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Babajide Esho: Moving school processes from analogue to digital

Nigeria’s educational sector is confronted with a combination of issues ranging from inadequate funding and obsolete organisational structures to lack of quality teachers and limited access to information.

To change this narrative in the country’s educational sector and ensure that schools adopt technological solutions in carrying out its processes, Babajide Esho is using technology to redefine the sector.

Babajide Esho is the founder of Skoolkive, an online educational platform that helps schools automate and effectively manage their processes. The platform helps school administrators and parents to easily receive and make payments through a single channel.

The business, through its biometric features, also helps record students’ clock-in and clock-out, which can be sent to parents to enable them to effectively and efficiently monitor their children in secondary schools.

Jide was inspired to establish Skoolkive to help address some of the challenges in Nigeria’s educational system. He established the business in early 2017.

Jide and his partners pooled funds from personal savings and secured a pre-seed funding from Procyon Group, which cumulatively amounted to over N2.5 million.

The Actuarial Science graduate tells Start-Up Digest that the business has grown since starting over two years ago. He says that the business has experienced early adopters of its technology in parts of Lagos and has signed a partnership deal with the regional sections of National Associations of Proprietors of Private Schools.

It has not all been rosy for the University of Lagos graduate’s Skoolkive start-up business, as access to relevant data has remained a key challenge confronting it.

“Access to the relevant data, which is critical to our business, was a very big challenge when we started. There weren’t enough data we could access on key figures in education such as updated number of schools in Nigeria and number of student enrolments for the past five years among others,” the young entrepreneur says.

Jide wants the government to take more radical approach to data collation, emphasising the relevance of data in planning and decision-making. He also notes that such data should be made available in the public domain.

The young entrepreneur stresses that it is the various challenges in the education sector that has made the country lose over $4 billion to other countries from Nigerians schooling aboard, adding that if the government has invested heavily to develop the sector the estimated dollar spent would have helped in growing the Nigerian economy.

“Some of these propositions include our partnerships with financial technology companies, which allow partner parents to access loans that will enable them pay school fees via salary deductions. This is an initiative we believe will keep us in business for a long time,” he discloses.

When asked his advice to other younger entrepreneurs, he says, “Understanding that you might fail many times before you eventually get it right is one piece of advice entrepreneurs need to always remember. I lost count of many things I failed at a particular project because I always kept on trying to build something amazing that people want.”

 

Josephine Okojie

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