The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, is parading the trailblazing success of the Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation (Edo-BEST) programme in the state at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), holding in New York, United States of America.
The governor is a guest speaker at the World Bank Group’s side event tagged ‘Ending Learning Poverty,’ organised to discuss and highlight the ways in which institutions and governments, such as Edo State, are working to eliminate learning poverty.
The World Bank estimates that only half of the children in low and middle income countries can read and understand short messages by late primary school age.
However, states like Edo in Nigeria have viable programmes to address this challenge and Governor Godwin Obaseki is an example of a leader that is trying to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals 4 (SDG4) and forcefully and urgently taking action on the education crisis.
The governor revealed how the reforms have changed the fortune of pupils in public primary schools in the state, providing them with a technology-enhanced learning experience.
The governor also spoke on how funds were mobilised for the kick-off the programme in the state, as Nigeria was recovering from a recession when the state government pooled funds from the Edo State Oil and Gas Producing Areas Development Commission (EDSOGPADEC) to roll out the programme in three local government areas of the state.
In the Edo-BEST programme, over 8,700 teachers have been trained and equipped with Information and Communication Technology (ICT) devices for improved learning outcomes, which have positively impacted over 150,000 school children in the state.
Over 234 schools are being reconstructed with 7094 computer tablets distributed to teachers and head teachers. 11688 School-Based Management Committee (SBMC) members have also been trained to help in administering and maintaining public education facilities.
Since the resumption of new school session in September 2019, riding on the back of the reforms, public primary schools in the state have recorded increased pupil enrolment as more parents and guardians are pulling their children and wards from private schools to register them in the public schools under by the Edo-BEST programme in the state.