By Isaac Olamikan, Senior Correspondent, Benin
Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki was hosted by the Ambassador of Finland to Nigeria, Dr. Jyrki Pulkkinen, for an Education Rountable, during which the education reforms in Edo State was on the spotlight.
The meeting, held at the Ambassador’s residence in Abuja, also hosted other dignitaries from Edo and Lagos States, including World Bank Country Director, Mr Shubham Chaudhuri; the Edo State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) Chairman, Dr. Joan Osa Oviawe; Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Folashade Adefisayo, among others.
Dr. Jyrki said he was impressed with the progress in the transformation of the basic education sub-sector in Edo State driven by the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration.
He noted that he wanted to know how Finnish expertise can contribute to the gains being made, congratulating the Governor Obaseki on the 2019 Best Performing Governor of the Year honour by the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT).
While giving the opening remark at the meeting, Governor Obaseki noted that a lot has been achieved in repositioning basic education in Edo State, noting that the state government runs a five-pronged programmed tagged Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation (Edo-BEST) programme.
He said under the programme, pupils now learn more in a term than they used to learn in three years under the old system, noting that a tech-based teaching method has been adopted, with teachers adequately trained to ensure that the system runs smoothly.
The State Government is also working with the World Bank in re-enacting Technical and Vocational Training and Education (TVET) in the state with the revamp of the Government Science and Technical College (GSTC), formerly Benin Technical College.
The new look of the college has caused Edo residents to take interest in the school, causing student enrolment to spike.
Also, in attendance at the meeting was the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Arc. Sonny S. T. Echono; Professor Josiah Olusegun Ajiboye of Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN), among others.