SEED launches digital school transformation platform
To improve Nigeria’s education system, Sustainable Education and Enterprise Development (SEED) has announced the launch of a digital platform powered by Sophia ERP for a groundbreaking school transformation programme.
According to the Executive Director of the organisation, Olanrewaju Oniyitan, SEED is an initiative that works with schools to help them improve their quality.“The focus is to help the school start transforming even without funding yet. Because we’re a social impact project, at the moment, we’re not collecting money from anybody but going forward, Holistic Business Solution of which I am the CEO, supports the schools with some form of subsidy but the school still has to pay something small, which is why we’re implementing technology.”
The platform will digitally deliver core education components to schools, especially those serving children from low-income households. Over the last 18 months, SEED and Sophia ERP have digitised the first transformation component, the SEED Quality Assessment Tool (SQAT), an innovative school development and continuous improvement tool developed to assess the quality of under-resourced schools and to provide a pathway for improvement. The SQAT will help school leaders understand their strengths and weaknesses, providing them with critical information to embark on the journey of school transformation”.
Oniyitan noted that the core of the project is to help schools provide quality education in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). “We basically work with schools that serve children from low-income households. However, as the first phase, we decided to work with low-cost private schools – they are private schools that serve the poor.
“Eventually, we would include public schools that serve the poor, but for now, our focus is on the private schools that we typically know have a lot of quality issues. We currently work with 715 schools in the six education districts of Lagos State and we are planning to scale beyond Lagos to all over the country.”
“We chose to work with Lagos first because the state has the highest number of schools in Nigeria. In Lagos state, we have about 18, 000 private schools and only about 1,700 public schools. Out of the 18, 000 private schools, the low-cost schools we serve are at least 12, 000 and we currently work with only 715 of that number” she said.
She continued: “We know that for us to be able to reach out and increase our intervention to most schools, we can’t continue to use the manual method, which is why we decided to use technology as it would help us achieve our goal of reaching out to at least 10, 000 schools with our 1million children target. So to be able to achieve our goal, we use SQAT. The tool helps us to do evaluation of the quality of schools using 86 indicators. This indicator helps schools move from perhaps zero level to the highest level. If they can be able to move from those indicators, the school can then be said to be of good quality. So the first step is to assess the school to know the nature of their challenges. Then we can start designing solution and interventions to support the school to achieve their goal”.
Oniyitan further explained that teachers are one of the indicators, and if a school has challenges based on the quality of their teachers, SEED will design an intervention around teachers. “If it’s issues around child protection and abuse, we have a partner that support us in training the school on implementing child protection policies and having a child protection officer within their school. So the assessment tool determines what each school needs to be better. The tool helps them to understand which particular area they can start working on to improve their quality. So what we’re doing is taking them from where they are to where they need to be so they can continue to provide quality education for the poor children. Another issue amongst others is that most of these schools are not approved but if they are able to do everything we tell them to do, they will become approved schools under the Ministry” she said.
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