Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki has said the state government’s investment in education is aimed at tapping the transformative power of books and the knowledge economy to drive growth and development in the state.
The governor said this in commemoration of the World Book and Copyright Day, marked every April 23, by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), and other organs of the United Nations (UN).
The governor said the state aims to groom actors in the fast-evolving global knowledge economy by ensuring that pupils in the state are provided with the best possible education that meets the demands of the new world information and communication order.
He said the emphasis on enhancing and protecting indigenous languages in this year’s commemoration of the day aligns with the state government’s prorammes to preserve the state’s heritage and culture, through establishment of culture clubs in schools; support for cultural institutions and training of Edo language teachers for better service delivery.
According to him, “As we commemorate the World Book and Copyright Day, I want to restate the state government’s commitment to groom a generation of young people that are well fitted to the times, who will participate actively in the knowledge economy as a result of the up-to-date education they are getting through the Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation (Edo-BEST) programme.
“At the same time, we are very mindful of the fact that much of this cannot be achieved without the transformative power of books. This is why I call for stricter measures to check piracy and reward the effort of those, who commit to writing and preserving knowledge for future generations.”
He said through the Edo-BEST programme the state government has purchased over 800,000 books and equipped teachers to deliver lessons using tech gadgets that make the teaching and learning experience in public schools more pleasurable. “It would imbue in the pupils a healthy reading culture and make them life-long learners,” he said.
Reaffirming the resolve to transform the basic education sector, he said the state government would continue to invest in the knowledge economy, deploy latest technology to boost productivity and work towards ensuring that those who produce knowledge are adequately rewarded.
According to the UN, “It was a natural choice for UNESCO’s General Conference, held in Paris in 1995, to pay a world-wide tribute to books and authors on this date, encouraging everyone, and in particular young people, to discover the pleasure of reading and gain a renewed respect for the irreplaceable contributions of those, who have furthered the social and cultural progress of humanity.”