By Ikhili Ebalu, Benin City
Governor Godwin Obaseki, has insisted that he will not share government funds meant for the development of the state to a handful of greedy individuals, who are trying to blackmail the government.
The governor made the statement at the graduation ceremony of a new batch of teachers under the Edo Supporting Teachers to Achieve Results (Edo STAR), an arm of the Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation (Edo-BEST) programme, in Benin City.
Obaseki stressed that his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), was fully in support of his administration and that he was not standing alone with his decision to pursue sustainable development in the state.
According to him, “I want to assure you that my party is solidly behind me. I am not standing on my own. So, ignore and forget what you are reading in a section of the media. Those are people who want me to give them the money I should be using to train our teachers, provide for our children and develop the state. I will never give our people’s money to them.”
He said his administration was determined to use the little resources in the state for development, especially in the education and health sectors.
“We do not have all the money in Edo but whatever we have – no matter how little – we will prioritise education and healthcare. What is important to us are things that affect ordinary Edo citizens. Those are the things the APC and I stand for,” the governor said.
He noted: “the College of Education in Abudu will have laboratories and other expert facilities for training of primary school teachers; the College in Igueben will train secondary school and technical education teachers, while the one in Afuze will train teachers for physical education and children with special needs.
He added that the digital teaching and learning process deployed in public primary schools would be replicated in private primary schools across the state to ensure that no child is left behind.
The governor commended the teachers for successfully completing the programme, assuring that their training would improve learning outcomes in schools.
Executive Chairman, Edo State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Dr Joan Oviawe, said the training was one of the pillars of the Edo State Basic Education Sector Transformation (Edo-BEST) initiative, adding, “teachers who participated in the 27-day training programme on digital teaching and learning process were presented with certificates, smart phones and tablets to improve learning outcomes in primary schools.
Oviawe added that the 104 Social Mobilization Officers (SMO) under the Edo-BEST initiative were trained as well as about 11,689 members of the School Based Management Committee in communities that the SMOs interface with.
She added that the SMOs would be meeting with 170,000 parents across the state to evaluate the performance of their wards under the Edo-BEST programme.