In the first part of this two-part article looking at Governor Godwin Obaseki’s policy initiatives in Edo State aimed at promoting meritocracy and encouraging educational excellence, we examined the policy from the angle of recognising and rewarding academic excellence while addressing the issue of unemployment among graduates through automatic employment to first-class and best-graduating students of Edo State origin from recognized institutions within and outside the state. This second part will focus on how Obaseki’s policy of promoting meritocracy and educational excellence in Edo State recognizes the importance of a quality education system in driving social and economic development in the state.

In guaranteeing the quality of education in Edo State, the Obaseki-led administration came up with the Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation (Edo-BEST) initiative. The Edo-BEST initiative is a programme focused on improving the quality of basic education in Edo State and aims to enhance teaching and learning outcomes through innovative approaches and teacher training. The initiative includes the deployment of technology in classrooms, continuous professional development for teachers and community engagement to support the education system. Edo-BEST seeks to provide students with a solid foundation for future learning and equip teachers with the necessary skills and resources to deliver effective education.

Quality education infrastructure

Governor Obaseki has prioritised the improvement of education infrastructure in the state. This includes the renovation and construction of schools, the provision of modern learning facilities, and access to technology. By ensuring that students have a conducive learning environment, the policy lays the foundation for educational excellence.

Teacher training and capacity building

Recognizing the crucial role of teachers in shaping students’ futures, Governor Obaseki has implemented policies to enhance teacher training and capacity building. This includes a well-thought education reform through the Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation (Edo-BEST) initiative, the employment of more teachers, and professional development programmes, workshops, and training sessions to improve teaching methods. By equipping teachers with the necessary skills and knowledge, the policy aims to provide high-quality education that fosters excellence.

Scholarships and grants

To encourage educational excellence, Obaseki’s administration has introduced scholarships and grants for high-achieving students. These financial incentives motivate students to strive for academic excellence and reward their achievements. By providing access to quality education regardless of financial background, the policy promotes equal opportunities and merit-based selection.

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Curriculum enhancement

The curriculum in Edo State has undergone enhancements under Obaseki’s policies to align with global standards and meet the demands of the modern workforce. This includes the incorporation of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) subjects, vocational training, and entrepreneurship education. By equipping students with relevant skills, the policy encourages educational excellence that prepares them for the future job market.

Collaboration with stakeholders

Governor Obaseki recognizes the importance of collaboration with various stakeholders, including educational institutions, community leaders, and private sector organizations. Through partnerships, the policy fosters knowledge sharing, resource mobilization, and the implementation of innovative educational practices.

It is in this light that the Edo State government through the Ministry of Education organizes Education Week annually to promote and showcase the achievements, progress, and innovations in the education sector. The Education Week platform highlights the initiatives, policies, and programmes implemented to improve education in the state. It brings together education stakeholders, including government officials, educators, students, parents, and the general public, to discuss and exchange ideas on advancing education in Edo State and foster collaboration toward achieving quality education for all in the state. This collaboration strengthens the educational ecosystem and promotes a culture of excellence.

Recognition and reward for academic achievements

Obaseki’s policies emphasize the recognition and reward of academic achievements. This includes honouring exceptional students, celebrating academic milestones, and showcasing success stories. By publicly acknowledging and appreciating academic excellence, the policy encourages students to strive for higher levels of achievement and promotes a culture that values educational excellence.

In conclusion, Governor Godwin Obaseki’s policies in Edo State aim to promote meritocracy and encourage educational excellence. Through investments in infrastructure, teacher training, scholarships, curriculum enhancements, stakeholder collaboration, and recognition of achievements, the policies create an enabling environment for students to excel academically. By fostering a culture that values educational excellence, these policies contribute to the social and economic development of Edo State, preparing the next generation for a brighter future.