academic development.
Aside from managing the administrative operations of any school, student admissions and documentation is an important part of the education process for any institution. As schools increase in size, admission officers are generally required to determine the criteria for admission to these institutions as well as manage the entire admissions process. These processes generally involve multiple concurrent activities including:
  • Sorting admission fees
  • Scheduling admission exams and interviews
  • Documenting performance of applicants and;
  • Sending out acceptance and rejection letters.
These processes become tedious and time-consuming as the school begins to increase in size and depending on the number of applicants the school decides to process at any given time, without the aid of a digital tool, the admission process runs the risk of certain inefficiencies that could result in:
  • Poor documentation
  • Wrong admissions
  • Administrative and financial overhead
  • Students missing out on necessary admission information.
One of the easiest ways to solve this problem is to access technology that allows schools and their admission officers toautomate the admissions system while monitoring the process to ensure that both the students and the school get the best out of the entire admissions process. SAFApplyis specifically designed to achieve this purpose.
SAFApply is an online admissions solution that:
  • Enables school administrators to publish courses and curriculums
  • Allows students to apply while
  • Helps Admissions officers determine the admissions criteria
  • Enables Admissions officers tomanage the admissions process and;
  • Allows students to pay admission fees online.
SAFApply helps improve the admission process for schools and ensure efficient documentation for students who can then be easily managed using the technology for student management.

Teaching and Learning

School management and admissions are the bedrock that allows schools to do what they are actually established to do; educate the next generation. To achieve this, it is imperative that we explore every avenue to improve the experience for students while giving teachers the tools necessary to communicate lessons to students in ways that they can understand, remember and apply in the future.
  • Reach students
  • Assess their understanding and;
  • Enhance their assimilation of various subjects via different forms of media.
To achieve the best forms of teaching and learning for students, we designed JanguKids, a digital platform for students to access over 2,000 curated lessons that are taught visually with examples and lesson guides.
JanguKids is designed for students in nursery and primary school using the approved curriculum as a teaching aid to make classroom and at-home learning more interactive and informative for students.Teachers can use JanguKids lessons in class and use the post-lesson assessments to measure student understanding and assimilation of any subject matter.

Teacher Improvement

Teacher development is an integral part of education as teachers need to develop and evolve more teaching methods and processes to ensure that students get the tools they need to be successful in the world today. Educational technology plays a key role in teacher development, providing them with platforms to improve their inherent teaching capacities. Teachers spend the majority of their time planning lessons and setting up assessments and they need help with curating content and information they need to help them develop.
We have developed SAFLEARN, a solution for teachers. SAFLearn is designed for teachers to have access to learning materials adopting the UNSECO ICT competency framework. These courses cover
  • Application of digital skills
  • Curriculum and assessment;
  • ICT in education policy;
  • Organisation and administration;
  • Pedagogy;
  • Professional learning
Teachers on SAFLearn also have access to conferences and learning workshops that they can attend to improve their knowledge and skills thereby improving the quality of the education of the students they teach.

Parent Engagement

Parent Engagement is an important part of education. Parents need to be able to make informed decisions about their children's education and development. Some important aspects of parent engagement include
  • Academic monitoring
  • Class attendance and general conduct
  • Extracurricular activities and;
  • School recommendations
While providing education for a child, it is important that parents are kept up to date with continuous assessments, information about school activities, suggested extra-curricular activities and general student performance. This will help parents to take a more active role in the education of their children, make more informed decisions about their children's academic path and ensure that the children get the best from their learning experience.
  • Access information on the go
    Parents can accessSAFSMS on their phones via a functional mobile application and log in at anytime.
  • View results and
    Parents have access to their child’s results at any time and can print, review and analyze the results efficiently.
  • Pay fees
    Parents can view their child’s school fee requirements and can pay online directly to the school.
  • Monitor their child’s academic progress
    Parents can view their child’s result history and compare and contrast their academic performance over various sessions and terms, parents can also view their child’s continuous assessment results during the term
With a technology solution for parents to engage with their child’s school. Parents can be more involved in their child’s education.
Fee payments used to involve long processes of making payments at the bank, visiting the school to validate payments with the bursar, getting a receipt and ensuring that that receipt was kept handy if the child ever needed proof of payment.
The impact on parents time and school administrative overhead, while little was difficult and parents would often have challenges understanding fee breakdowns from school bus fares to boarding house allowances and textbook costs. Parents could not easily break down what they were paying for and what their child was getting.
With improvements in payment technology, seamless receipt and digital payments have been introduced into educational technology solutions like SAFSMS Parents. Parents simply:
  • View the payment analysis for their children’s fees,
  • Make the payments online,
  • Confirm student receipts digitally
Once the payment is confirmed, the school is notified and the child’s status is updated. This reduces the overhead from the receipts to validation and student record management as this is updated manually.
In the often busy world of today, parents cannot only rely on open day and parent-teacher conferences to get this information. Using technology like SAFSMS Parents, a parent can:

Tech's Role in Education Post Covid-19

Nigeria was not exempt from the effects of the global pandemic caused by covid-19 from 2019 to date. The entire country endured a three-month mandatory lockdown from March until May of 2020, leading to many children being out of school and the partial (and in some cases complete) halting of their academic process.
The effects of the pandemic simply showed the need for increased use of edutech in Nigeria. Teachers and students alike require access to simple digital solutions that can
  • Allow students access to lessons on the go
  • Enable teachers to assess students from anywhere in the world and;
  • Provide the students with the materials and information they need to thrive.
Using digital classrooms, teachers can teach students across multiple locations and assess their progress in real-time.
Solutions like JanguKids provide an active platform for:
Deploying edtech in Nigeria is not without its challenges as access to the internet and internet-enabled devices is still a luxury in certain households but with the support of the government and educational institutions, students can begin to access these digital schools both in and out of school.
  • Interactive Student Learning:
    Using digitally created content students can learn lessons online and take assessments after. Students can access JanguKids with phones or tablets and have access to hours of lesson materials
  • Uninterrupted Learning:
    Even though teachers could not be present in physical classrooms, they could set up lesson plans and use curated lessons onJanguKids to ensure that students continued learning
  • Digital Assessment:
    Using the digital assessment tool, teachers could check the performance of students after lessons and use this informationto communicate their performance with parents.
Solutions like JanguKids which operates both on a web and mobile interface can be used to teach lessons to students both formally and informally to provide both children with both formal and informal education. With technology, the adverse effects of the pandemic on the education of children were significantly reduced.
In an ever-evolving world, the importance of educational technology can never be overemphasized. We have taken up the task of providing solutions that can meet the needs of all actors in the education sector.