The World Bank and the Federal Government has commended the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki for his administration’s giant strides in the state’s education sector, noting that ongoing reforms by the government have continued to improve learning outcomes and quality of education in the State.
Representative of the World Bank, Martin De Simone gave the commendation at the Edo Education Week with the theme, “Education for Alaghodaro: Investing in quality education and access for our children," held at the Sir Victor Uwaifo Creative Hub, in Benin City, Edo State.
De Simone said the Governor has continued to demonstrate the political will and commitment to strengthen and revamp the sector, leading in the gains so far recorded in the sector that have earned the government global recognition.
According to him, “The political leadership, commitment and will is the most important in any educational reforms and the Edo State Government has demonstrated that to deserve the partnership of the World Bank. The governor has done well in the educational sector of the State.”
While assuring the relentless collaboration and support of the World Bank, De Simone urged the government to step up efforts to ensure the sustainability of the reforms.
On his part, the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu hailed the state government’s commitment to improving the education sector, ensuring a world-class system to improve access to quality education for all Edo children.
The Minister, represented by the Director of Basic Education, Federal Ministry of Education, Dr. Mrs. Olatunji Davis, said, “Education is one of the most important investments a country can make in its future. It’s a powerful agent of change which improves health, livelihoods, contributes to social stability, and drives long-term economic growth. The return on investment in education is very high. Hence, there must be no compromise on quality.
"Our education challenge is an open secret. Out of the 258 million out-of-school children worldwide and an estimated 62 million in Sub-Saharan Africa, Nigeria is said to account for 12.4 percent of the out-of-school children in Sub-Saharan Africa.
"The 2018 National Personnel Audit estimated 10.5 million children, aged 5 to 14, were not in school, a figure that has been further exacerbated by increased learning poverty caused by the closure of schools and non-return of children to school following the global COVID-19 pandemic.”
The Minister added, "I commend the Edo State Government for these giant strides in the State. The Federal Ministry of Education shall continue to support the Edo State Government, and in particular, the Ministry of Education to deliver on these worthy outcomes geared towards the benefits of the Nigerian child.
"It’s my hope that this gathering will give insight into the investment challenges and opportunities for education in Edo State and Nigeria as a whole. I desire that this event will ultimately serve to galvanize and encourage other state governments in Nigeria, yet to do so, to commit and take similar action towards improving access to quality education in their States.”
Earlier, the Commissioner for Education, Dr. Joan Osa Oviawe, noted that “at this education week, we will be showcasing the progress made so far in the last six years and reviewing our roadmap for the future. We will end today's programme with the launch of the learning agenda.”
Dignitaries present at the occasion include Consular General of India, Chandramouli Kern; Vice-Chancellor of the University of Benin (UNIBEN), Prof. Lilian Salami; Vice-Chancellor, Edo University, Uzairue, Prof. Emmanuel Aluyor, and Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Folashade Adefisayo.
Others are Chairman, Benin Port Project, Engr. Greg Ogbeifun; former Edo State Head of Service and Chairman, Edo State Civil Service Commission, Princess Ekiuwa Inneh, and the Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress, Edo State Chapter, Comrade Odion Olaye, amongst others.