This funding aims to narrow the digital divide and equip 300 pupils with the critical digital skills needed to succeed in the 21st century.
This pilot project will hopefully lead to a long-term relationship and future project funding with Canon Education.
Why Digital Literacy in Low-Income Schools in Nigeria?
The saying “the world is a global village” is commonly used to describe the adoption and acceleration of technology. However, that saying doesn’t ring true for a country like Nigeria. With a very young population (median age is 18), the best opportunity to provide digital education at scale is in primary and secondary education. However, there are a lot of hurdles to cross to achieve that.
29% of school-aged children in Nigeria are not attending school, according to the 2022 Multidimensional Poverty Index(MPI) by the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics. For the 63% of the population currently living in poverty, a huge chunk of families’ income goes into buying food. Access to a computer and the use of the internet are considered luxuries.
A not-so-often-spoken-about effect of the COVID-19 lockdown in the country is the learning loss it created for more than half of the population who do not have access to the internet. The Nigerian government set out a goal to achieve 95% digital literacy by 2030; however, they have failed to provide an actionable plan to follow through on that.
There are a few Edtech solutions in the country seeking to improve education; sadly, these solutions are tech-enabled, catering to the small percentage of the population who already have access to computers and the internet.
The question is, “what happens to the kids in rural and low-income areas who are economically and digitally disadvantaged?”
With the £1,000 funding they will receive, the goal is to:
Purchase 15 desktop computers,
Engage with the STEM clubs in these schools on a long-term basis and,
Provide 300 pupils with regular access to the computers.
How does Canon Education Work with the Schools and Students?
Canon Education works in schools with poor education resources and very little innovation in STEM Education to drive the STEM education revolution in Africa; they build computer science labs and embed teachers in these schools.
They add value to the schools by facilitating STEM clubs where the pupils bring their science and digital skills to life. They recognise that for these schools, the teachers have limited digital skills and also provide capacity building to train their teachers so that the whole school benefits from their involvement.
For the 300 pupils that will benefit from this funding, this gives them a shot at being a part of the “global village” - a chance to close the digital divide (for them) and an opportunity to develop critical digital skills needed to succeed in the 21st century.
In the long term, through the Teacher-STEM Education training, we will reach at least 15-20 teachers who we have been identified as potential STEM Education facilitators.