Teachers place premium on digital literacy, innovative business skills
Teachers in Nigeria and South Africa are prioritising digital literacy and innovative entrepreneurial thinking skills, with an overwhelming majority (95%) advocating the advantage of technology in the teaching environment.
This is according to a study by HP, its first education-focused research in Africa. The research was conducted in April and May 2022 with 802 educators in South Africa and Nigeria.
The sample group in both countries comprised of public primary and high school educators, as well as private schools in Nigeria. It is intended to shed light on teachers’ skillsets and how learning experiences for students can be improved in these two countries.
The study identified ten skills as crucial to future proofing learning. The majority (7 in 10) of teachers surveyed agreed that creative, innovative, critical, and entrepreneurial thinking, as well as digital literacy, are very important.
Crucially, one in three teachers say they could benefit from additional training to improve their skills in the above-mentioned areas, and that the development would have an enormous impact on education.
Educators face numerous challenges which can negatively affect teaching outcomes, such as a lack of basic materials, according to HP.
From the study, 82% of teachers surveyed noted access to instructional materials and supplies as a problem, and a further 89% said access to adequate technological resources is an issue – a crucial aspect of teaching that has been overlooked for over a decade but has been brought to the fore by the pandemic.
Still, an overwhelming majority, 95%, believes that technology can have a positive benefit in the teaching environment and can raise learners’ engagement in lessons.
HP stated: “The Covid-19 pandemic thrust the importance of technology in classrooms into the spotlight, bringing new opportunities and pressures to teachers around the world. The shift has not been without difficulties, with 45% teachers ranking ICT skills as a challenging facet of the role – outpacing other elements like active teaching, homework marking and lesson planning. At the same time, 85% of survey respondents confirmed new skills in this area would have the greatest influence in their ability to teach.”
Beyond technology, at least 50% of teachers report having too many learners in their classrooms which impedes quality learning, and 71% say they require more time to assist individual learners.
“Luckily, despite these challenges at least 95% of teachers are optimistic about their jobs and roles in shaping the future leaders of tomorrow,” HP added.
“Teachers perform a pivotal function in our society, not only in shaping the minds of future leaders and preparing students to take on the jobs of the future, but also inspiring and enabling better learning outcomes,” said Brad Pulford, Managing Director of HP Africa.