NES #28: EdoBEST tipped as solution to learning poverty in Nigeria

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Education sector thought leaders at the 28th Nigerian Economic Summit have tipped the EdoBEST method as capable of tackling learning poverty and deprivation among children across Nigeria.

This comes as the country continues to grapple with a myriad of challenges bedeviling the basic education sector which have led to poor learning outcomes among pupils and low school enrolment.

In August 2022, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) noted that no fewer than 70 per cent of children in Nigerian schools are suffering from learning poverty (a situation where 10-year-olds cannot read or understand a simple text) while the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) put the number of out-of-school children in the country at 20 million in October 2022.

Speaking at a panel session with the title, “Eradicating Learning Deprivation,” at NES #28,  Mrs. Omowale David-Ashiru, Group Managing Director of NewGlobe noted that learning deprivation or learning poverty is a global problem exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic in African countries like Nigeria where the combination of out-of-school children and the poor rate of learning for those in school gravely threatens the potential of future economic growth and social development.

Mrs. David-Ashiru however noted that “there are existing examples of a holistic methodology already delivering value for Nigerian children in Edo, Lagos and Kwara States.”

Specifically, the EdoBEST programme which is being implemented in 1,330 schools across Edo state is one of those solutions as it has brought total transformation to the way over 350,000 pupils learn in the state.

Since inception, the programme has overhauled the process of Teacher Professional Development and reoriented teachers on better methods of pupil and classroom management that have delivered measurable results.

Additionally, EdoBEST has seen the introduction of a whole new curriculum which is in line with the approved national curriculum, while adopting technology in all aspects of basic education service delivery and management.

Because of EdoBEST, school heads as well as the management of Edo State Universal Basic Education Board (Edo SUBEB) now use modern technology to collect and collate information for the management of pupils, teachers and schools.

On his part, Dr. Hamid Bobboyi, Executive Secretary Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) who was also on the panel noted that as a tradition, education should be a major issue during periods of politicking and campaigning. “Let us tell people, if you do not take care of education system you will not be elected into office,” Dr. Bobboyi noted.

Speaking further, he noted that Gov. Obaseki used the education reform in Edo state to his advantage.

Other speakers on the panel were Ms. Cristian Munduate UNICEF Country Representative, Mrs. Maryam Uwais, Special Adviser to the President on Social Investments and Ms. Abisola Obasanya Director Arc Lights Foundation.

The 28th Nigerian Economic Summit convened national and global leaders in government, business, politics, development, civil society, and academia through a hybrid Summit platform of in-person and virtual dialogues to deliberate on the theme ‘2023 and Beyond: Priorities for Shared Prosperity’.