Out-of-School: BBYDI Launches Issue Brief, Factsheet and Research Document
By Kaosara Olayemi Oladimeji
Brain Builders Youth Development Initiative, BBYDI, a non-governmental organization, has launched a series of documents, including an Issue Brief, FactSheet, and research document, focused on education technology in order to ensure that students can attend in-person classes and have access to a high-quality education in emergency situations.
The documents, titled “Harnessing Education Technology in Africa: Scoping Study,” examined the effects of COVID-19 on Africa and Nigeria’s education system and provided recommendations to relevant authorities and stakeholders.
During a press conference on Thursday in Ilorin, Kwara state, the Global Director of BBYDI, Olasupo Abideen, emphasized the need for education technology in emergency situations.
He stated, “Emergencies, such as natural disasters, pandemics, and economic turmoil, can disrupt our daily lives and routines in unimaginable ways, and one area that is particularly impacted is education. When schools must close or students are unable to attend in-person classes, it can be difficult to maintain a high-quality education. Education technology helps by providing students with access to learning materials, connecting them with teachers and peers, and keeping them engaged and motivated.”
Abideen also noted that as an organization that has always advocated for expanding access to education in Nigeria, BBYDI was concerned about the negative impacts of COVID-19 on the country’s education system and therefore decided to collaborate with the Global Campaign for Education (GCE).
Nigeria has the highest number of out-of-school, OOS, children in the world, with 11.1 million children aged between 6 and 15 not attending school in 2020, according to the World Bank.
This represents 22% of all children in this age group in Nigeria, and 1 in 12 of all OOS children globally. The number of OOS children in Nigeria increased to 20 million in 2022.
One major factor contributing to this problem is the lack of infrastructure to support e-learning in the country. Only 57% of Nigerians had access to electricity during the Covid-19 pandemic, and the country had a broadband penetration rate of just 44.7% as of October 2022.
Despite these challenges, Nigeria has maintained its 3rd spot among the 26 Sub-Saharan African countries in the inclusive Internet Index 2022.
It ranks highly in Affordability, Relevance, and Readiness, but its global ranking of 64th is held back by its low Availability ranking of 81st.
In response to the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, the Nigerian government at the national and state levels implemented the use of radio, television, and online learning platforms to reach children who were outside the classroom.