According to a World Bank Research, by 2022, over a hundred million Nigerians will be living in poverty. This huge number makes up a staggering 45.2% of our entire population. While poverty alleviation schemes, as we know them, might seem like the obvious solution, they do not proffer a long-lasting solution. They are a temporary relief to a deeply rooted problem. This problem can only be solved through a multifaceted approach with respect to the digital age/media age we are in.
This is done by education and sustainable skill building. One might say that some people who are educated are still poor. However, this is just proof that they have not been equipped with education in a way that is applicable to their realities. This problem is especially rampant among the lower-income communities; communities that are characterized by their low literacy levels. In these communities, Education is the only equalizer and the key to getting out of poverty. Note that education for these people will not necessarily translate to mathematics, physics and chemistry.
With the digital age, education has eclipsed the four walls of a classroom so, and so it must for them.
There is the need to take a strength-based approach in providing a tailored and personalized mode of education. This will mean providing tools to help build their dexterity, providing them with digital skills that will enhance their existing capabilities and providing access to information for growth, that they would otherwise not have access to. This might seem like it already exists but we continue to see the limitation people within these communities’ face in the lack of career options or skills they think is possible for them to have.
In recent years, we have seen Nigerians acquire required skills they need to become self-sufficient and globally relevant through the internet. This singular act and access have gone to transform their lives and their families. There has been an increased sense of independence and financial freedom as well as dream actualization.
In a country where sixty percent of the population do not have access to internet; digital literacy and access to resources is a long-lasting solution.
But how do we translate these solutions to this subset of people? We do this by creating an educational system that acknowledges that not everyone will learn in the stereotypical four walls of a classroom. We must prioritize vocational trainings and introduce digital literacy in a way they understand and can easily access. We must also provide access to opportunities that will create sustainable growth and financial freedom.
By implementing these, we will create a long-lasting solution that will permanently solve this deeply rooted problem.