Passnownow.com is an EdTech platform with smart advantages including Curriculum Based Secondary School Class Notes for JSS1 to SSS3 with Assessments, Super Simple Self Studying mechanisms, Past Questions of JSCE, WAEC, NECO & JAMB Exams for practice and preparation and Peer to Peer Collaborative Learning for underserved Students and Teachers. We caught up with Toyosi Akerele-Ogunsiji, Founder of Passnownow.com who recently graduated from the Mid-Career Master in Public Administration Program at Harvard University John F Kennedy School of Government to share her inspirations and get a scoop on her insights about the Product’s unique approach to education technology and eLearning.
I am Toyosi Akerele-Ogunsiji, a Social Entrepreneur and Human Development Expert with about 11 years on-the-field experience working with multiple stakeholders on issues of Youth Development, Education Technology and best practices in Public Sector Leadership.
Let’s not even worry about money for now. If we consider Education expensive, the cost of ignorance and illiteracy and the price Nigeria is paying for them amongst our youth is depressing and daunting enough, given the escalating rates of nationwide poverty, crime, militancy, violence and other social vices.
Passnownow.com is an e-learning platform with a potentially disruptive solution for the education sector in Nigeria and the African region as it embodies all the anticipated features of innovation for blending traditional learning with modern technology by delivering class content with resources created by Teachers and Educators via web and mobile. We have successfully digitized all the Nigerian secondary school class subject notes from JSS 1 to SSS 3 according to curriculum, based on the syllabus and facilitated access to this content for Nigerian students, teachers and parents at as low as N200 to allow all classes of persons who need it to plug into the grid.
By this, we hope to be able to raise enrollment numbers, improve access to education for all and reduce the current poor academic performance of students and the drastic failure rates in exams while also working to enhance Instructional Practice amongst Teachers using familiar channels of interaction to train and empower them on the use and adoption of technology in their profession.
Motivation To Start Passnownow.com
I realized that at the base of Nigeria’s woes is a broken education system and given my background in youth development, I am not just adept with the problems, I have come away with good knowledge of sustainable solutions. There are 2 issues that plague Nigeria’s Education. The convoluted first is the Low Quality of Teachers, their demeaning Reward Packages, the quality of their content and their Teaching Methods. The depressing second is the disparity in academic materials, access to content and equal opportunities for all categories of children and communities in Nigeria. That said, access to quality education is totally dependent on the economic capacity of parents – what education professionals call “the ovarian vote”. Education, therefore, now does not seem to be the surefire way out of poverty in Nigeria as what is on offer for our children is of such poor quality that it hardly improves their standards of living so I believe that EdTech will facilitate a level playing field for both children of the rich and poor.
You probably know that I founded Rise Networks, one of the leading Youth Development Social Impact Organizations in Nigeria, with a strategic focus on advancing vital human capital development and their relationship with economic growth and democratic consolidation within Sub Saharan Africa. Ab initio, we were focused on youth empowerment initiatives for University Students and Young Professionals but as we progressed, we came to terms with the fact that for us to achieve our desired impact, we needed to pay more attention to teenagers and high school students and prepare them for a higher degree of success in their future Careers. We also noticed that our Governments erroneously assume that Education Development is simply about building Schools and enough is not done about Content and Curriculum enhancement and Teacher Training hence we keep churning out half-baked, mediocre children out of school who can barely read or write excellently not to talk of matching the standards of children and youth in other Countries. After good research, we realized that only Technology can create a convergence point, bridge that gap and give access to quality education to the underserved child in Makoko or Mbaise or Maiduguri as much as the privileged child in Ikoyi or Maitama.
Impact of Passnownow on Nigeria’s Education System
Our business model innovation is clearly differentiative and exceptional. Our core objective is to address the foundational problems that have destroyed Nigeria’s Education system through decades which happen to access + opportunity + quality. We are more than just helping students pass exams even though Testing for exam success is one of the features of passnownow.com. There’s no way a system that shortchanges students, where Teachers rarely cover the laid-out content in the scheme of work and inspectors from the Ministries of Education are not as present in the Classrooms as they were in the 60s and 70s to monitor the performances of teachers can equip students to pass WAEC and JAMB easily by merely revising or attending lessons when in fact those Exam Bodies set questions based on the full length and breadth of the syllabus. Some children only hear or learn about certain topics in the Exam Sheets and this explains the huge failure rates amongst them. Passing Exams is not as important as knowing, understanding and being able to apply the content of the subject and that’s the focus of passnownow.com. Knowledge is what empowers and transforms any individual; tests and exams do not guarantee tickets to heaven. Another main competitive advantage of passnownow.com is the prioritization of teachers as much as the students since most of the time, tech is targeted at the students while the teachers are neglected. For us, one is as important as the other.
Click here for part 1 of this interview