The Future of School Business In Nigeria

In times like this, we need to be honest with ourselves and re-appraise our lives and in fact everything about us in relation to emerging trends and in preparation for the evident shift currently sweeping through the world and affecting every form of endeavour including business.

The future is created by just a few people who look deep enough to see the obvious but unseen, and take advantage of current difficulties and crisis to create solutions that later determine the direction the whole rest of us will be forced to toll in our search for solutions and answers to problems created or exposed by emerging challenges. In the unveiling new world that results, it then appears as if such solutions existed before the problems.

Actually solutions exist before problems, but they exist only as electrons and molecules in the brain cells of those few who dare to navigate into the abyss of nothingness in search for something-ness that’ll preserve the existence of the human race and rescue them when their eyes pop open to the realities that had stayed with them all along.

THE PRESENT:
AN APPRAISAL OF THE CURRENT MODEL

To start a profitable school business, it is believed that, we’ll get a good credit facility from the banks, leveraging on the career networks and individual/family properties we already have as collateral. Then we’ll build a nice edifice, and equip it lavishly with both facilities and man power, splashing awesomely at the faces of everyone in the estate and definitely become a scare to existing competitors in the market. In summary, a self imposing structure, not common and elegant facilities, new and handsomely recruited teachers and nice _advertisements_ here and there will always get initial booms everywhere…..

The above model comes at a huge cost – and not everyone can afford it. Some did and got their hands burnt. But every time it is done, there’s usually an initial boom, especially when the fees compete favourably. But that initial boom is not what business is. Business is when you sustain that party for more than 2 sessions and maintain the flow….This, I tell you, is the test of fire!

NOW THE NEW ERA.

Then comes a Corina virus pandemic and the huge school buildings are shut under lock and keys, and students stay at home for one, two or three months, and while they are home, their parents device several homeschooling methods and online educators sell various online class streaming services to the parents, one of such is Thinkally.net’s Online classes streaming service.

Parents subscribe to all these, just so that their children will keep learning and not get Rusty while they observe the compulsory sit at home directive to prevent the curb of the virus. If you’re following my flow, you’d have seen what I’m seeing or already thinking I’m thinking.

CAN YOU IMAGINE! IF SOMETHING COULD ACTUALLY REPLACE SCHOOL IN THE PRESENT FORM WE KNOW IT, THEN LET’S BE PREPARED FOR A NEW FUTURE. CHANGE THEY SAY, IS INEVITABLE

But  here’s your argument. This stay at home will soon be over, and business will return as usual. Yes business will return, but I doubt if business will continue as usual. Parents suddenly have been made to experience what looks like a dress rehearsal of a situation where there is no physical school. Those among them who had hitherto been paying school fees reluctantly will begin to fancy the possibility of sustaining the trend saving the option to save more, on school fees, courtesy, the pandemic -forced holiday. schools now have to tighten up their belts to continue earning as much as they had earned from the parents before the pandemic

Some parents will begin to imagine, if children could stay for months without school and somehow we parents managed to fill the knowledge vacuum that could have resulted, through various homeschooling techniques and and e-learning platforms, then is school really worth spending so hugely on?

My advice to every followers of reason is to brace up for the new normal. Whether you are a parent, teacher or school owner. Just be prepared for a shift in the way you do things

For example, presently, the relevance of any teacher is only measured by whether or not he can take online classes. Any teacher that cannot teach online is presently not relevant to any school now. The situation might stay the same even when schools get reopened.

Another example is schools that had hitherto collected huge amounts of money in school fees from their parents without headaches or argument. Now those same parents now drag them to the press for charging inhuman fees for online lessons and locking out children that do not pay. All these are pointers of the obvious change in operational procedures that must happen when schools reopen.

Are you a school owner? Please don’t be left out. Are your online classes effective, or you’re just doing it to fulfil righteousness. So your parents don’t say you’re not doing something.

Many so called online classes are not effective and that’s due to the platforms being used. Many of these free platforms being used here and there were not built for education. I recommend you switch to thinkally.net online classes platform.

We all know that e-learning is not new. The pandemic didn’t create it. It had always been and with or without the lock down, it has come to stay. I believe that whether we like it or not, a new reality has dawned on us. In the world that will emerge after the lockdown, no one will be able wish away.

Schools will resume, but this reality will remain.

So, I don’t think we’re, replacing third term (or any school term) with online learning. I believe we’re doing this to prevent any further damage to the education trajectory chances of the Nigerian child and keep the children learning, not just to keep them busy or as a requirement to demand for school fees from parents. If we see it like that, the parents will see it too. And even where some families (and many families) are evidently unable to afford internet data or mobile devices or online learning; at the least, the knowledge of this reality is education in itself because as the saying goes:

“Ignorance about your ignorance is the worst form of ignorance”

See, let me tell you something. I see a new development coming into the private education sector. This will be necessitated by the continuous proliferation of substandard schools and the unguided investment of edu-investors who know absolutely nothing and have refused to learn anything professional about education, teaching, and education  administration and management.

The present structure and framework of private school business in Nigeria is fragile, and not sustainable. Truth remains that any society where education is seen as a business and not a social obligation, will struggle with development at all levels. A people who pay little or no attention to education, research and development, will always arrive at a future where others have left.

So, even where your school puts food on your table and buys some luxury for you and your family, you must know that education is a social product you’re a social servant, helping to distribute that product. This a huge responsibility placed on your shoulder.

Every time I attend stakeholders, I imagine what would happen if the government suddenly chooses to enforce all it’s regulatory laws, or maybe suddenly decides to upgrade all public schools to compete with private schools. You know that getting the funds to do it will not be an issue if there is an unusually determined political will.

So, for this reason, I implore you to meditate on your own, what your best responses should be, now and after the lockdown. And by God’s grace, when the lockdown is over, things have to be done differently in your schools, your business model needs to be tweaked  to plug all excesses. Please get my books to understand more of these perspectives

The 4-Legged School Growth Strategya 350-page resource that has transformed several schools and businesses. It’s a compendium of innovative strategies that harness the potentials of the 4 active stakeholders in every school business, for unusual increase and transformation

The Indispensable Teacher – Wisdom for every educator to harness their passion, maximize their platform, fulfil purpose and ultimately boost productivity

See you next time.

DAVID ADENIJI
CONVENER, SCHOOL OWNERS FORUM

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