The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, on Tuesday, met with owners of private schools in the state, seeking the support of all stakeholders to sustain gains recorded with the ongoing reforms in the education sector.
The governor during a dialogue session with proprietors of private schools in Edo, held at the Government, in Benin City, said his government is investing hugely in the sector to groom the next generation of Edo citizens to be globally competitive.
Obaseki said, “Bendel and Mid-Western regions became the Mecca of education in Nigeria as education was largely provided by the private sector but the government was very strict in regulating the provision of education.
“Government took over schools and has put itself as an education provider, a regulator and standard setter in the market. We must regulate our schools and set standards. Our goal is for the private sector to provide better and higher quality of education to woo more people to the private schools.
"We are now in a knowledge-based world as those that will dominate the future will be the people with knowledge and people that have education not natural resources. This is the future of the industrial revolution.
“We need to prepare the next generation to be globally competitive and as such, we will not compromise but give our people the best quality education. My administration works to change the trajectory of education in Edo State.”
He continued: “The Nigerian constitution says basic education is free and compulsory, but how many private school owners are ready to provide free education at the basic level. We need dialogue to ensure our pupils get the very best of education and work to ensure we give them the same knowledge across the country as it will set the country on the path of greatness; we will start this in Edo State.
"We need to collaborate and set the standard needed. Drop out ratio of pupils between primary one and JSS 3 is 50 percent, what happens to the remaining 50 per cent? We must work to recover our children and bring them back to school.”
Welcoming private school owners, the Commissioner for Education, Dr. Joan Oviawe said participants analyzed the reform agenda for private school education and the EdoBest 2.0 education reform framework in the state.
She disclosed that from September 2022, the Edo State College of Education will commence operations to train more teachers in the state.