Edo government set to reposition secondary education
By Gabriel Digue
Concerned In response to concerns expressed by stakeholders about the quality of education students are receiving, the Edo State government decided to reposition secondary education to achieve better outcomes.
Edo State Education Commissioner Dr. Joah Osa Oviawe acknowledged that the quality of education in secondary schools has recently come under scrutiny, hence the determination of Governor Godwin Obaseki’s administration to meet the challenges.
Speaking to reporters on “Edo State Secondary Education Reform: An EdoBEST 2.0 Approach”, Dr. Oviawe assured stakeholders of the Ministry of Education’s determination to implement reforms that would yield positive results.
According to her, the recent scrutiny of the performance of secondary schools was due to the high rate of malpractice and misconduct reported in major examinations and the lack of teachers to provide training in the 307 schools in the 18 local government areas of the state.
She added, “In order to build on the achievements already seen under the Basic Education Sector Transformation Program (EdoBEST), the state government has been compelled to take decisive steps in the under the EdoBEST 2.0 reform program to address concerns about secondary education.
“The EdoBEST 2.0 secondary school reform aims to impact student learning and school administration in three key areas.
Oviawe said, to ensure students are prepared to meet performance expectations in an ever-changing workplace and remain relevant;
the ministry redesigned academic activities.
She explained that academic reinvented is about ensuring that 60% of activities are for teaching, learning and instruction time; 24 percent are for extracurricular activities; and 16% relate to brain stimulation activities for students, effectively covering the three learning domains (psychomotor, affective and cognitive).
“A well-designed school calendar that ensures students learn for at least 400 hours/450 lesson periods each term. A consistent schedule that ensures classes are taught just about anywhere, reduces the possibility of conflicts between instructor classes, and maximizes the use of limited teaching staff and resources.
She said the department will implement a uniform curriculum and scripted lessons to lead teachers in conferences across the state and maintain a high standard of teaching and learning.
The commissioner said the reform would make it easier to set up classroom libraries in all classrooms across the state in a bid to inspire students to make more use of libraries and learn how to manage books in all 18,052 basic classrooms, 46 special education, 3,835 secondary classrooms, and 61 TVET classrooms across the state.
Oviawe revealed that the ministry will ensure that students are well prepared for the new school year while parents and teachers will receive a back-to-school list.
On extracurricular activities, she said the ministry has created frameworks to coordinate and supervise the following activities to ensure the holistic development of students (health, physical and mental);
Speaking on school governance, Oviawe said that the ministry, which is responsible for improving the administration, management and monitoring of schools, usually takes certain actions.
The education commissioner said the school management council is meant to improve secondary education and strengthen school governance, saying ‘members would help channel much-needed external resources to their school while supporting its operations “.
She revealed that the ministry has classified schools into six areas of academic specialization (centres of excellence): engineering and technology, health and medical sciences, arts (performing and creative), entrepreneurship, sports, social sciences and applied humanities.
“This will promote resource sharing and allocation, encourage strategic investment in schools that are aligned with particular organization and industry interests, and increase socio-economic activity and resource appreciation” , she pointed out.
The commissioner said that the ministry will introduce the My Values passport for each school to reintroduce values in our schools, indicating that the document covers codes of conduct, school motto, vision and mission statement, slogans, songs and the national anthem.
The education commissioner said the reintroduction of tuition fees would help fund government initiatives to improve schools.
Oviawe noted that the government will address the current shortage of teachers in the provision of high quality education, recruit 1,000 teachers for secondary schools under the EdoSTAR scholarship program for the first phase.