SchoolsCompass, an online schools discovery platform has taken the bold step to ascertain the non-health impact of COVID-19 on Nigerian schools through research, while harping on the need for schools to utilise technology in learning especially post-COVID in order to remain relevant.
The firm recently presented its findings to the Lagos State Government.
Receiving the report titled 'Understanding the Stance of a Nigerian Parent in a Typical Post-COVID Learning Environment' on behalf of the state government in her office, the Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo described the SchoolsCompass initiative as laudable and complementary, adding that education being a critical success factor for socio-economic development in any emerging economy requires all the technicalities, reports and researches that allow for critical assessment to gauge and drive policies in advancing reforms.
She said the Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu (BOS) Education Transformation Plan is an integration of several action initiatives and ideas put together to meet the sector's needs and leverage on existing needs, expertise, partnership and resources to improve quality and relevance of the public schools system and administration.
"With findings from the survey carried out by SchoolsCompass, policies will be effectively improved upon to better deliver government deliverables," the commissioner said.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mrs. Abosede Adelaja lauded the organisation's collaborative effort with the ministry of education, saying that the results from such surveys support transitions into knowledge-based economy and help distill the specific initiatives and intervention plans required to execute on the mandate of the state government.
She encouraged other stakeholders to take a cue from SchoolsCompass by identifying the ministry's focus areas for potential public/private sector collaborations, stressing that the sector's development requires collective partnerships and stakeholders' participation.
"With the gradual easing of nationwide lockdown due to a progressive decline in the number of COVID-19 cases in Nigeria, we are getting ready for schools re-opening and also ensuring adherence to COVID-19 safety protocols in the face of 'post-COVID education realities."
In his presentation, the founder, SchoolsCompass, Mr. Yomi Ojo said COVID-19 pandemic has created the largest disruption of education systems in history, affecting nearly 1.6 billion learners in more than 190 countries and all continents.
"If we are to reiterate the stands of notable authorities in the education sector, one might agree that the nation's pre-COVID education system was not sustainable as the sector is currently experiencing the drastic impact of the downturn caused by the pandemic.
"As a tech driven organisation, SchoolsCompass was established to assist parents in aligning with an ideal school(s) for their wards by giving them access to relevant information about different schools all in one platform."
He said his organisation conducted a survey utilising the vast database on its platform to reach the targeted Nigeria's education stakeholders and decision makers to determine the country's post-COVID learning expectations.
The research involved respondents from the six geo-political zones in the country and supported active parents' inclusivity in every child's education.
According to him, the organisation's findings revealed that the pandemic encouraged the need for schools to utilise technology in learning; in a post-COVID learning environment, school owners and key decision-makers must involve parents throughout the learning process for the way forward for education; the tuition fees payment package should be personalised in terms of each parents capabilities as authorities in the sector forecast a more competitive environment for school owners as they strive to remain in business.
Other findings show that even with the gradual easing of lockdown due to expected decline in the number of COVID-19 infections in Nigeria, school owners must show leadership by providing preventive measures that would curb the spread so as to boost parents' trust in institutions; and now more than ever, school owners must revamp their IT department in order not to be taken unawares in the future."