The six-year Teacher Development Programme (TDP) is working to improve the skills of 66,000 teachers in six states of northern Nigeria. Its focus is on English, Maths, Science and Technology, so that children leave school with the analytical and communications skills they need for the workplace. It calculates that, for each year those teachers remain in service, they could enhance the learning outcomes of two million students in primary and junior secondary schools. The programme is funded by the UK Government, using UK aid from the British people.
Procuring the right goods and equipment
The UK Government’s Department for International Development (DFID) asked DPSA to procure a range of technology for use by the TDP. This included tablet computers for teachers and pupils, projectors, servers to run e-learning resources, speakers and rechargeable batteries, and solar-powered chargers. Having renewable-energy chargers was important, as it would mean the tablets could still be used even if no electricity was available.
“The tablets were to be provided with various software already installed on them,” explains Akintoye Oyeyele, Logistics and Supply Chain Manager for DPSA in Nigeria. “This covered lesson plans for English, Maths, Science and Technology developed for DFID by Cambridge Education. It also included posters, flashcards, audio and video clips, plus online registration and monitoring tools.”
Supporting the local economy
DFID asked DPSA to procure a range of technology for the Teacher Development Programme in Nigeria. We sourced all the goods from Nigerian companies – over 2,500 tablets with 50 solar chargers, 130 projectors, more than 2,600 speakers and 50 amplifier batteries – and delivered them on time to a central location in each of the six states.
We began by making sure we understood where and how the technology would be used, to be certain that the goods we procured would meet the programme needs. Once we had evaluated suppliers’ quotes against the requirements, we recommended that one company provide both the tablets and the servers, as it offered high-quality goods and competitive prices.
In our discussions, we also looked at how we could add value for our client. For example, the Terms of Reference specified 32GB of memory for the tablets but, when we reviewed this against how they would be used, we believed that this would be insufficient. We therefore negotiated with the supplier for each tablet to have 64GB of memory for no additional cost.
Going above and beyond
When we costed the other items, we found that the budget was too tight for the requested specifications. We consulted the marketplace to find alternative options for each line item and recommended those that represented the best value for money without compromising capability.
“In some cases, our client chose a less expensive model which offered the same quality and in other cases they opted for a lower quantity of a pricier model,” says Akin.
Adding value for our client
By fully understanding where and how the tablets would be used, we believed that the requested memory capacity of 32GB for the tablets would be insufficient. We therefore negotiated with the supplier to provide 64GB at no extra cost.
By using this technology, teachers will be able to make classes more interactive and engaging for the pupils, as well as assessing their own performance using the built-in monitoring software. We’re delighted to have been able to assist with a programme that has the potential to have a long-term positive impact on teachers and pupils in northern Nigeria.