By Isaac Olamikan, Senior Correspondent, Benin
Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has launched an online homeschooling platform, EDO-BEST@Home, which enables pupils learn from resources downloaded from an online database while at home.
The platform provides for downloads with zero-data access or through free Short Message Service (SMS) supported by MTN Nigeria.
Governor Obaseki during the launch at the Government House, in Benin City, said the platform is part of steps taken by the state government to ensure academic engagement by pupils and students, who were supposed to have resumed for a new session on Monday, April 27, but would have to remain at home as a result of the partial lockdown imposed to check the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The governor said the Edo-BEST@Home is an extension of the Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation (Edo-BEST) programme, which is now to be supported with mobile tutors to provide daily lessons on the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) website for parents across the state to keep their children occupied during the holidays.
“I remain committed to the provision of quality education for all as the new academic calendar begins during this period of partial lockdown; it is my pleasure to announce that we have provided an alternative source of schooling for our children and it is called Edo-BEST@Home,” he said.
Obaseki noted that his administration introduced the use of technology in the primary school system with the launch of EdoBEST two years ago, adding, “We have acquainted over 280,000 children with technology-based learning model and trained 11,000 teachers and education managers on model digital teaching and learning methods.
Noting that over 40,000 users have accessed the lessons on SUBEB website, he said, EdoBEST@Home is comprised of interactive audio lessons with customised messaging, digital self-study activity packs, mobile-phone-based interactive quizzes, digital storybooks and virtually moderated teacher and student classroom interactions.
The governor said the programme will offer four hours of learning content daily, noting that the mobile technology company, MTN Nigeria, is a partner on the e-lesson programme, to provide zero-data access and two-way SMS at no cost to parents.