The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said the government’s sustained investment in technical and vocational education will facilitate industrial growth and economic development in the state.
Obaseki said this when he received members and representatives of the World Bank and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, who were on a courtesy visit at the Government House, Benin City.
The governor, while commending the development partners for their support for the ongoing reforms in the education sector, said his government is pursuing a holistic revamp of the sector focusing on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET).
He said, “We are working hard to train more teachers especially in specialised subjects. We have done a lot over the last five years for our students and pupils from primary one to six and now moving them to junior secondary school, ensuring that we are not dropping the standard. We must ensure that by the time they are finishing nine years of basic education, they have a pathway to where they want to be in life.
“We are trying to emphasize TVET, giving our students the choice to either go the TVET route or the normal secondary school route.”
On plans to sustain the gains recorded in the education sector through the EdoBEST programme, Obaseki noted, “About 300,000 children are in our public school system in Edo State. Some are from disadvantaged backgrounds as their parents don't have money to send them to private schools and as such, we keep our eyes on what is going on in private schools with a focus of capturing them in the EdoBEST programme.”
He added, “I want to thank you, our partners, for taking time out to pay us this visit to understand what we have done and achieved and areas to help us achieve more in the education sector. Thank you for your collaboration with our government to improve the educational sector in Edo State.”
Earlier, the Global Director of World Bank, Jaime Saavedre commended the Obaseki-led administration for the successes recorded in the education sector, especially in the basic level.
“We are here to continue the process of learning about the progress and challenges for the next couple of years to be able to sustain the gains and make sure we continue in the process of ensuring all Edo pupils continue to learn.”
Presenting the progress report, challenges and plans for expansion of the EdoBEST programme, the Chairman of State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Salami Ozavize said the state government is working to ensure all Edo children get quality education that will equip and prepare them to compete favourably with their counterparts across the globe.
She noted that the first phase of the EdoBEST programme was implemented in 237 schools with 42,000 pupils, while 1,500 teachers were trained.
“We have expanded the programme with the EdoBEST 2.0 with 572 benefitting schools, over 150,000 pupils captured and more than 5,000 teachers trained.”