A new approach

Technology has driven down costs and increased the quality of work in almost every segment of  economies around the world, including education and it can do the same in our economy so why isn’t anything being done?

There are tons of answers to that question but that isn’t what I would be addressing in this article.

However there are still a few more questions I have to ask, how come most of the pro-active Institutions in Nigeria are foreign run? Schools engaging soft technology to drive growth and productivity usually have a foreigner or more on board. These schools have set themselves apart from the rest and are referred to as International Schools for elites, when soft technology is actually supposed to be utilized by cash constrained schools to boost their outputs.

There are however some newer foreigner involved schools that aren’t focusing on elites and expensive education while utilizing soft technology. We have two in particular, Bridge International Academy in Kenya, Uganda and Lagos Nigeria, and Omega Schools in Ghana. These schools are innovators and aware of the advantages of soft technology, they are actively seeking how to use soft tech to leverage their goals to educate underprivileged kids.

Bridge International Academy already has over 400 low cost schools, with each campus run by one Head Teacher with termly fees of about ten USD. Omega Schools have 36 schools in Ghana and still expanding because of their use of management and information software. They also use a very unique fees payment system that allows parents to pay in small installments through a payment voucher/card.

Such growth while retaining or even improving the quality of output can only be achieved leveraging technology. Lots of institutions are in the late majority, waiting for soft tech to be an established standard and a lot other choosing to be laggards by completely shunning new technology. These methods are not new globally, India has proved how much technology can drive growth even in a highly populated and culturally diverse society. Kenya and Uganda are establishing reputations for themselves by embracing and encouraging the use of soft technology in various industries. South Africa has always been a leader and far ahead of other African countries with its use of soft technology. When would Nigeria and other parts of Sub-Saharan Africa catch on? Frankly I have no idea, but I do hope it is soon.