EdoBEST (Basic Education Sector Transformation) is an innovative flagship education initiative in Edo State, Nigeria that aims to transform the public education system and improve learning outcomes. Under the vision and leadership of Governor Godwin Obaseki, Bridge International Academies (Bridge) has been brought in as a technical partner to enable the delivery of a vision to improve the learning outcomes for a generation. The EdoBEST initiative got underway in April 2018; six months on 7,000 government teachers are graduating from the programme in Benin City, the capital of Edo.
All over the world, education is a key driver of development and prosperity. The Edo State Government saw an urgent need to improve teacher quality and performance, increase numeracy and literacy levels among pupils and improve school administration and management. As such, Governor Obaseki and the State’s Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) decided to reform the basic education sector as a prerequisite of achieving sustainable growth; identifying technology as the key driver within the reform process. The result was the development of EdoBEST.
EdoBEST is an innovative and extremely ambitious programme and could become an exemplar for public education reform across Africa. It’s designed to achieve wholesale system reform across the state, transforming learning outcomes for Edo’s children. The initiative strives to improve the state’s 1,500 public primary and junior secondary schools, develop 15,000 government teachers and impact 300,000 pupils. Fundamentally, it offers immediate systems change at scale and life-changing educational opportunity for a generation of children now, not in years to come, but now.
Edo State, like much of Nigeria, has a challenging educational backdrop; there are around a million school-aged children in Edo and 60% of the population live below the poverty line.
EdoBEST is a comprehensive approach that consists of five distinct yet integrated pillars of activity including governance, teacher development and instructional design, community partnerships; infrastructure and the support and development of the local education authority.
Bridge is working as the technical partner on the teacher development and instructional design pillar which is known as the S.T.A.R (Supporting Teachers to Achieve Results) component of EdoBEST. It’s focused on enhancing teacher capacity and capability through a training programme that leverages technology and empowers teachers to improve learning outcomes. Through intensive training, ongoing support, teacher guides, positive classroom management techniques and real-time monitoring of lessons, Bridge is bringing technical experience to the governor’s vision.
Governor Obaseki, believes the programme will, “develop a highly-skilled teaching workforce by training, supporting and motivating Edo State teachers to succeed in the classroom of tomorrow, empowering our children to compete effectively in the world of work.” The Governor said that the programme will: “leapfrog the basic education delivery systems by leveraging technology to gather and utilise accurate and timely data to drive policy and planning decisions.” The governor should be lauded for his leadership and investment in education, the success of which will ultimately determine the economic growth and development of Edo State.
As the state and the governor celebrate the progress being made under their leadership, initial evaluations are already showing promising results. Bridge is excited and proud to be a part of it.