A study by Nobel Prize Laureate, Professor Michael Kremer has confirmed that the methodology used by Bridge Kenya schools (and EdoBEST in Edo state) is delivering significantly better learning outcomes to pupils in Kenya compared to the standard method used in other schools.
The two-year study is the result of a large-scale randomized control trial, including more than 10,000 students from low socio-economic backgrounds.
The study was supported by the World Bank, The Gates Foundation, JPAL and Imaginable Futures.
Using data gathered from Bridge Kenya Schools (which use the same methodology as EdoBEST), Professor Kremer and his team, made up of four other researchers, established the fact that pupils in Bridge Kenya schools achieved significantly better learning outcomes compared to their counterparts.
In 2018, Governor Godwin Obaseki launched EdoBEST as a response to the poor state of basic education in Edo state. The programme was launched to among other policies to upskill the weak teaching workforce, incorporate the use of data in education policymaking, mainstream the use of technology in all schools and strengthen the relationship between communities and schools. It led to a complete change in the methods used in teaching and learning in Edo state.
EdoBEST has over the last four years ensured the standardization of lesson delivery in over 1,226 schools, the programme has additionally led to better monitoring of the performance of teachers, pupils and other leaders in the school system.
The outcome of the study which was published in a 106-page report shows that pupils in underserved communities receive 53% more learning in Bridge Kenya schools over the course of their early childhood and primary school careers.
It found that after two years, primary school pupils in Bridge Kenya are nearly a whole additional year of learning ahead of children taught using standard methods. For early childhood development (ECD) – typically 3 to 5-year olds – children gain nearly an additional year and half of learning, learning in two years what students in other schools learn in three and a half years.
Because of the methodology adopted, a pupil in primary 1 is three times more likely to be able to read when taught in Bridge Kenya.
It was also discovered that pupils starting from the lowest learning levels gained the most while girls make the same leap in learning as boys.
According to Professor Kremer, “the study shows that attending schools delivering highly standardized education has the potential to produce dramatic learning gains at scale, suggesting that policymakers may wish to explore incorporation of standardization, including standardized lesson plans and teacher feedback and monitoring, in their own systems.”
Governor Obaseki notes that “Our commitment to restore education in Edo State back to its former glory, led us to launch the Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation (EdoBEST) program in April 2018. “
The governor further notes that “Quality basic education puts children on the path to a secure future and the satisfaction of contributing to both their own economic well-being and that of their families and communities as well. This is why basic education is one of the most critical priority areas for my administration. The aim of our education policy is to reverse the decline in education quality and standards in Nigeria over the past decades.”
EdoBEST leverages the transformative power of cutting-edge technology to deliver outstanding learning outcomes to primary school children across Edo State by better supporting their teachers.
Since inception, the programme has been studied by 36-state State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) Chairmen as a model for rapid transformation of the basic education space.
It has been lauded by the Nigeria Union of Teachers, Edo state chapter as a model for teacher professional development, adopted by the World Bank as the only subnational in its accelerated learning programme, and hailed by Lagos state governor Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu as a transformative force that inspired EKOEXCEL.
The programme has seen rapid expansion in the past few years, as the number of teachers that have undergone the EdoBEST teacher professional development programme has snowballed to over 16,000, the number of schools under EdoBEST has risen from 848 to 1,228 while the number of pupils catered to by the programme is more than 280,000.
The programme has been extended to primary schools in rural, hard-to-reach areas as well as secondary schools across Edo state because of its impact.
More states in Nigeria have followed Governor Obaseki’s lead by implementing similar programmes in their states.