...says over 400,000 children benefiting from Edo basic education reforms
…Edo First Lady expresses satisfaction with impact of reforms in education sector
The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has called for the democratisation of education in Nigeria to bridge the education gap and address the country’s dysfunctional education system.
The governor made the call during a courtesy visit by members and executives of the Federal Government Girls College, Benin Alumni Association, at the Government House in Benin City.
Obaseki congratulated the school on their silver jubilee celebration, acknowledging the efforts of former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, Gen Samuel Ogbemudia, and the then Minister of Education in the creation of the school.
He said, “We lobbied for the school to be set up in Benin City at that time and the focus and creativity of our governor was to acquire a large portion of land designated as an education hub as you have the University of Benin, and Benin Technical College close to you.
“This school and all others set up at that time were to be part of a system as the thinking after the civil war was to create a united country and also give opportunity for our diversity relating to gender.”
Obaseki continued: “The issue of educating the girl-child is not new to us as a State. That is why we were very concerned when we came into office seven years ago. We concentrated on what was going on with the girl-child following incidents of human trafficking and irregular migration. This led us to prioritise education, particularly education for the girl-child.
“We have turned the situation around as Edo is no longer amongst the first 10 States in the country in terms of human trafficking. We are not where we want to be but will ensure that the examples of institutional building we have seen in the Federal Government Girls College Benin and other Federal Government Colleges across the country trickle down across our educational system.
“This is necessary so that we don’t create a dangerous situation that is emanating from the country with the opportunity gap because of the educational divide we have created. We must democratize quality education and make sure that we remove issues or incidents of learning poverty from our country as we have emphasised education in Edo State.”
He further noted, “We have reset the education system in Edo State through basic education. In Edo State, we have ensured that every child, particularly the girl-child has access to high-quality basic education which is the foundation upon which every other thing rests.
“We are glad today that we have almost 400,000 of these children in our school system. We know each and every one of them as we are able to monitor them through the use of technology. Our goal is to make sure that every child in Edo at the age of 10 is able to read, write, and do their sums right. We are already seeing the results.
“As a State, when a child comes into our educational custody at the age of 6 years, we have responsibility for that child till that child is 15 years old as we create the basics for that child to live a self-sustained life even if that child doesn't have opportunity to go forward.”
Obaseki charged, “You have to belong to the group that will advocate for proper transformation of the education system in Nigeria. Our education is in crisis as our education managers have messed things up. The dropout ratio between primary six and SS1 is 50 percent which is responsible for high trafficking in Nigeria as we have to build the education sector in the country to be able to optimise our potential.”
The leader of the delegation of the alumni body and Edo State First Lady, Mrs. Betsy Obaseki, thanked the governor for the developmental strides in the State especially in the education sector.