…As e-learning platform debuts with ‘Educollect’ soft loan for students
By Juliet Umeh
Quality of education in Nigeria has been in abysmal decline for several decades now, throwing up challenges that successive governments have also not been able to solve.
Yet, access to various public and private Universities across the country is so difficult that a larger percentage of the students seeking for admission end up on the streets.
Nigerian institutions are said to lack adequate capacity to absorb even half of students who passed out from secondary schools every year.
All the universities in Nigeria are reportedly able to absorb only about 10 -15 percent of the number of the students seeking for admission per year.
So, the 85-90 percent un-admitted ones end up with menial jobs or constitute the menace of area boys; a noticeable bunch of street urchins who capitalises on road infrastructural decay, to unleash mayhem to motorists and other road users.
However, just as technology is intervening in every sector, experts have hammered on the need to look the way of technology to rescue education, particularly in terms of capacity and access to quality education.
For instance, all over the world, e-learning has been known to bridge the capacity gap in accessing quality education as qualified students who were never fortunate to gain admission into conventional institutions due to inadequate space are now boasting of the same quality education, with the same certificate, because they were availed the opportunity to study same courses online.
In Nigeria, e-learning platform, EduTech, said same situation is required in Nigeria, if only to arrest youth restiveness, because most of the youths that ordinarily should be in school are left to their fate due to inadequate capacity.
EduTech is not only preaching, but walking the talk, as it establishes Centre for Distance Learning in several universities in Nigeria. In fact, up to 200 students benefitted from this scheme recently from the centre in Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU, Ile Ife, Osun State.
General Manager of EduTech, Mr Femi Shonubi, said the effectiveness of e-learning was demonstrated by two of the graduating students from OAU who finished with first class degrees, after four-rigorous years of studying including practical and written examinations.
He said in December 2019, EduTech recorded double milestones when the first set of students in the BSc Accounting programme in OAU graduated with three members of the class finishing with first-class degrees.
Shonubi said: “Since its inception in 2012, EduTech has partnered with and deployed e-learning solutions for a broad spectrum of entities ranging from universities to corporate institutions as it focuses on the goal of bridging the gap between demand and access to quality education through the process of decentralizing the traditional method of learning.
“We provide the learning environment and we work in partnership with universities for the whole implementation process. We ensure that we are able to create what obtains in the physical settings, and to make all of that available virtually.
“Our current partners include Ahmadu Bello University, ABU, Zaria; Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU, Ile-Ife; Babcock University, BU, Ilishan-Remo; the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, CIBN, Lagos amongst others,” he explained.
He noted that technology is able to remove barrier to access to education without limitations.
Meanwhile Edutech did not only provide easy way for students to access quality education, it also provides financing options to see them through school.
With a project called EduCollect, the platform provides soft loan to students to see themselves through most of the financial requirements in school.
Shonubi explained: “Educollect is the education financing gateway that aggregates funders to provide loans to students of various academic institutions.
“Created for both students and guardians, the product facilitates secure loans to allow students continue with their studies without the added pressure of bulk, upfront payments.
“As a pioneer in the education financing space in Nigeria, EduCollect will provide unparalleled access to short-term loans with a convenient repayment regime at some of the lowest interest rates in the market without any collateral. By following three simple steps, interested students can secure their education through EduCollect,”.