The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has approved the roll-out of Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation (Edo-BEST) programme in the three oil and gas producing local government areas of Edo State, namely Ikpoba-Okha, Ovia North-East and Orhionmwon.
The approval was given by the governor at the Weekly Executive Council (EXCO) meeting held on Friday, at the Government House, Benin City.
The three local councils were selected by Edo State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) to benefit fully from the programme, after a pilot of the Edo-BEST programme involving 11,530 pupils from the local councils.
The roll-out programme is to be funded by the Edo State Oil and Gas Producing Areas Development Commission (EDSOGPADEC), with the sum of N951,594,420.00, to cover the cost of providing top-of-the-range basic education for 62,074 children in all primary schools in the three local councils. These include the initial 11,530 children who benefitted from the pilot phase and the incoming 50, 544 pupils, who will come on onboard in the full roll-out.
The Edo-BEST programme, an initiative of the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration, will “develop a highly-skilled teaching workforce by training, supporting and motivating Edo State teachers to succeed in the classroom of tomorrow; enhance the Edo State Basic Education curriculum thereby empowering our children to compete effectively in the world of work.”
The governor said that the programme will “leapfrog the basic education delivery systems by leveraging technology across all the value chain of education provision; leveraging technology to gather and utilise accurate and timely data to drive policy and planning decisions. It will invest in strengthening the institutions that support the delivery of basic education in Edo State.”
Some of the benefits of the programme to the teachers include, “Every teacher to receive tablets loaded with digital lesson plans for every lesson needed for each day. Head teachers are given smart phones and provided with monthly data to enable them use the software in the smart phone to register all children and take attendance and manage teacher performance in each classroom every day.”
In the pilot phase of the programme in which 11,530 students from the LGAs benefited, 8,993 of them were from Ikpoba-Okha, 1,214 from Orhionmwon and 1,323 from Ovia North East.
For the roll-out phase, 50, 544 children are expected to benefit, comprising 23,329 from Ikpoba Okha; 13, 592 from Orhionmwon and 13,623 from Ovia North East.
The governor said, “The total cost of textbooks for pupils and teachers’ access to all technology, initial support for each school including Head teacher data and customer care Information Technology support services as well as all teachers training and retraining, access to all digital platform and content support is estimated at 14,600 per child per year.”