Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki on Monday launched the ‘Let’s Go To School’ and ‘Parent’s First’ campaigns with the mandate that all children in the state must have access to free basic education.
The governor during a stakeholders’ meeting with the theme “Improving Collaboration in the Provision of Basic Education,” restated the commitment of his administration to revamp the state’s basic education sector.
The launch of the campaigns followed two executive proclamations, to ensure that parents take the lead in the education of their children.
Obaseki declared: “Whereas it’s the desire of the Edo State Government to promote schools’ enrolment of every child in collaboration with all stakeholders, now therefore, I Governor Godwin Obaseki, do hereby proclaim that all children in Edo must have access to free basic education as I formally declare the ‘let’s go to school campaign’ launched.
“Now therefore, be it resolved as the governor of the state, do hereby proclaim that all parents shall henceforth take the lead as major stakeholders as I formally declare parents first campaign launched.”
The governor further assured of continuous collaboration and capacity building for teachers, as part of his administration’s commitment to improve the standard of education in the state.
He noted, “Let me make it clear that we do not have any problem or challenges with our teachers. The 11,000 teachers that we have trained for the Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation (EdoBEST) programme are amazing.
“We have worked together and grown together in the last few years. They have been very supportive, but unfortunately, what you saw the last time was not the teachers. It was a part of the leadership of their union that has become political.
“The union wants to play politics with the lives of our children; we have no problem with our teachers in Edo. We have a problem with a section of the leadership of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) that wants to continue to politicize education.”
He continued: “They want to derail what we have started with EdoBEST in the name of politics, and I have said that as the governor of Edo, who was popularly elected by Edo people, I am ready to fight with anybody that wants to joke with the lives of the school children.
“We are not going to negotiate lawlessness; we are not going to be intimated; we are ready to fight as long as you want to derail EdoBEST.
“It’s not a threat; I just want to assure you that we have the mandate of Edo people to move Edo forward and nobody will stop us. I am sure that all the stakeholders here will join us to make sure that the right thing is done for the sake of our children.”
The governor said his government is ensuring the provision of water and toilet facilities in all public schools, reassuring increased investment in all special schools in the state.
High point of the event was a presentation of schools kits by the governor to some of the out-of-school children who were rescued from street hawking and other activities such as child labour and child abuse.
In her remarks, the state Chairman of SUBEB, Dr. Joan Oviawe, thanked the governor and his deputy, Mr. Philip Shaibu for their support, which has led to the successes achieved in the EdoBEST programme.