Obaseki to spend N20.8bn on education in 2021 …basic, technical education top priority

The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has earmarked N20.8 billion for the education sector in 2021 to sustain the gains recorded in the sector by the administration in the first term.

The governor, in a statement, said the government will be committing 12.9bn to expanding the Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation (EdoBEST) programme to ensure the roll out of the initiative to other sections of the basic education scheme in the state, specifically from Basic 7 to 9.

Obaseki noted that investment would be made to ensure the success of the Edo Supporting Teachers to Achieve Results (Edo STAR) Teaching Fellowship Programme, which is a three-year training and field experience/employment programme for teachers and aspiring teachers who would be migrated into the state’s civil service upon satisfactory performance.

According to the governor, “Taking cognizance of the fact that quality education underpins our developmental aspirations, our targets in strengthening the education system would not be compromised.

“In essence, we would be committing 12.9bn to the Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation (Edo-BEST) programme. This would sustain gains made and ensure the roll out of the programme to other sections of the basic education scheme in the state, specifically from Basic 7 to 9.

“To further institutionalize the EdoBEST program, we would be launching the Edo STAR Teaching Fellows program. This is a unique 3-year Fellowship Program, designed for teachers and aspiring teachers in Primary and Junior Secondary Schools.”

He further noted: “The STAR fellowship program aims to train and groom a new generation of school teachers who are passionate, technologically-savvy, transformative and societally conscious about nation-building through education.

“The program will be administered by the Edo State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), in conjunction with the Ministry of Education, Edo State College of Education, Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN) and our Technical Partner.”

“Our expenditure in basic education would focus on reconfiguring the infrastructure in schools to ensure compliance with the COVID-19 containment guidelines,” Obaseki added.

Speaking on plans for technical education in the coming year, the governor noted: “Our vision to make Edo great again lies strongly on building a virile and productive youth population. We would therefore be replicating the success at the Government Science and Technical College (GSTC) across the state, building the necessary manpower to drive industrial growth. In 2021, we shall commence the construction and equipping of three other technical colleges.”