Edo Impresses World Bank with Impact of Education Reforms

*State responds to 27 health emergency calls in one month

The World Bank has commended the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, for his government’s reforms in the basic education sector, expressing satisfaction with the progress and impact of the reforms in the last six years.
A World Bank delegation led by the Bank’s Education Economist, Martín De Simone, said the state had 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 implementing far-reaching reforms geared at repositioning Edo State in basic education and skills development.
“We are evaluating and reviewing the progress achieved so far in the implementation of the state-wide basic education and skills transformation reform which was launched in 2018 by the State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki.

“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 state-owned primary schools,” De Simone said.
After the team visited The Situation Room situated at Block B, State Secretariat at Sapele Road in Benin City, he commended the Obaseki-led administration for creating the facility where activities of the programme are monitored.

De Simone added: “The Situation Room created to monitor teachers, students, and schools’ performance is unique because it helps in real time data gathering, compared to what the bank has seen in other states.

“The Situation Room from where activities of teachers, schools and pupils are being monitored will help in improving the overall performance of each school as teachers are cautious because they know their activities are monitored and it will equally improve the performance of the pupils.”
Also, a Senior Education Specialist with the World Bank, Dr. Olatunde Adekola while commending the governor encouraged the governor to urge UBEC to come learn from Edo SUBEB.

The Executive Chairman of Edo SUBEB, Ozavize Salami reeled out the impact of the programme which was launched six years ago.
She said: “This is the sixth World Bank mission in the course of the EdoBESST programme. The programme has been on for six years and the partnership with the World Bank is for four years now and we have seen the results of what we set out to achieve.

“We established The Situation Room in Edo SUBEB to gather real time data for the Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation (EdoBEST) programme. Now we can track the performance of our teachers, head teachers and pupils directly from our office in Benin City. It provides us with a reliable means of gathering information to guide us in making better policies.

“It also helps us to set realistic goals and monitor our progress in real time. We have redefined school level quality control in Nigeria through The Situation Room. Right now, I can monitor the performance of our teachers, students and schools right from this office.

“Currently, EdoBEST is catering to the learning needs of over 380,000 pupils across the 18 local government areas of Edo State. The programme has improved teaching and learning quality by upskilling teachers and equipping them with well-researched materials for teaching. It has provided technology for efficient school and classroom level management.”

The Edo State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Samuel Alli, said the State Government was leveraging strategic collaboration with the private sector to boost response to medical emergencies in the state.

The commissioner, in a chat with journalists, said residents in the Oredo, Egor, and Ikpoba-Okha LGAs can access medical and ambulance services by calling the Edo Emergency Toll-Free Number, 112 or 739, noting that, “This is a pilot phase for residents within Benin City.

He added: “After this pilot phase which will last for about a year, the State Government will extend the medical emergency services to other parts of the State. After we have looked into the things we didn’t do well in the pilot phase, we can now extend it.

“We cannot start something new and you want to cover a large area. This is why we are starting small. Then as we make progress, we will review what we have been able to do in one year. We can now close the gap and extend it to all over the state. So part of the programme is to extend it to all over the state but gradually.”

He said the state was executing the Medical Emergency Response Programme with the partnership of “Emergency Response Africa” which is well noted for executing such projects.

“It is a partnership that the state government is benefitting both in terms of technical expertise and in terms of funding. It is a win-win for the citizens of the state.

 “The initiative is encouraging because it covers all the areas. There are ambulance services and first responders- those who are the first persons to attend to the accident victims. We are training people on that,” he added.

According to the Project Manager, Edo Medical Service (EMS), Kate Ibeanusi, in one month, from March 18 to April 16, 2024, the state responded to 27 emergency calls.

“Out of this, the number of calls dispatched to the ambulance is 21 and six hospital transfers. Within this period, we had one hoax call. We encourage residents within Benin City to take advantage of this initiative by reporting medical emergencies to save lives,” she said.

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