By Gabriel Dike
Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu has said that Nigeria doesn’t need to copy beneficial e-learning solutions that work well within the country from outside.
Sanwo-Olu disclosed this at the recent Ekiti Investment and Economic Summit held in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State, highlighting the importance of peer reviews among governors and public officials.
Sanwo-Olu while speaking during in a panel discussing alongside Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Governors Godwin Obaseki of Edo State; Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti and Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State, disclosed that Lagos borrowed the idea of its e-education intervention, EKOEXCEL from Edo.
Sanwo-Olu said that Governor Obaseki introduced EdoBEST during his first term. Lagos, having studied it carefully, went the same route with the same technical partner in 2019.
According to him, “I usually acknowledge Governor Obaseki because I copied something that he introduced during his first tenure and which is working three times more in Lagos, education. Obaseki started EdoBEST and he brought in Bridge (New Globe), an e-learning solution provider with tablets for basic education”.
“So, you can see that indeed, we have started doing peer review. You don’t need to go to another country to copy what is working well in our country already. He brought the initiative, and we said we also need to start with basic education. We have copied that from Edo; it’s working well in Lagos, and we’ll scale it up.”
Commenting on the some of its other benefits, Sanwo-Olu said “we can check from the tablet what attendance we have in our schools, which teacher has come in; what time they clock in and what are the lesson notes. You can design the same curriculum irrespective of which part of the state the schools are in, so you can have the same quality in terms of input and the expected outcomes from education.”
Bridge, now rebranded as New Globe, is the technical partner managing the programme with the Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) having oversight functions.
Governor Sanwo-Olu inaugurated EKOEXCEL in 2019 as part of his THEMES agenda, to provide quality education to both the rich and the poor across the state and upskill teachers leveraging cutting-edge technology.
In line with the governors’ outlined achievements for his 2nd year in office campaign, the programme has accelerated pupils’ learning, which has led to better classroom culture and more robust curriculum management.
EKOEXCEL has dramatically accelerated student literacy and numeracy performances, with significant differences between student performances in EKOEXCEL schools versus their peers in traditional schools.
EKOEXCEL students advanced in numeracy twice as fast as students in traditional schools. At the same time, they progressed three times as quickly as their peers in comparable schools.
It’s an exciting time for education in Lagos and Nigeria as a whole with President Buhari pledging an education budget increment of 50 percent over the next 2 years and 100 percent by 2025, well over and above the 20 percent global benchmark, at the 2021 global partnership for Education Summit held in the United Kingdom.
The Buhari administration also does not have to look outwards for solutions to improve learning outcomes and employ new techniques in education, based on the successes already recorded by the two-trend setting state government education reform programmes, EKOEXCEL and EdoBEST.
The successes of the EKOEXCEL programme were recognised by the international community as it received an invitation last September to participate and represent Nigeria at the 2021 edition of the Mobiles for Education Alliance Symposium. Global policymakers, donors, practitioners, researchers, and other EdTech entrepreneurs were also in attendance representing 38 countries who showcased their work in a variety of participatory formats including gallery walks, lightning talks, panels, plenary sessions, virtual exhibits.
Bayo Adefuye, LASUBEB’s permanent Board Member, representing EKOEXCEL at the symposium who gave insight on the adaptation of the [email protected] initiative, which was developed to cushion the effect of the pandemic on Lagos State Public primary school pupils as well as ensure that continued access to learning remained undisturbed. The @home programme consisted of self-study activity packets, learning guides, interactive audio sessions, zoom classes, WhatsApp quizzes as well as the distribution of 450,000 mp3s with pre-recorded lessons.