Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, on Wednesday, said he wanted to be remembered for transforming public education and preparing the young ones for a knowledge-based economy that is required to survive the fourth industrial revolution.
The governor said that the vision to build education at the foundational level and scale up to the tertiary level was critical, adding this would bring about a better workforce and usher in a prosperous society.
Obaseki, who spoke at the Edo State Education Week 2023 with the theme, “Education for Alaghodaro: Investing in quality education and access for our children and youth,” in Benin City, said his hope for the next decade was to see that Edo did not rely on oil resources alone from the Federal Government to run the economy.
According to him, “The future we seek is one in which millions of well-educated citizens can participate in our economy by undertaking various economic activities with the advantage of the knowledge and education which they have acquired.
“Our grand plan is to make Edo State the best place to live and work by the year 2050, and we have realised that there is no better way to achieve this dream than training the workforce for the future from the primary school level so that these children will be the guardians of the vision and see to its fulfillment in future,” Obaseki said.
The governor pointed out that the education week, which will feature spoken word poetry, debate, and governor’s cup among other events, was targeted at underscoring his administration’s focus on transforming public education and portraying the successes of education reforms in Edo State.
“It is expedient to reiterate that the most cherished legacy I want to be remembered for as the governor of Edo State is a legacy that we were able to transform public education and create opportunities for hundreds of thousands of children from across the various strata of our society so that they can get a decent world-class education just like we did growing up here.
Recalling the journey of the education drive, he said: “As many of you know, we started these reforms in 2018, when we launched the Edo State Basic Education Transformation (EdoBEST) programme. When we started, we used a pilot scheme before we did a full-scale rollout in all the schools across the basic school system in the three senatorial districts in the state.
“The programme sets a structure, system and support mechanism to address fundamental challenges such as teacher quality, the infrastructure of our schools, teaching and learning materials,” he said.
He expressed gratitude to the World Bank and other stakeholders for their support in sustaining the EdoBEST initiative and ensuring that millions of children didn’t drop off the educational radar globally.