The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said that School-Based Management Committee (SBMC) will play a critical role in monitoring the refurbishment of the over 230 primary schools under the Edo Basic Education Transformation (EdoBEST) programme.
The governor disclosed this at the Edo State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) appreciation banquet organised for EdoBEST field workers in Benin City, the State Capital.
He said plans are underway to ensure that the refurbishment of schools is completed before the end of the holiday season, adding that in 2019, another batch of 230 schools will be renovated.
“My goal is to refurbish all the schools under EdoBEST before the end of 2019. I will rely on the School-Based Management Committee (SBMC) to help the state government monitor all the contractors to ensure good service delivery and, where necessary, draw government’s attention to poor jobs,” he added.
Obaseki assured: “We will provide furniture in all the schools slated for refurbishment. We will start with schools in deplorable conditions before moving to other schools and we will ensure all our schools in the state have toilet facilities.”
He explained that ten years ago, the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration focused on the physical infrastructure in schools in Edo State, with the red roof revolution, but maintained that the buildings didn’t solve all the problems.
“Our administration is now focusing on the people, the system as well as the process. When we get it right, things will fall in place,” he added.
He commended the field workers under the EdoBEST programme for the success and progress recorded so far in less than one year, adding that his administration will commence the Federal Government’s Home-Grown School Feeding programme next year in the state to encourage enrolment.
According to him, “I am happy to be in your midst today to celebrate with you as you have made me proud. I thank all the field officers that have driven the process, making it possible to attain this much success in revamping the education sector in the state. Education Marshals shall be introduced into the school system in 2019.”
Commissioner for Education, Hon. Emmanuel Agbale, said the field workers comprise 106 Social Mobilisation Officers (SMO), 54 Learning and Development Officers (LDO) and five Quality Assurance Officers (QAO).
Agbale said the 106 SMOs visited 607 EdoBEST schools to sensitise and work with 11,382 SBMC, who were trained in 202 clusters across the three senatorial districts.
The commissioner said the EdoBEST programme is core in the education reforms of the Obaseki administration, aimed at improving teaching and learning as well as infrastructure.
The Chairman, SUBEB and Special Adviser to the Governor on Basic Education, Dr. Joan Osa Oviawe, thanked the governor for giving them the opportunity to contribute their quota to the development of basic education in the state and commended the field workers for making the programme a success.