Dinamico Consulting

Educational Support Systems: Are they relevant today?

A few weeks ago, precisely on 14th November 2022, I received a call from a potential client, and we had a rather interesting conversation. The first term examinations were due in about a week, and he wanted to engage our home tutorial services to brush up his son for the examinations. I explained our processes to him and sent him our corporate profile for his further review. He called back moments later.
“You people are expensive o!” he said. “Kilode?”
I smiled. “Considering the value we bring to the table, I assure you we are not sir,” I said. “Our fees are negotiable however.”
“My son must score 100% in all his exams o,” he insisted.
I had to laugh a little.
“It’s true now. I can’t pay school fees as high as I pay in his school, and still pay you guys again and I cannot be guaranteed of 100% performance.”
“I will be as honest with you as possible sir,” I began. “Your son’s performance in the forthcoming examinations depend on a number of factors, of which our service would be one of those factors.”
I went on to explain to him that we would need to do our quick assessment of the child first before we could make any promises. This would involve us physically meeting with the child and having a brief interaction which would take any time between 15 minutes and an hour. This interaction would allow us to analyze the child and determine his strengths and possible challenges. We would also identify his social and academic dispositions and determine the best tutor for him. By the end of that interaction, we would be able to give the client our assurances on what was possible and what was not. 
“Besides, remember that his examinations would begin in barely a week sir,” I added. “We would do our best to ensure he achieves the best he can in this examination with all the support we can bring to the table.”
The phone conversation took about twenty minutes and thankfully, he was convinced, and we sent him our Service Level Agreement for his sign-off and scheduled a meet-and-greet with the boy the same day. Our tutor started the class the next day. It was a tough and grueling experience as we had to work extra hard to address some of the challenges we identified and race against time to ensure he was ready for the examinations. The classes continued all the way through the examinations.
The client sent a copy of the son’s result when it was released yesterday, 16th December 2022 and it was impressive. In his exact words, “I am glad I chose you guys! He has really improved within this short period. Can you continue throughout the holidays, except for the public holidays. I don’t want us to lose this momentum at all.”
This was one of the many success stories we recorded this term. Well, the boy did not score 100% in all his subjects, but his performance was remarkable enough to show that there had been significant improvement in the limited time we had. 
I decided to tell this story (with the client’s permission) to demonstrate the fact that Educational Support Systems remain relevant even today. 
You might ask: Should a child who attends a good school with qualified teachers and in a right learning environment still need educational support? This is a valid question, and the natural answer would likely be ‘no’ but today’s reality would mean one should think twice before responding in the negative. Are Educational Support Systems still relevant today? 
First, it is important to define the term: Educational Support Systems. Basically, this refers to any system designed to provide learners with needed accommodations and supplementary aids and services to meet their needs. From careful research, we understand that an average student grasps only about 40% of what is taught in the school classroom and the remainder is learnt outside the classroom through different means including but not limited to further study, practice, revisions, homework, discussions, and general activities. I would like to place emphasis on ‘average child’ here which refers to the general sample size of students. This of course makes provision for a very few exceptional students who may be able to grasp much more than 60% to 80% of what is being taught in the classroom. 
In the past, as students, many of us had these educational support systems in the style of fathers, mothers, older siblings, or other relatives. However, the changing times have seen a tremendous acceleration in the rat race where the struggle to survive and put food on the table has taken center stage, thus leaving little or no time for these traditional educational support systems. It is safe to say that these traditional systems hardly exist in about 90% of Nigerian homes today, thus creating a huge gap that could go on to negatively affect the child someday if not filled. 
In today’s world, the contemporary Educational Support Systems have replaced the traditional ones, helping to bridge this gap, and making up for some of the deficiencies of the school system. These are really nor deficiencies in the true sense of the word but realities. The teacher to learner ratio is usually between 1:10 and 1:20 in the best schools and in some schools could rise to between 1:30 to 1:50. Considering the individuality, assimilation and learning pattern of each child, this reality affects the possibility of giving each child the individual attention required and education support systems help provide the needed medicine for the pain.
The question however is: How do you recognize the right platform to provide this service? With many platforms jumping on the bandwagon to take advantage of this situation, it is important to choose the right alternative that would give value for your money as a wrong decision would likely make a bad situation worse. At Dinamico Consulting, we have painstakingly put together a team dedicated to providing a service that would leave an indelible mark on all our learners and our success stories continue to speak for us. While we do not claim to be perfect, we are certain choosing us would be a wise decision you would be glad you made.

About The Author

Sarah Sile is Partner, Capacity Building & Development; and Director of Operations of Dinamico Consulting.

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