Awakening to the enormous education needs in Nigeria
When we began our business, we were selling a device to help children take notes in class and be able to play them back later. However, we kept hearing school directors say that parents were concerned that their children only spoke English and could not speak their local languages (Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, etc.). This led us to develop the language learning series of our talking books.
As we attended conferences and seminars, we began to grasp the extent of the challenges with basic education in Nigeria – especially in public primary schools– and learned of the large number of out-of-school children.
The Federal Ministry of Education estimates that 50% of in-school children are not learning because they cannot read or write. Around 84% of children in the lowest economic quartile cannot read at all.
We also learned that Nigeria has the largest number of out-of-school children in the world, with recent estimates by UNICEF of over 13.2 million children not going to school. We felt that nobody was doing much about this.
This led us to developing the core education series of the Mavis talking books, starting with the Hausa-to-English book, which won the global 2017 British Council ELTons Award (English Language Teaching Innovations) in the local innovation category.
We have also developed English with phonics books for Grades 1 – 4, mathematics for Grades 1 – 4, rhymes books and more to help improve literacy and numeracy skills of children (and adult learners too).
We have won numerous awards since then, including from United Nations' International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Vivatech in France, and BusinessDay.