It is surprising how a high number of schools that deploy or implement technology simply do so because others are doing it and they don’t want their school to be left behind or simply for the right to say; “Yes, we also have a school website!”, “We too have a place on the internet where students can check results!”, “Oh Yes… We also have a computer-based examination solution. In fact we also have internet to always ensure it is working fine!”.

Schools are citadels of learning. They are the places where students and pupils ask “why” and “how” and get answers to their questions. They are the places where students and pupils are thought to ask questions, to ask “why” and “how”. Technology is expected to be deployed for its benefits and the value proposition. Such value proposition should go beyond the mundane and superficial. Having a computer-based examination solution that requires the internet to function whereas you have serious challenges with internet access and therefore find little or no reason to use the computer-based examination solution is not an appropriate and value-oriented utilization of technology, particularly when they are computer-based examination solutions that do not require consistent internet access to function!

There are several schools that have websites with sections where students, pupils and their parents can check their end of term results but these sections are hardly functional because the teachers always delay or have problems uploading the required end of term results. The same thing could be said about schools that have computer-based examination solutions that the teachers have challenges using or neglect to use them, thus depriving the school and the students of the advantage of having such solution. All these and many more are the challenges observed in a lot of schools that claim to have technology which brings little or no value delivery to them other than bragging rights.

These schools that train students to ask “why” should also start asking themselves “why” in regards to technology tools they acquire that end up delivery zero value. “Why do you have technology tools as if you do not have them?” This is a question most schools need to ask themselves.

The other question that schools need to ask is whether the technology tools acquired are actually delivering value as promised. The use of technology tools does not automatically translate to benefits to the students. A typical examples are Educational Tablets. Some schools, seeing educational tablets as a trend, have acquired them for their students and pupils. Some of these tablet promised curriculum related books, textbooks and what have you. Unfortunately, quite a number of these tablets are full of irrelevant applications, e-books and educational videos sourced from free sites on the internet and which do not actually deliver value to the students. In fact, some of them constitute distractions and therefore hindrances to the educational pursuits of these students. A lot of students actually use the tablets for their own personal agenda to play games and watch movies amongst other unexpected uses.
The aforementioned assertion on student use of some of these educational tablets is buttressed by a study by Lecturers from the Faculty of Education and African Institute for Science Policy and Innovation of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife entitled: Assessment of Technology Innovations In Nigerian Classroom “A Case Study of Opon Imo In Osun State, , the report of which was published in the Education and Science Journal of Policy Review and Curriculum Development, Volume 5 Number 1, May 2015.

The report is a wildly surprising contrast to the accolades garnered by the same Opon Imo which was hailed left and right as the pioneering introduction of digital education in Nigeria and goes a long way to show that the appeal, accolades and promises of a technology tool does not automatically translate to the expected positive results. At a reported cost of over N 8 billion to Osun State Government for 150,000 Opon-Imo tablets, the desired educational results became a mirage when 3 years after the deployment of the Opon-Imo tablets, Osun State ranked 29th among the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in the 2016 results released by the West African Examination Council (WAEC).

This is one of the reasons why as an educational technology solution and services company, one of our key objectives and differentiating factors at EasiPREP is that we ensure that our customers benefit as expected from the technology we deploy and this value delivery in most cases are measurable. We are not just interested in the customer spending but the value delivery.