The Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, on Thursday, launched the Edo State Learning Agenda, a blueprint to measure and improve learning outcomes in schools across the State and ensure the sustainability of ongoing reforms in the education sector.

Obaseki launched the agenda as part of programmes for the Edo Education Week 2023, taking place in Benin City, the Edo State capital, between February 26 and February 30, 2023.

He said, “I am here today to launch the Edo Learning Agenda. Our vision is to create a state where all boys and girls arrive at school ready to learn, acquire real learning, and are ready to enter the job market with the right skills to become productive and fulfilled citizens. We believe we will achieve these goals.

“In setting the learning agenda, we looked at three key elements: How do we get our children ready to learn? How do we get them to read?, and how do we get them to learn the skills we need them to learn so that they can be useful to their communities and country?”

Noting that ongoing reforms in the state’s education sector, especially those in the basic education system through the EdoBEST programme have helped place the state on the global map, Obaseki said the learning agenda will help solidify the gains so far recorded and create pathways for sustainability.

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He added, “For us, it’s about planning: laying the plan and the trajectory which the education system should proceed over the next several decades.

“We have to come up with means to measure learning outcomes. We have to work with our partners to develop large-scale assessment tools and define our targets.”

Obaseki continued: “Are the teachers in school? Yes, they are. Are the students in school? Yes, they are. We have data to show. Are the teachers teaching? Yes, they are, we can see them from our portal. What are they teaching, pedagogy? We are working on it. Are the children learning? I don’t know and that is what learning poverty is about.

“We’ve done these three things and need to focus on the fourth one – how do we know the children are learning? Where is the evidence that these children are learning? What agenda do we have to measure or standard measures to show us clearly that they are learning and what they are learning? The last issue we need to deal with is sustainability – how do we ensure we do not step back after we leave office next year? How do we keep the system running for a long time even for those who want to continue with the reforms?

Reaffirming the government’s commitment to strengthening the state’s education sector, the governor added, “Recognition from across the globe and outside the state is very important and helpful so that our people begin to realize that what we are doing, the world acknowledges.”