Edo Commissioner recounts gains of reform in basic education

Edo Commissioner recounts gains of reform in basic education

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By Usman Aliyu

Dr Joan Osa-Oviawe, Edo Commissioner for Education says the basic education reform in the state has improved the literacy and numeracy of pupils in public schools.

Osa-Oviawe made this claim on Thursday in Benin while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

The commissioner said that the reform tagged “Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation (EdoBEST) 1.0”, which was launched in 2018 by Gov. Godwin Obaseki administration, was very holistic in its process.

Osa-Oviawe said the reform covered all areas of management of education system; building the capacity of the non-teaching staff that managed the education system.

According to her, over 11,000 teachers in the state were trained on pedagogy and provided with tablets for effective teaching.

Osa-Oviawe said that in Edo today, kids in Early Child Care Development Education (ECCD) III through the primary 1-3 classes could read effectively.

The commissioner said this was a sharp contrast to the situation at the inception of the reform, where pupils in primary 6 could hardly read.

“Before we started EdoBEST, we did pupils diagnosis, and discovered that time, that a lot of our kids were behind grade level.

“Some were in primary 6 and did not know how to read,” Osa-Oviawe said.

She said that the reform had resulted in positive impacts on literacy as a result of the huge investment.

“We have also standardised the lesson plan.

“Prior to the EdoBEST 1.0, every teacher in our primary school system wrote his/her lesson plan and it was never clear whether those lesson plans conformed with the dictate of the national curriculum.

“So, by centrally designing lesson plan for every class level, it became clear that we are able to standardise quality and ensure that the curriculum is covered,” she said.

According to her, by introducing technology, we are able to track teachers’ attendance, track their preview; how much time they spent previewing.

“This is because a teacher who is not prepared cannot teach effectively and that helps a great deal to sanitise our system.

Technology also removed the human factors to a large extent.

“With the introduction of this technology, I can put on the dashboard in my office and see school by school, teacher by teacher, who is in school and who is not,” she said.

She said that the decision about sanctioning of a teacher is no longer reliant on the report of the head of the school; it comes from my office, and the governor also has access to the dashboard.

“The governor used that to summon me in the past to ask some specific questions about a school.

“Because teachers are now more in schools, they are now teaching more; pupils are also now coming to schools because school is becoming more exciting.

“Teachers were taught new classroom management techniques; new method of pedagogy; delivery method at emboldening, empowering and transforming the learners,” Osa-Oviawe said.

The commissioner, who is a former Executive Chairman of the state Basic Education Board (SUBEB) stated that the reform had been expanded to junior secondary education due to its success. (NAN)

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