From Tony Osauzo, Benin
No less than N6 billion including counterpart funding has been spent in providing infrastructure for public primary schools in Edo State in the last three years as part of efforts to improve primary education by the administration of Governor Godwin Obaseki.
Over seven million text books, instructional materials and examination papers have also been distributed to primary school pupils in the state in the period under review.
The Chairman, State Universal Basic Education Board, Dr Joan Oviawe, diclosed this Tuesday at an interactive session with the media to mark the third year anniversary of the launch of EdoBEST (Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation).
‘What has been out into the reform efforts by the Governor Godwin Obaseki administration is unquantifiable in terms of human and material resources, but the key thing is the effort that has been put in because the governor is a data driven decision maker so every decision that is taken is backed by facts,’ Dr Oviawe explained.
‘In the area of infrastructure, I will say at least N6 billion in state and counterpart funding has been expended in infrastructure. We already know the cost to have every child in the classroom include the training of the teachers, the smart phones that the head teachers use to sync with the tablet of the teachers, the text books and other education materials are there so when the governor in 2017 said if he has N100 he will prefer to spend N40 on basic education, I believe he has done that.
‘Basic education remains free and the government has been providing instructional materials since 2018. Over 7 million text books, instructional materials and examination papers have been distributed to all our pupils, she said.
She further disclosed that out of the 1,046 public primary schools in the state, only 186 have not been linked to the EdoBEST, following the COVID-19 pandemic which slowed down efforts to do. She assured that all the schools would become part of the transformation programme before the end of the year.
She said with EdoBEST, all public primary schools in the state enjoy uniform teaching with the adoption of a centrally developed lesson system.
The SUBEB Chairman announced that Governor Obaseki has approved the EdoBEST programme to be extended to Junior Secondary Schools in the state and that to strengthen the programme ‘at least 3,000 new teachers graduates are going to be hired into the system and this process should be wrapping up before the end of May and they will be trained to deliver their best.’