The Edo State Education Commissioner, Dr. Joan Osa Oviawe, has reaffirmed that the state government-led by Governor Godwin Obaseki, has perfectly aligned with the World Bank and new thinking in the global education ecosystem.
She disclosed this while addressing CNBC Africa at a one-day workshop on education, which was organised by the World Bank in Accra, Ghana.
Oviawe, who spoke with the Global Business news platform, however, noted: “For us in Edo State, the pillars of the World Bank Education Strategy for Western and Eastern Africa are similar to the five pillars of EdoBEST.
“So, there is definitely synergy between the global trends in education reform and what Governor Obaseki is currently doing in Edo State.”
In 2018, Governor Obaseki launched the EdoBEST, a basic education sector reform programme to address the rot in the education sector in the state.
According to the Commissioner, the programme is hinged on five pillars that aimed at lifting all aspects of the state’s education sector.
This was as she recalled that EdoBEST had led to major improvement in learning indices in the state.
“The programme has also been adopted by two other states in Nigeria, and studied by several governments in Africa towards improving their educational systems,” she added.
Oviawe further said of the programme: “Since we introduced EdoBEST in 2018, we have seen remarkable growth and improvement in literacy rates among our learners. That is one of the reasons that Edo State is the only sub-national to be part of the accelerator country programme of the World Bank.”
While reiterating that a major priority of EdoBEST is in good governance and system strengthening, Oviawe, however, pointed out that without the requisite systems for educational development from the level of the Ministry of Education to the boards that manage the different tiers of education, including the state-owned tertiary institutions, not much progress will be made.
Meanwhile, the one-day workshop revealed that 80 per cent of 10-year-old children in Western and Central Africa are unable to read and understand a simple text, while more than 32 million children are out of school in the region, which represents the largest share of all regions worldwide.
But, in response to the situation, the World Bank has developed a framework aimed at making the region one “where all girls and boys arrive at school and ready to learn, acquire real learning, and are ready to enter the job market with the right skills to become productive and fulfilled citizens.”
Thus, the commissioner noted that the Edo State Government has continued to partner the World Bank towards building an education system that not only fosters learning, but also emphasises skills development.