The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, on Monday, expanded the Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation (EdoBEST) programme to capture secondary schools and tertiary institutions in the state.
Obaseki, at the inauguration of EdoBEST 2.0, at the Government House, in Benin City, said the expansion became necessary to ensure that secondary schools and tertiary institutions in the state benefit from the gains in digital teaching recorded in primary schools through the EdoBEST programme, which was inaugurated in 2018.
According to him, “As far as we are concerned in the state, the EdoBEST programme is one of our greatest achievements. We are very happy that EdoBEST has gained global and local recognition.
“We want to replicate the successes and achievements that we have made in EdoBEST to EdoBEST 2.0, which is meant to capture our secondary schools and higher institutions in our dear state.”
Commending the Chairperson, Edo State Universal Basic Education Board (Edo-SUBEB), Dr. Joan Osa-Oviawe, for ensuring the success of the initiative, Obaseki noted: “I don’t see how EdoBEST would have been successful if not for the person of Dr. Joan Oviawe and her team.
“You have helped us build these children to primary six level, now, what is next? So, today we are going to unveil the EdoBEST 2.0, as a way to ensure that the gains of learning at the basic education level is sustained after the first six years.
“We have made progress; we are not where we want to be yet but we need to accelerate. Our kids are now learning better; their level is about 70 per cent of their colleagues in Europe and Asia. They are far from where their colleagues in Nigeria are; that’s not the standard.”
The governor continued: “We want to be at 100 per cent: We want to extend this education transformation throughout the educational chain; basic education system, middle school, technical colleges and tertiary institutions.
“The tertiary institutions are going to focus on producing certain kinds of manpower, particularly agriculture and healthcare, among others.”
Obaseki further assured that his administration would make tertiary institutions in the state competitive globally, adding, “our education system must deliberately work on our national values.”
On her part, the Chairman of Edo-SUBEB said, “Teachers attendance in Edo State today is 91 per cent, lessons completion rate as at today is 81 per cent and the focus is to achieve 100 per cent and perfection.
“We also recorded 17 per cent increase in the enrollment into public schools in Edo State, which has amounted to 21,000 pupils coming into the system from the private schools.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic couldn’t stop the progress of EdoBEST as teachers created over 7,000 visual classrooms to enable pupils continue with their learning, as contents were uploaded on our site to ensure continuity, despite global shutdown by COVID-19,” she added.
Earlier, in her welcome address, a pupil of Iguodala Primary School, Stephanie Osewengie, commended Governor Obaseki for improving the standard of education in Edo State, especially the basic education.
She said, “EdoBEST has brought out the best in Edo children, putting them in the best position to compete with other children from well developed nations. The programme has prepared us to takeover the leadership of the nation.”