Wednesday , April 22 2020

Coronavirus: Edo govt introduces novel homeschooling model

…to deploy data of 280,000 pupils to track active learners
…as Edo-BEST programme clocks two years

Amid the coronavirus outbreak, which has led to the closure of schools across the country, the Edo State Government-backed Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation (Edo-BEST) has introduced a novel homeschooling initiative, Edo-BEST-AT-HOME.

The programme would deploy the data of 280,000 pupils and their parents in the state’s public primary and junior secondary schools to monitor active learners on the platform to ensure efficiency.

Chairman, Edo State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Dr. Joan Osa-Oviawe, who disclosed this in a chat with journalists, said the EDO-BEST-AT-HOME is a well-thought programme to support pupils whose schools have been closed due to the restriction of movement caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

According to her, “We have developed a digital, multi-platform framework for the Edo-BEST-AT-HOME initiative, to serve the 280,000 pupils on our database. We have the contact number of their parents as well. Details are being worked out with a telecommunication firm to provide free airtime for these parents, specifically on the lines they would be using to access our home-schooling materials.

“The telecommunication firm is also working to confirm the kinds of phones these parents are currently using to determine what kind of services they would need. This would ascertain those using android, feature or only SMS-enabled gadgets.”

She noted that the lesson materials are available at https://subeb.edostate.gov.ng/home-school/, adding that the model takes care of the needs of parents in rural areas, where mobile tutors are being mobilised to attend to the peculiar needs of the pupils.

Dr. Oviawe said the home-schooling model has been reviewed by the World Bank and appraised to be pace-setting, as it allows for real-time tracking of users, as against the resort to only television and radio channels, which do not provide data on who and how many persons are watching or listening respectively.

She said the Edo-BEST programme has clocked two years in the state, which was a major milestone, adding, “In the last two years, we have distributed 10 million free textbooks to pupils in public primary schools and trained 11,365 teachers and 600 education managers. We also rehabilitated 234 public schools and provided 40, 000 pupils with new furniture. We have a very active School-based Management Committee network spread across the state.

“The EDO-BEST programme is spread across the state and electronic records have been created for over 280,000 pupils. EduPlay grounds have also been constructed in pilot public primary schools across the state.”

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