In a recent press briefing, Edo State Commissioner for Education, Dr. Joan Oviawe, commended Governor Godwin Obaseki for his foresight and unwavering commitment to advancing the state’s education system over the past seven years. Dr. Oviawe attributed the remarkable achievements to the governor’s visionary leadership and political will, stating that the education sector stands out as an area where Governor Obaseki has outperformed his peers.
According to Dr. Oviawe, Governor Obaseki’s directive from the outset was rooted in transparency and truthfulness. “He said to me, look, always tell the truth, always tell the people the truth, what is working, what is not working, and I have stood by that ethos,” she affirmed. Describing the governor as compassionate and value-driven, she credited his leadership for the positive transformation in the education sector.
Highlighting the success of the Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation (EdoBEST) launched in 2018, Dr. Oviawe noted its continuous impact on improving learning outcomes across schools in the state. She stated, “EdoBEST 2.0, launched in June 2021, is an aspiration that Edo wants to be the best at every level of education, whether basic, secondary, technical, vocational, or tertiary.”
Addressing the welfare of teachers, Dr. Oviawe mentioned that Governor Obaseki prioritized their skills and well-being. Salaries were reviewed upwards, making Edo State teachers among the top earners in the country. The governor also addressed a backlog of salaries, promotions, and allowances, demonstrating his commitment to the education workforce.
Dr. Oviawe addressed concerns about funding, clarifying that EdoBEST was initially fully funded by the state government. In 2022, the World Bank recognized the program’s success and provided additional funding through its P4R Programme. She emphasized the transparency of the funding process, with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) employed by the World Bank to verify the utilization of funds.
Asserting confidence in the achievements of the education reforms, Dr. Oviawe stated, “We know where we were, we know what we met on the ground, and we know how far we’ve come.” She highlighted Edo as the first state to receive direct funding from the World Bank, a testament to the confidence placed in Governor Obaseki’s capabilities and the success of Edo’s education initiatives.