Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said his government has transformed the State’s education sector using the Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation (EdoBEST) Programme, repositioning the State as a reference point for education reforms in Africa.
Obaseki said this while giving his closing remark at the festival of nine lessons and carols with the theme, “Transforming lives, the blessings of Christmas,” organized by Edo State Ministry of Education, at Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City.
Obaseki said his administration will be leaving behind a strong educational system to cater to the educational needs of all categories of students.
He said, “I am happy watching these children perform this afternoon at the nine lessons and carols. Seven years ago when we resumed as a government, we didn’t have this but I am happy we are leaving this behind. We are leaving behind an education system that has come to stay and caters for all, particularly children of the ordinary man and woman of Edo State.
“What you have witnessed here today is the hard work and dedication of some people who have worked with me to turn around the education system in Edo State.
“Edo is now the reference point in Africa for education reforms and this is due to the hard work of the Commissioner and her team. They have put in enormous work over the last several years. This will be my last outing with you as an ecosystem to celebrate Christmas but I want to assure our students that what we have started will be difficult for it not to continue and be sustained, due to what we have put on ground.”
The governor called on Edo people and other stakeholders in the education sector to rise and defend what his administration has done to ensure quality education for Edo children, adding, “We believe that Edo people will not fold their hands, including all other stakeholders and allowed things to go bad the way it used to be.
“This is Christmas and a time for merriment; where families and friends come together to exchange gifts, a time for building and strengthening our Communities. No matter how challenging and difficult things may be, this is a passing phase as all these children we are training and giving skills to, in a few years’ time will be the ones who have changed things in Nigeria. They will produce more goods and services, make us care less about importation and foreign exchange, and make us less import-dependent.
“I need to do one more thing before I leave; this will be the last time that you will be hosted outside in the scorching sun. Before I leave, I must make sure I build a facility that will accommodate at least 10,000 persons. It will be a dome, a multipurpose dome and even if I will not be governor next year, the event and carol of nine lessons will be hosted in a more convenient place.”
Others at the occasion include the Secretary to Edo State Government, Osarodion Ogie, Esq.; Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Blessing Agbebaku; religious and traditional leaders; children from various schools in Edo State; market women; civil society groups, and other top government functionaries, among others.