Sometime in 2019, I actively volunteered for the Slum2School foundation.
As a volunteer in the literacy development team, part of my role was organising a weekend book club for the kids at Makoko—kids who already attended primary school in the community.
It wasn't much; we got the kids together on a Saturday to read fun stories and rewarded them with refreshments. What was meant to be a relaxing and fun activity was a hectic English language class because the kids couldn't read. There's a difference between stringing words in a sentence together and reading to understand.
Funding is key to solving the problem of access and quality that currently plagues the low-cost k-12 education space.
While there is a massive opportunity for investment in the low-cost k-12 space, with over 300 million students requiring education over the next 30 years, the kind of capital necessary for funding schools here is patient capital.
Impact investment, which acts as a hybrid of commercial investment and aid, is ideal to fund low-cost k-12 schools. Several models are already being implemented worldwide that we can adopt in Nigeria.
These primary school kids could barely pronounce the words, didn't understand most of the words they pronounced, and didn't understand them well enough to have conversations about them.
Yet they progress from one class to another, and end up in Universities. This is why I advocate for more resources and attention committed to the foundational parts of the education value chain.