#OB2022ThoughtLeadership: Education marketing in a pandemic

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#OB2022ThoughtLeadership: Education marketing in a pandemic
Kwame NYATUAME

I am a strong believer in the transformative power of education. In my view, education is at the heart of any real transformation in individuals, families and society as a whole. Education is POWER! Education is PRODUCTIVITY! Education is PROGRESS! Education is a fundamental human right!

Ghana has been intent on furthering the cause of education since time immemorial. This is evident in it being captured in our constitution as a fundamental human right. There have been countless efforts and interventions from successive governments to prioritise education and its delivery – the recent being the adoption and implementation of the Free Senior High School (FSHS) programme. This popular initiative according to reports has increased enrolment by about 69percent since 2017.

It has to be mentioned that the implementation of the Free SHS Programme has been fraught with lots of challenges – poor management of the double track system, less than optimum infrastructure to meet growing student enrolment, poor teacher to student ratios, lack of textbooks to name a few. Despite the unrelenting and tumultuous waves rocking the Free SHS programme, the government holds steadfast to see it through.

We cannot talk education in Ghana and not give noteworthy praise to the private sector. The sector continues to prove to be a real cornerstone in the overall education drive for our people and many others across the continent. From pre-schools, TVET to first degree, Masters and PhD programmes, there are thriving private educational institutions providing world class education delivery to many.

The COVID -19 Disruption 

The novel COVID-19 pandemic created an unexpected disruption to educational systems all over the world – Ghana not excluded. Abrupt closures of schools and learning spaces became the order of the day as government and educational institutions scrambled to stay resolute in the face of such uncertainty.

There are countless reports of educational institutions that have had to close down and stay closed due to the level of disruption that came with the pandemic. UN reports suggests that some 23.8 million youth especially from pre-primary to tertiary may drop out or not have access to school due to the pandemic’s economic impact alone. To put is simply, the COVID-19 pandemic dealt a sucker punch to the education sector in Ghana. Online, radio and Tv more or less became the outlets to facilitate teaching and learning.

Silver lining

Despite the ravaging effects of the pandemic, there have been some bright spots that have highlighted our collective hope, resilience and creativity. Noticeable amongst these are:

  1. The speedy approach to adopting online solutions to facilitate overall management of key stakeholders (parents, students, teachers, staff and as well as teaching and learning. It is important to mention that despite significant strides in technological penetration, many educational institutions were slow to adopt these solutions. The pandemic in this instance gave the education sector not much choice.
  2. Matters relating to effective branding and marketing of educational institutions have taken prominence. With overall online penetration across board – education not excluded, there is an increasing need to take matters of effective branding and marketing seriously as the playing field has become extra competitive. Parents and students alike are demanding the best educational experience on offer.
  3. Exciting innovations supporting education and training continuity.

My Initiative 

Over the past two years as the COVID-19 pandemic struck with such unforeseen force, I observed and noticed its debilitating effects on our education sector with keen focus on private educational institutions and learning centres.

With my background in branding, strategy and marketing and a practicing brand strategist, I leveraged my knowledge and established Educonnect, Ghana’s leading education-centred platform, and ventured into consultancy as an education marketing consultant. I have thus been sharing tailored content (on my social media handles [email protected]) to school owners, school heads, facilitators and instructors on the principles of education marketing and effective branding.

What is my WHY? 

The pandemic has changed the game; it has created a fiercely competitive digital landscape. All businesses across all sectors have had to revise their notes and re-strategize in order to stay relevant and competitive in the marketplace. It has become imperative for especially educational institutions and learning centres to actively take steps to acquire knowledge on how to build brands and market effectively – nothing should be left to chance.

School owners, school heads, instructors and facilitators of educational institutions and learning centres need to be authentic, memorable and relentless with building brands in today’s marketplace. You snooze, you quickly lose with your customers.

This is my North Star – providing knowledge and actionable insights needed for educational institutions to build memorable brands and world class institutions whilst staying relevant and competitive in the marketplace. I look forward to an exciting and progressive 2022.

>>>The writer is a brand strategist, an education marketing consultant and Team Lead at Educonnect. He can be reached on +233 264283261, [email protected] and or Instagram – @kwamenyatuame

 

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