Edo State’s Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has identified a dysfunctional educational system as one of Nigeria’s primary barriers to progress. He emphasized that tackling this issue is crucial for achieving the desired transformation in the country’s education sector.
The governor highlighted how Edo State has been implementing reforms and launching programs aimed at addressing 50% of the nation’s education gap. In his view, the main problem lies in the significant drop in student numbers between primary six and SSS1, a trend that must be reversed to improve the overall educational landscape.
Governor Obaseki pointed out the lack of communication and coordination between primary and secondary schools as a significant factor contributing to this issue. “We need to prioritize people and talent development,” he said, “and this starts with strengthening foundational learning.”
Over the past six years, Edo State has made significant investments to reinforce foundational learning, which the governor sees as vital for talent development. “Without a strong foundation, we cannot hope to build a robust talent pool,” Obaseki stated.
In addition to revamping foundational learning, the governor stressed the importance of revisiting the entire educational policy. He stated, “Two and a half decades ago, we altered our educational policy, but we failed to adjust it to the realities of the time.”
In line with this approach, Edo State is enhancing vocational training and fostering partnerships with technology companies. This strategy reinforces the state’s focus on practical skills over academic certificates. As part of these efforts, the state has revamped its College of Agriculture, College of Nursing Sciences, Technical College, and Colleges of Education.
Moreover, the governor revealed that the state has established collaborations with companies like Decagon to offer youth training in software development and engineering. The state is also making strides in the entertainment sector, with over 30 Nollywood movies being shot in Benin City this year, following the creation of suitable infrastructure for artists and producers.
Governor Obaseki concluded by highlighting the state’s community investments and efforts to reduce crime rates and violence, emphasizing the transformative effects of these initiatives.