BusinessDay

Education transformation: World Bank recommends EdoBEST for Nigeria

The World Bank has indicated that the Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation (EdoBEST) program’s model is adequate for the holistic transformation of basic education service delivery in states across Nigeria. The recommendation was made recently when a delegation of the global development finance institution visited Edo State, south-south Nigeria.

Gloria Joseph-Raji, senior economist with the World Bank, made the disclosure during a courtesy visit to the Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, as part of the activities marking the bank’s Edo basic education sector and skills transformation operation Program-for-Results (PforR) assessment visit.

“Globally, we have socialised EdoBEST, as a lot of countries now know about the EdoBEST program. Within Nigeria, EdoBEST is doing so well by helping to improve foundational learning. The management of the World Bank thinks that this is a model that can be scaled to other states in Nigeria. The Bank thinks that it is a useful model that other states in Nigeria can learn from,” Joseph-Raji said.

Godwin Obaseki while responding to the visiting delegation noted that Edo State has instigated a revolution in education on the African continent.

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“The difference between Edo State and many other states in Nigeria is the scalability and the sustainability of what we have done with EdoBEST. The programme has addressed a myriad of challenges that faced the basic education sector in Edo State prior to its launch in 2018,” Obaseki said.

The EdoBEST programme currently runs in 1,330 state-owned junior secondary and primary schools across Edo state, catering to the learning and empowerment needs of over 350,000 pupils in the 18 local government areas of the state.

EdoBEST uses a pedagogy similar to what is used in Bridge Kenya Schools. Earlier in 2022, a two-year study by Nobel prize-winning economist Michael Kremer confirmed that the methodology delivers superior learning outcomes compared to traditional methods used in state-run schools in Kenya.

The program uses technology and roving Quality Assurance teams who track the effectiveness of implementation and learning outcomes in schools. Technology-backed teacher guides monitor attendance, the timing of lesson delivery, and pupil comprehension to ensure that learning is simultaneously going on in all participating schools.

A central academic team periodically reviews outcomes to enable policymakers to iterate lessons in real time and identify teacher needs to design further training modules. The extensive data collected by the program is used to dynamically improve its model and contribute to the pedagogy.

In February 2022, the EdoBEST programme was expanded to accommodate progressive schools (schools located in rural and hard-to-reach areas) and the result has been commended by parents, teachers, community leaders, and pupils.

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