By Ozioruva Aliu
BENIN CITY – AS part of its efforts to improve primary education, the administration of Governor Godwin Obaseki said not less than N6b including counterpart funding have been spent in providing infrastructure for public primary schools in the state in the last three years.
Chairman, State Universal Basic Education Board, Dr Joan Oviawe made this disclosure Tuesday at an interaction with the media to mark the third year anniversary of the launch of EdoBEST (Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation) where she said not less than seven million education materials including text books and others have been distributed to pupils.
She said out of the 1,046 public primary schools in the state, only 186 have not been linked to the EdoBEST which efforts she said was slowed down by the Covid-19 but assured all the schools would become part of the transformation programme before the end of the year.
She said “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.
“In the area of infrastructure, I will say at least N6b 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.”
Oviawe said to strengthen the programme which she said Governor Obaseki has approved to be extended to Junior Secondary School, “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.
She said with EdoBEST, all public primary schools in the state enjoy uniform teaching with the adoption of a centrally developed lesson system.