Lagos has local solutions for education policy reform in Nigeria – Sanwo-Olu
With the EKOEXCEL initiative, Lagos State Government has found the needed solution for education reform in Nigeria, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, has said
According to him, EKOEXCEL is an effective e-learning solution that Nigeria can model rather than bringing alternatives from outside the country.
Speaking as a panelist at the just concluded ‘Ekiti Investment and Economic Summit’ held in Ado-Ekiti, Sanwo-Olu disclosed that Lagos borrowed the idea of the EKOEXCEL from the EdoBEST initiative introduced by Governor Obaseki of Edo State during his first tenure.
He however pointed out that the initiative is working three times more in Lagos compared to Edo State.
“We have started doing peer review in Nigeria. We do not need to go to another country to copy what is working well in our country already. Edo brought the initiative. We have copied that and it is working well in Lagos, and we will scale it up,” Sanwo-Olu said.
Listing the benefits, Sanwo-Olu said that teachers’ attendance and their lesson notes can be viewed and cross checked via tablet. He said the electronic learning platform allows Lagos State Government to design and use the same curriculum in all parts of the state.
He said the initiative has accelerated pupils’ learning, which has led to better classroom culture and more robust curriculum management.
Bayo Adefuye, permanent board member, Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (LASUBEB), who represented management of EKOEXCEL at the summit, said the initiative was developed to cushion the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on Lagos State public primary school pupils.
He said the e-learning platform was developed to ensure continued access to learning despite the Covid-19 induced lockdown.
According to him, EKOEXCEL has @home programme that consists of self-study activity packets, learning guides, interactive audio sessions, zoom classes, WhatsApp quizzes and the distribution of 450,000 mp3s with pre-recorded lessons.
Research has shown that EKOEXCEL has dramatically accelerated students’ literacy and numeracy performances, as there exist significant difference between performances of students using EKOEXCEL platform compared to their peers in traditional schools.
With EKOEXCEL, students advanced in numeracy twice and progress three times as quickly as their peers in comparable schools.
Governor Sanwo-Olu inaugurated EKOEXCEL in 2019 as part of his THEMES agenda, to provide quality education to both the rich and the poor across the state. The initiative was designed by the Bridge, now rebranded as New Globe, which is the technical partner, managing the e-learning programme with the Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB).
The successes of the EKOEXCEL were recognised by the international community as the state received an invitation last September to participate and represent Nigeria at the 2021 edition of the ‘Mobiles for Education Alliance Symposium’.
The symposium had in attendance, global policymakers, donors, practitioners, researchers, and other EdTech entrepreneurs that represented 38 countries to showcase their work.
Education experts believed that the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration does not need to look outwards for solutions to improve learning in Nigeria.
They say that the Federal Government can employ new techniques to reform education in Nigeria by borrowing a leaf from the successes of EKOEXCEL and EdoBEST initiatives.