BusinessDay
NigeriaDecides2023

Nobel Prize winner recommends EdoBEST’s methodology

A Nobel Prize-winning economist, Michael Kremer, a professor at the University of Chicago has confirmed that highly standardized education has the potential to produce dramatic learning gains at scale. He based his confirmation on a study that measured the largest learning gains ever measured by a major study in international education.
The study which has the title: “Can Education be Standardized? Evidence from Kenya” found that the methodology currently used by EdoBEST, EKOEXCEL and KwaraLEARN in Nigeria and Bridge Schools in Kenya is delivering superior learning outcomes among pupils.

“This study shows that attending schools delivering highly standardized education has the potential to produce dramatic learning gains at scale, suggesting that policymakers may wish to explore the incorporation of standardization, including standardized lesson plans, teacher feedback and monitoring, in their own systems”, Kremer said.

After two years, junior secondary school students, up to grade 8 taught with the methodology mirrored by the EdoBEST full learning system are nearly a whole additional year of learning ahead of students in other schools taught using ordinary methods – with learning increased by 0.81 standard deviations.
For early childhood development students, two years of teachingusing the methods put pupils a year and a half of additional learning ahead of students in other schools – with learning levels increased by a remarkable 1.35 standard deviations.

In schools supported with the methodology, 82 percent of grade 1 students – typically six to seven-year-olds – can read a sentence, compared with 27 percent of those in other schools. Also, girls are making the same leap in learning as boys in schools that use the methodology.

The relevance of the study’s findings for Nigerian political leaders and policymakers is that when students are better educated, the economy benefits significantly. Economic growth follows improved schooling, enhancing the opportunities for the nation’s youth, as well as the economy’s workforce.

If replicated at scale across other state governments’ public schools, this integrated methodology could put more pupils on track to match academic performance levels achieved by peers from middle and upper-middle-income countries, potentially pushing Nigeria up education league tables to match countries with incomes three or four times greater per person.

Read also: EdoBEST takes home-grown solutions to Education World Forum 2022

Speaking on EdoBEST, Governor Obaseki said, “For us as a government, our priority is our people because it is the people that create everything else. That is why we have prioritized education in Edo State. Our focus is on the foundation because once a child has a sound foundation, that child can build on that foundation subsequently. The children in our public school can compete with their colleagues anywhere in the world. The Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation (EdoBEST) is acclaimed as one of the most transparent educational projects on the continent.”

Achieving these results is not due to one single programming aspect but rather the integrated methodology that produces better academic performance and fairer educational outcomes. The study highlights a combination of methods deployed by EdoBEST, including instructional design and ongoing professional development and support as part of this holistic system. This same combination of methods is recognized by the Global Education Evidence Advisory Panel (GEEAP) and recommended as a “good buy” and highlighted as priorities in clawing back pandemic-related learning losses for students in low and middle-income countries.

Additionally, findings of equity feature prominently. Equity has long been the target of education programming but with 2030 rapidly approaching, meeting SDG4 is increasingly regarded as unachievable. Yet, the study shows that Kremer and his collaborators show that students in schools implementing the methodology employed by EdoBEST integrated methodology benefited its most struggling students most.

This integrated approach to teaching and learning has been embraced by visionary Nigeria state leaders and brought to support government teachers and school leaders. It continues to show significant learning gains in these contexts. In Edo State’s Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation (EdoBEST) program in Nigeria, other studies indicated students had the equivalent of 54 percent more schooling in English Language and 71 percent more schooling in mathematics, learning in one term than what would have normally been learnt in 1 year.

Effectively tackling learning poverty is the challenge facing Nigeria’s leaders. Every year that passes without system change impedes the country’s growth, stability and prosperity.
And as the study shows, an effective holistic learning system can deliver transformational learning outcomes at scale and tackle the endemic learning poverty crisis. States across Nigeria are already implementing this methodology with widespread success and the figure is increasing year on year.

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