The basic education model adopted by the Nigerian states including Bayelsa, Edo, Lagos, Kwara has been commended at the ongoing United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

The commendation was given on the sidelines of the General Assembly at a Devex Event organized to discuss the topic “Transforming Education: Overcoming crisis, improving learning Outcomes.”

Speaking at a panel session which was devoted to how states in Nigeria could improve learning outcomes in primary schools and what some states have done, Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRasaq of Kwara State noted the impact states like Lagos, Edo and Kwara, all of which have similar reforms models as Bayelsa, are making.

According to Governor AbdulRasaq, whose state owns the KwaraLEARN basic education programme, “it was a huge challenge when we assumed office because of the Covid-19 pandemic. We had to do peer review and majorly went round the states to see which states were doing well in education. We found out that Lagos and Edo who had partnerships with NewGlobe were doing well.

In Nigeria, an estimated 10.5 million children are not in school while 75 per cent of children aged 7 to 14 years cannot read a simple sentence or solve a basic math problem according to UNESCO.

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Governor Douye Diri’s government launched BayelsaPRIME to address this challenge in Bayelsa State. Through the BayelsaPRIME reform programme, an estimated 100,000 children will benefit from the reform when it is expanded to the eight local government areas of the state.

At present, the programme has implemented sweeping reforms geared at improving literacy and numeracy skills among a pilot 41,000 pupils in 222 schools across four local government areas.

Also, on the Devex panel, Shannon May, Co-Founder and President of social impact company, NewGlobe noted that, “we do a lot of work on assessment to try to ensure that governments can understand where their children are.

“But one of the things we do is support governments to action the information at their disposal and to bring in the digital infrastructure that enables the government itself to support its teachers with tablets, with smartphones with applications that both publish information and content to them and empowers the ministry of education with the data to know what is happening. So, they can actually see per teacher, per child what happening in each classroom and what’s happening over the years.”