Nothing more succinctly describes Skool Media director than the words of Elon Musk ” I’m interested in things that change the world or that affect the future”. We meet Moses Imayi – intelligent and congenial visionary, whose infectious concept for the future of education in Nigeria, leaves us feeling just as excited as he is. He paints a clear picture of what education, teachers and students will be in the near future as a result of educational technology and we cant help but see these dreams too.
Skool Media is dedicated to the objective of bringing the future to the present, hence their investment in not just in education, but in working with young impressionable minds, who do not have their thought processes about educational technology hardened by societal norms.
In anticipation of our upcoming SME Anatomy conference, Happenings Media interviews Moses Imayi, we are interested in how he has successful transformed an ambition many would otherwise call abstract into a concrete flourishing organisation.
May we be acquainted?
I am Moses Imayi, Project Director of Skool Media, a technology company driven by passion. It is our unshakable belief that technology in education is beneficial to our educational system because it raises it to the sphere of being globally competitive and at par with evolving and innovative methods of erudition and edification. As an organization, we do not take for granted the importance of education and have seen it fit, to invest in it. Therefore we are embracing the benefits of technology in education as a way of making our educational institution and students not just globally competitive but accede to excellence . Just recently we won the 2017 Technology Start-Up by Communication Weight award. We have also been given an award for Creative and Innovative Organization in the Educational Space by the Lagos State Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Would you say the enterprise your brand is undertaking is far ahead of its time?
Not exactly, because the world as we see it is changing so fast, casting our eyes to developed countries, we see that the march of technology is fierce. In today’s world, technology is redefining the human space, in business, culture and lifestyle. It is re modifying innovative new ways of approaching and solving problems and it is effective in driving commerce and development.
What steps have you taken to create awareness and educate people?
We have been involved in so many formal and informal campaigns as a way of educating people. Just recently, Skool Media celebrated the Children’s Day event with the staff and students of Queen’s College. In that celebration, we had the Art Tech event, which is a part of our brand – and selected the best five students who will represent their school at the national level. For us, that is a form of using art to inspire creativity among students.
Indeed the event was a great success. This emphasizes what our prestigious organization stands for, which is the importance of standing as guide and a beacon in their attainment of excellence. We go well beyond putting technology in the hands of students and teachers ignorantly.
We are committed in our goal to stand with students anywhere we find them
In retrospect, what challenges are exclusive to your brand and how have they being triumphed to solidify your brand’s foundation?
We are an organization driven by passion and built on faith and hope, so on these bases, we really do not dwell on challenges, because challenges are inevitable . We represent the future of education, business and development. Therefore as the next big thing, we would rather focus on our passions and dreams. Undoubtedly there are challenges because people are unable to grasp the important role technology plays in education. And how ICT can create a more successful educational sector. People are yet to understand that embracing an innovative way of thinking and approaching problems, puts our students on a pedestal for success; by extension prepare the next generation of leaders and reinvents our educational sector, making it more globally competitive. Thus in relation to your question, people’s regressive way of thinking is a major challenge we face.
Do you think evolving technology would affect your business in few years?
Undoubtedly, with the emergence of new technology, the world will be inevitably changed forever. The future trend in ‘Internet of Everything’ (IOE) is redefining technology and mankind’s way of doing things. Ideation is taking on new forms, i.e cars that drive themselves are being invented; restaurants in Asian countries have robots as waiters; there is smart phones, smart electricity; libraries of the future are happening in today’s world. Imagine five years from now with the full integration of the ‘IOE’, its effect on mankind will be unquantifiable.
Will you say your brand enjoys monopoly?
We are a brand for the future and the goal of our organization is to become the biggest educational technology company in the world. We are conscious of every decision that informs these goals. It our firm belief that someday the brand Skool Media will become the biggest organization in relation to educational technology.
Bearing that in mind we are less concerned about monopoly and more concerned about our passion to change the educational sector of Nigeria.
What innovative ways do you intend to stay ahead of competition?
We have several innovative ideas in the pipes, for example we are about launching an IOE center, the first of its kind in the sub- Saharan region. Also we will be introducing a range of ingenious innovations, with services that will not just put our nation on the map when it comes to educational technology, but will also tackle challenges we face as a nation.
Is it your aim to expand the scope of your clientele to go beyond secondary schools to embrace Tertiary institutions?
Absolutely! From inception, we have always been an Information, Communication Technology organization, with a core objective, that is development, thus education is just the starting point. Someday it is our goal to veer into health care and use technology in addressing the ever widening gap between cures and diseases. We also have our eyes set on other sectors like aviation, business and commerce etcetera. Therefore my answer is a resounding yes, however we will be taking it step by step, as we tackle one sector at a time, each day.
For a brand as inventive as yours, the effort to train not just your staff but school teachers must be daunting. How have you been able to surmount these odds?
In simple terms, faith and hope has seen us through, not in the religious sense of the word, it has more to do with taking ownership of our passion. It is our firm belief in what we represent, even when faced with several challenges, we are motivated by the future has in store for our brand, hence we are not distracted.
Run us through a step-by-step technique of how Skool media establishes its presence in schools?
We have a parent company called Unites Cisco Network Academy, presently our company is the biggest Cisco networking academy in sub-Saharan Africa. As an organization, we have over 220 full time staff members working across the federation, motivating students and educational institutions to attain excellence.
We have an operational Cisco academy in FGC Ijaniki, and have also set up an ICT centre in our client schools, where our staff members are deployed, to work from this centre on school grounds. They act as a technology support system and train these teachers in the information technology department. Skool Media goes a step further by setting up a multimedia centre in these schools and digitalizing all their classrooms. We introduce teachers to digitalized teaching, with the use of tools such as laptops and projectors, as against the paper based teaching of old. With digitalized teaching, education becomes a fun experience and students are more likely to remember what they have learned. For example, in a subject like biology, rather than have lessons being abstract, students are able to see these lessons graphically represented. Additionally, when given assignments, students can make use of the internet facilities in our common room for research, and have their assignments properly documented and stored in flash drives, which are used in classrooms for presentation.
How have the teachers been able to cope especially those who are not ICT compliant?
Initially, when we started this program, teachers saw our innovation as a threat to their job but through gradual and consistent engagement, dialogue and awareness, we have broken that mindset and won teachers over to our side. Today teachers are collaborating with us and have become our greatest advocates. Getting to this level with teachers, involved consistent training. Then, a lot of teachers didn’t have emails and were unable to operate computers, now through dedication and consistent partnership with the federal ministry of education, we are gradually taking down the barrier holding Nigerian teachers from standing parallel with others in advanced countries and being globally competitive.
The idea of digitalized learning is an abstract concept in this part of the world, how have you been able to sell it to various institutions?
Our brand is greatly invested in every opportunity that present itself to change people’s mindsets about technology. By re modifying a regressive mind, we are able to introduce them to the possibilities of ICT and correcting whatever misgivings that limits their incorporation of the many benefits of technology.
Yours is a lofty aspiration, which is bringing a new dynamic to education in Nigeria through evolving technology. Are there any misgivings that these aspirations may be corrupted over time?
We are an organization, that have our objectives firmly in grasp, therefore our passion is greater than anything. To the question of having our aspirations corrupted, that is highly unlikely, because we are committed we will stay above not just the competition but anything that is intended to deviate us from our goals.
Why the name “Skool” rather than the conventional “School” we know?
It is founded from a need to have educational institutions identify with us, hence the word ‘Skool’ rather than ‘School’, and seeing the way ‘Skool’ is spelled, it piques an interest in our brand. Thus we chose the name ‘Skool Media’.