E-LEARNING — OPPORTUNITY FOR TEACHERS

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

Don’t take my words for it, according to markets and markets forecast, the global digital education market size is expected to grow from USD 8.4 billion in 2020 to USD 33.2 billion by 2025.

Covid19 had taken closer to the future we anticipated. If you are always close to the trends in education, you will know that the massive change in education is very close, we will not stay in this model for a longer time to come. However, we all did not expect that it will be this close if not for covid19.

It was amazing to see how schools both government and private are adopting technology initiatives to see that education never stops. Even for the core rural dwellers.

Secondly, the experiences of teachers during the covid lockdown especially in the developing countries is one that we will not want to repeat itself in the history of humanity. This experience however exposes us to many realities that we as teachers need to turn into an opportunity. One such reality is the financial limitations attached to the profession.

On average, a teacher earns about 5 dollars a day that is just half of what a security guard earns per hour in the US according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, and far less than $22.36 hourly wage for teachers in Canada. This way, teachers in Nigeria and other such countries can hardly save anything for the ‘raining days’.

We lived routinely on salary until covid strikes. Just one month without salary, most teachers are completely off financially. This is a tough lesson that requires us as teachers to rethink our game if we want to stay afloat. Bearing this in mind, we must be at the forefront in the search for a new economic way of life.

This article seeks to marry the two realities described above together — the future of education and teachers’ wages in developing countries such as Nigeria with the view of exposing teachers to an emerging opportunity under their nose.

This article will be in two parts. Part 1 will discuss the opportunity and part 2 will discuss how you can tap into such an opportunity.

There is a growing demand for digital content in education — videos-lessons, lesson notes, worksheets, digital workbooks, applications, etc. are in high demand and I mean madly in high demand. So, you don’t want to wait.

There appears to be a global consensus that the future of education is online. This is justifiable because there is an increasing demand for self-paced learning, lifelong learning, and a flexible learning atmosphere. And this can only be provided through digital resources. Also, digital resources are relatively cost-effective. You will not need to print books or papers or report cards and even the compilation of results can be automated.

The mere fact that learning can be done using mobile phones and tablets increases the demand for digital content. Students preparing for West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) examination can watch a video of their teacher solving complex math problems or explaining science concepts on the phone and then take several formative assessments and that will suffice for them to pass the exam.

The growing clamor for competency-based learning as against traditional time-based learning will also accelerate the demand for digital content. I hope you see what I’m seeing. The long-awaited wealth in the teaching profession is coming our way. But, like every other profession, only very few will take advantage of this massive opportunity. Others will simply stay back and complain.

According to Inc.com Google has put together a collection of career certification that is capable of getting you a high paying job without a degree. This kind of initiative will further make online learning much more romantic and thereby increase the need for digital content in education.

There is an observable increase in the way companies are accepting online degrees and almost all globally competitive universities offer one form of an online degree or the other. This will enhance the need for digital resources because such disruption in higher education will equally provoke the same at the K-12 level.

This and many more allude to the fact that education is going digital and very soon everything will be online. Whether this is good for us or not, is a debate for another day. What is important now is the amount of opportunity it will bring for teachers with an entrepreneurial mindset such as this lady — pocket full of primaries.

Even when you are yet to experience this in your locality, it is probably due to the level of infrastructure – internet access and electricity, which is bound to improve. Don’t be pessimistic, remember the mobile phone was not this cheap 10 years ago – lol.

Putting this together, there is a growing opportunity for digital creators to start working now. Don’t wait because the coast is not clear around you, it is clear elsewhere and will soon arrive at your locality.

So, what should you start doing? Part 2 will discuss this extensively.

See you there……..

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Abdulrafiu Arikewuyo

Abdulrafiu Arikewuyo is a teacher and a writer. On a mission to change the school model.