EdoBEST; Flagship Initiative in Achieving Sustainable Growth

All over the world, education is a key driver to national development and societal growth. Education and work in Sub-Saharan Africa will determine the livelihoods of nearly a billion people in the region and drive growth and development in generations to come.

According to the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs World population prospect 2012 report, the solution to Africa’s education has to be scalable in order to address the problem awaiting the continent in 2050, that Africa will have the fastest growing workforce and school age children by 2050. And Nigeria, being the most populous nation will contribute significantly to the number. Hence, the need to build a nation with an educated and skilled workforce that is stable, prosperous, and competitive.

Though education serves as the catalyst, teachers are the people who set the tone for society’s growth and development. Teachers will impact on the quality of education in Africa. The ability to train and support them with technology will determine the future of the children and continent.

Consequently, the Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki and the State’s Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) invested in reforming the basic education sector as a prerequisite of achieving sustainable growth; identifying technology as the key driver within the reform process. The result of the investment is the Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation (EdoBEST) initiative, in just six month of its official launch, it has unveiled 7,000 trained teachers and is set to radically impact the lives of 150,000 Edo children.

EdoBEST is the flagship initiative of the Edo State government, aiming to transform the public education system and learning outcomes in Edo.  It is a comprehensive programme to develop the State education across five pillars of work: governance, teacher training and development, community partnerships, infrastructure, and the local education board. Leading technology-based education provider, Bridge International Academies was brought in as a technical partner with the Government to support teacher training and development, helping to boost the capability of all Edo government teachers.

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Governor Obaseki explained that “In Edo State, we have identified the critical role of teachers in our growth plan and this informed our decision to birth the Edo State Basic Education Sector Transformation (Edo-BEST) programme, that has kick-started a series of reforms in the education sector.

According to him, “Edo-BEST programme is developing a pool of highly-skilled teaching workforce for the state, by training, supporting and motivating Edo State teachers to succeed in the classroom of tomorrow; enhance the Edo State Basic Education curriculum thereby empowering children to compete effectively in the world of work.

The programme has started leapfrogging the basic education delivery systems by leveraging technology in education provision, gathering and utilising accurate and timely data to drive policy and planning decisions. He said.

Vice President, Policy and Partnerships at Bridge, Adesuwa Ifedi stated that every teacher wants to teach and children desire to learn, which is why our ability to provide an enabling environment for learning is key. “Technology can be used to address deliver the learning outcomes required in today’s workforce and used to support teachers to accelerate teaching and learning at scale to reach many more children” She said.

The investment in human capital is a critical step in boosting inclusive growth and initiatives that would in the long run build a nation with an educated and skilled workforce that is stable, prosperous, and competitive such as EdoBEST is welcome.

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