Every morning teachers in schools under the EdoBEST programme in Edo state clock in using their government issued tablets, teach from lesson guides in the tablets, record pupils’ scores on the tablets and also receive periodic training from the same devices.
The technology is so exact and interconnected that basic education sector managers know when a teacher is not in school, or when a teacher is not teaching in class. They are also aware of the group of teachers and pupils that need additional support throughout the academic year real time. These things are only possible because of technology.
The system run by Edo state was instituted to address challenges in the school system which could not be solved without resources to modern technology. Over the past four years, it has been strengthened to deliver more on its purpose.
Employing technology in education requires a synergy between all arms of administration to ensure the free flow of information and processes from the offices to the classrooms. Utilising this synergy is what EdoBEST has unlocked in the delivery of basic education services to schools in the state.
According to Governor Godwin Obaseki, “To rebuild any structure, you have to start from the base and the base of our educational system is basic education”. With this in mind, the governor instituted an education reform in the state leveraging technology at the basic education level. That reform is referred to as EdoBEST, which has been spread to the junior secondary school system.
Imagine a network of connected systems and levels of administration being synergised at all levels of learning with no hindrance to processes and delivery systems. What this means for education is seamless delivery of services ranging from teaching to supervision and school inspection and at this, EdoBEST is getting it right.
Walking into any EdoBEST school, several distinct features stand out, distinguishing the class from your regular classroom like the STRIVE points framework boldly written on the board serving as an interactive feature that helps capture a child’s attention. However, what immediately holds your attention is the green pouch housing the gold mine that is the teacher tablet.
Addressing the induction trainees at the induction graduation, the Executive Chairman of Edo SUBEB noted that “Government is taking the reform across the education sector so that Edo State can be the BEST in all aspects of education”. The programme has taken this up a notch by being the best in utilizing technology for educational advancement.
For Progressive Teacher Mrs. Patricia Onaiwu, a teacher at Ijieduma School, who prior to January 2022, had never used an EdoBEST teaching tool, the adoption of her school by the EdoBEST programme was a welcome development in increasing learning outcomes. Speaking on the importance of technology in teaching lessons, she noted that using the teacher tablet makes teaching easier. Confident in the use of the teacher tablet, she teaches her children efficiently thereby motivating them to learn.
The EdoBEST programme has infused the use of technology in ensuring the smooth delivery of education services in the state through the Edo State Universal Basic Education Board. The use of this technology has been applauded by reputable education stakeholders and has earned the programme the status of being the only sub-national programme under the World Bank Accelerator Programme.
No mean feat, the programme has continued to live up to the standard associated with world-class programmes as it continues to leverage technology in its service delivery. All its processes are now digitized taking its supervisory routine away from analogue to digital processes.
The programme has dedicated field officers who are responsible for ensuring that the processes run smoothly, leaving no room for errors. These field officers are divided into two groups; Learning and Development Officers who are concerned with ensuring the quality of learning content and Quality Assurance Officers tasked with the responsibility of maintaining the quality of learning in all EdoBEST schools.
In the first six months of 2022, 251 hi-tech tablets were given to Quality Assurance Officers (QAOs) and Learning and Development Officers (LDOs) to improve the quality of their reports, giving recommendations and data in real time.
The devices which were distributed to QAOs and LDOs will enhance their ability to monitor activities in schools, thereby ensuring that teaching and learning objectives are being met.
Amenaghawon Osaghede, a QAO from Oredo LGA explained that the shift towards digital operations in the EdoBEST programme will allow for efficiency and free flow of information allowing for real-time resolution.
She noted that “GPS placement will no longer be a problem. The device will help us support teachers and heads of schools with resolutions on-the-go whenever we encounter problems. The tablets will make work faster, make our reports authentic and work will go on without hindrances.”
Edo SUBEB continues to prioritise the delivery of quality education across the state. The board has designed and implemented a robust school supervisory system that is facilitating on-the-spot teacher support and routine teacher professional development to further boost learning outcomes among pupils.