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HomeLatestGovernor Obaseki Investment in Basic Education Creating Opportunities For Over 150,000 Girls...

Governor Obaseki Investment in Basic Education Creating Opportunities For Over 150,000 Girls in Edo

 

Joel Osaigbovo Aluge Reporting

Benin City

 

 

The Governor Obaseki-led education reform in Edo State has inspired many young girls who now believe that quality education is a gateway to a wide range of opportunities in the future.

“I want to become a cranial surgeon because not many women major in surgery and I want to be a model for other young girls to be whatever they want to be,” 13-year-old Sandra Osakwe said with a bright smile as she spoke at a career day session held at St Maria Goretti Junior Secondary School recently.

Studies show that career choices and aspirations for girls are influenced by a whole range of factors most notable of which are gender role socialization, parental expectations, teacher attitudes, and the school subjects studied.

By investing in education, more girls will have the opportunity to access quality basic education, providing a bridge to a brighter future for young girls. In Edo State, Governor Obaseki-led government through the EdoBEST programme is supporting inclusion by making basic education (Primary and Junior Secondary) compulsory and free for children in public schools.

The study emphasized a strong need for models, especially parents and teachers, to encourage the deconstruction of gender roles and societal perceptions limiting girls and women from exploring careers typically considered far-fetched.

The investment in the basic education system has seen more children build foundational skills (literacy and numeracy) needed to thrive in society. Since the introduction of EdoBEST into the basic education system in Edo State in 2018, over 600,000 children have accessed life-changing quality basic education, especially those in rural, underserved communities who hitherto had no access to education either because they could not afford it or had no school in their community.

For the broader local community, the focus of the Edo State Government through the EdoBEST programme meant jobs, progress and development. This allowed more women in the education ecosystem to thrive, grow and flourish, especially in leadership and managerial positions.

In a video commemorating International Women’s Day, the Executive Chairman, Edo State Universal Basic Education Board, Ozavize Salami noted that inspiring inclusion is a critical factor in nation-building. She said, “To inspire inclusion, we recognise that all women can and must be carried along to achieve significant progress in the quest for gender equality”.

Since the adoption of the EdoBEST programme, over 16,000 teachers have been trained in the EdoBEST pedagogy amplifying teaching practices that promote diversity, equity and social cohesion. By providing teachers with training and professional development opportunities to effectively support inclusive practices in the classroom, more children are exposed to values and skills that make for an inclusive society.

Investment in women in the education space also means an increased interest in career goals by girls. Eromosele Dorathy, a Basic Science teacher at St Maria Goretti, an all-girls secondary school, believes that it is up to teachers to stimulate the interest of the girl child in science and technology.

“As a teacher, I do my best to encourage my students to take an interest in science. The world is gradually moving to STEM and needs more female participation” said Eromosele while teaching Basic Science.

In her address, Salami encouraged more women to break glass ceilings and challenge gender bias so more women are provided inclusive opportunities to serve as role models to the younger generation.

“When opportunities open up for a few of us, it can serve as access paths for many more women and young girls. Each one of us in our own way can be enablers, champions, ladders and lifters for other women and younger girls,” she said.

By providing teachers with training and professional development opportunities to effectively support inclusive practices in the classroom, more children are exposed to values and skills that make for an inclusive society.

With the adoption of the EdoBEST programme, over 16,000 teachers have been trained in the EdoBEST pedagogy amplifying teaching practices that promote diversity, equity and social cohesion. The majority of whom are women, these teachers have gained digital skills to navigate 21st-century teaching using technology.

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I'm Israel, a creative writer, poet, photographer, videographer and news correspondent.
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