An Interview with Faiz Bashir
What made you start FlexiSAF Foundation?
I think this has to do with my background and upbringing. I am fortunate to come from a family that values education and we got the best of training. This made me realize the importance of education while I was growing. By destiny again, we started FlexiSAF EduSoft in 2010 with the vision to transform education using technology. Being in the education space and interacting with schools and teachers increased my passion for education.
I learned that education is the most powerful gift you can give to anyone. Unfortunately, the story of education in Nigeria is not an interesting one. With over 10m out-of-school children and the highest in the world, it’s difficult to comprehend that we’d make any significant progress as a nation.
Our passion to improve education using technology and the enormous problem of the quality of our education & the out-of-school children menace is what actually drove us to start FlexiSAF Foundation last year.
Today, we have been able to impact the lives of over 150 children by supporting them to go back to school.
What are your goals for the next three to five years?
Our medium goal in the next 3-5 years is to collaborate with different organizations and the government to see that we are making progress on taking back our kids to school. We project to drop the number by at least 30% through these efforts.
We’d continue to advocate for more efficient models such as the Accelerated Learning program (AccLearn) to be adopted in various locations to help address the out-of-children menace and provide quality education.
Technology is also going to be key and we’d continue to build eLearning solutions and models that can be used in scaling the access to quality education across the country.
What priorities will help you achieve these goals?
We believe that making an impact to just 1 child is a big achievement. Therefore, our approach and priorities are simple; we’d continue to focus, innovate, engage and bring on-board as many people as possible (one at a time) to spark a national movement that will see an end to the out-of-school children problem.
What are the biggest barriers to education in Nigeria, in your opinion?
I think the standard of living of many people is a major factor that hinders access to quality education in Nigeria.
Secondly, the cultural barrier plays another role in slowing us down.
Lastly, the lack of awareness by many parents on the necessity to educate their kids is an obstacle.
What do you, personally, spend most of your time on?
Outside work, I get to read books, mostly on how to improve my skills. I am also working on creating more time to spend with my family.
Faiz Bashir is the CEO and co-Founder of FlexiSAF Edusoft