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Education Reforms: World Bank Lauds Edobest Programme

The World Bank has commended the Edo State Government reforms in the basic education sector, expressing satisfaction with the progress and impact of the reforms in the last seven and half years.

A World Bank delegation led by the Bank’s Education Economist, Martín De Simone, said the state has continued to meet set goals, significantly progressing with its basic education sector reforms and upskilling the state’s teeming youth population through the Edo Basic Education Sector and Skills Transformation (EdoBESST) Programme.

The delegation which is on a four-day working visit to the state is collaborating with stakeholders from the Edo State Ministry of Education, the Edo State Universal Basic Education Board (Edo SUBEB), and other government agencies.

The team, according to Martín De Simone, the World Bank Education Economist and Task Team Lead for EdoBESST, is evaluating and reviewing the progress achieved so far in the implementation of the state-wide basic education reforms which was launched in 2018 by the State Governor Godwin Obaseki.

He said, “We have held extensive meetings with key stakeholders over the past four days and have identified key areas where progress has been made and areas that need to be further strengthened as we work toward achieving the goals of EdoBESST.

“We are particularly pleased that the data before us shows that there is improvement in the basic education system since the implementation of reform in various areas, including the performance of the pupils in the state-owned primary school system.”

After the team visited the situation room situated at Block B, State Secretariat at Sapele Road in Benin City, Martín commended Governor Godwin Obaseki-led’s administration for creating the facility where activities of the programme are monitored.

De Simeone said, “The situation room created to monitor teachers, students, and schools’ performance is unique because it helps in real data gathering compared to what the bank has seen in other places.”

“The situation room from where activities of teachers, schools and pupils are being monitored will help in the overall performance of each school and teachers who are cautious because they know their activities are monitored and it will equally improve the performance of the pupils.”

Also, a senior education specialist at the World Bank, Tunde Ademola, while commending the governor stated, “We encourage the governor to urge UBEC to come learn from Edo SUBEB as this is the way to go as it will help Nigeria’s education system as the education system has improved in Edo State.”

The Executive Chairman of Edo State Universal Basic Education Board (Edo SUBEB), Ozavize Salami, reeled the impact of the programme which was launched seven years ago.

She said, “This is the sixth mission in the course of the programme as it will come to an end in December 2024. The programme has been on for six years and the partnership with the World Bank is four years now and we have seen the results of what we set out to achieve.

“We established a situation room to gather data for the EdoBESST programme, as we can track our children’s identity numbers because each child has one which can be linked to NIN and BVN. I can monitor the performance of teachers, students, schools, and many more.”

“Currently the programme is catering to the learning needs of over 380,000 pupils across the 18 local government areas of Edo State,” she said.

“EdoBESST has improved teaching and learning quality by upskilling teachers, equipping them with well-researched materials for teaching, and providing technology for classroom and school level management.”