A survey by EdFin Microfinance Bank has revealed that 67.8 percent of schools in Lagos 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.
The survey on ‘Remote Schooling Readiness’ was conducted by EdFin Microfinance Bank in collaboration with Gray Matters Capital, USA to assess the readiness of schools serving low- to middle-income households in Lagos to transition to remote learning as a result of COVID-19.
The UNESCO Institute for Statistics and Data estimates that in Nigeria almost 40 million learners have been impacted across all education levels.
To ensure continuity, education providers have identified technology as the key enabler for remote learning.
However, the major challenge that remains to be surmounted for providers is how to serve the most vulnerable and disadvantaged communities, with low disposable income and poor access to digital services.
Despite these challenges, survey has revealed a clear demand and aspiration, from low cost schools, to use digital channels for education, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
WhatsApp is the preferred platform of choice for teachers to engage with students, parents and collaborate among themselves.
A report released by EdFin Microfinance Bank showed that 9 percent of the schools surveyed have initiated full-scale remote learning; 36 percent have initiated partial remote learning (for selected classes and subjects) while 43 percent are exploring remote learning tools to implement.
Of those schools who have initiated remote learning, the highest number of virtual classes are being conducted for primary schools; which is 38 percent.
The report said nearly 44 percent of the schools have indicated parents of students not yet open to remote learning for their children.
This can be attributed 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.
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 of the schools responded that only a few of their students had access to devices and good connectivity.
The report indicated that 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.