Promise Made, Promise Kept
By Uyiosa Efionayi
Children are wonderful gifts to their parents from God.
They are treasured, catered for and trained. Their parents nurture them with the basic needs and characters to face the challenges of life with the hope that they become great leaders of tomorrow to pilot the affairs of the society at large.
Understanding that children are the carriers of their parents’ hopes and dreams, the Edo State Basic Education Sector Transformation (EdoBEST) initiative was born.
It carried a promise from the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, the initiator.
The promise was again reiterated in 2019 when Mr. Obaseki assured: “We want to use education to build the total human being so that at the completion of junior secondary school education, a child would know what he or she wants to become in life and would fit properly into the society.”
The Governor made the promise at a Thanksgiving Mass held at the St. Paul’s Catholic Church, Benin City, to celebrate the 2019 Children’s Day.
Since inception, continuous professional development and ongoing quality assurance services have been provided to teachers across the State.
So far, over 11,000 teachers and staff of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) have been upskilled and over 2,000 new teachers have been introduced into the school system; Teachers in the EdoBEST reform are equipped with tablets to ease classroom management and lesson delivery.
During school hours, standardized instructional materials are sent to teachers’ tablets (a technological device), so that pupils in urban, semi-urban and rural areas all receive the same quality of education.
Additionally, the tablets are used to monitor lesson completion, teacher availability in schools, marking of teacher and pupil attendance. This has stemmed the tide of teacher absenteeism and poor lesson completion rates.
Recently, the Governor announced a technical education revival plan that will see his government establish technical colleges in all local government areas to feed organizations with manpower and ensure self-reliance.
Parents can go to the revamped Government Science and Technical College (GSTC), formerly Benin Technical College (BTC), Ugbowo, where on any school day, boys and girls can be seen donning their engineering laboratory coats like freshly minted engineers: the result of a significant makeover of their college, to get a feel of what to expect in their various local government areas.
Also understanding that only healthy children can be taught, the Governor made provision for children in the Edo Health Insurance Scheme (EdoHIS) whereby parents can add their children as beneficiary during registration.
Another Children’s day is around the corner and as a parent myself, I eagerly await the next unique innovation that is going to be unveiled for school children in Edo.