Few years ago, it was a thing of pride to attend a private school, but things are changing, as most students now preferred public schools to private schools, due to the introduction of e-learning platforms by some states government, LEADERSHIP has learnt.
One of such students is Faith Osamwonyi, JSS three student of Samuel Ogbemudia College, Benin, Edo state. To her, there is no point of spending huge amount of money for school fees, without much success, when one can learn from a much qualified teachers who are now equipped digitally.
Osamwonyi told LEADERSHIP that her parents spent huge amount of money to send her to private. “Yet, at 10, (When i was still in private school), I struggled to read. I crammed to pass my exams,” she lamented.
Recall that the Edo state government, as part of effort to stop the decline in the state’s basic education sector, launched the Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation (EdoBEST) programme in 2018. Through EdoBEST, the government has improved learning outcomes for over 370,000 students across 232 junior high schools and 1,029 public primary schools.
Today, Osamwonyi, who is now 13 years, can boldly speak out. She can also read and write. “They said free things come with inferior, but not in this case. My parents decided to transferred me to Samuel Ogbemudia College. Though, I don’t pay for school fees and textbooks, I am learning. I can now read and write.
Most importantly, I now understand what I am being taught in class. The teachers ensured that all students understand what they being taught, before moving to the next subject. I want to use this medium to thank the Edo State government for the introduction of digital learning into the school system and for prioritizing the sector,” she stated.
“They fact that the teachers were given tablets that contain our curriculum, to enable them teach what is relevant to us, really made me happy. With EdoBEST, our teachers are punctual, they don’t miss classes and they ensure that we understand all that is being taught in class.
The government has also put in place assessment programme, where both the pupils and teachers are bring assessed, quarterly. We are being picked randomly, during assessment. Presently, there is no dull students in my class”, Oyinola Jacinta, a JSS three student of Samuel Ogbemudia College, further acclaimed.
While EdoBEST is working in Edo state, education specialist, UNICEF, Babagana Aminu, told LEADERSHIP that the Nigerian government, in partnership with UNICEF and other partners, launched an e-learning platform called the Nigerian Learning Passport (NLP) in March 2022.
“Fifteen per cent of the global out of school population in the world is in Nigeria. This is the largest share of out of school children in the world. When children do make it into school very little learning is taking place. This is evident as three out of four children in Nigeria cannot read with meaning or solve simple math problems,” Aminu averred.
He explained that NLP is closing the learning poverty as it provides continuous access to education for all children, youth, and teachers around the world and drive improved learning outcomes through high-quality, portable education in formal and non-formal education settings.
Since its introduction, Aminu disclosed that the NLP has helped closed the learning gaps in the country. “With support from Airtel, 520 Primary and Junior Secondary schools and 100 IQS/Non-Formal school have received devices with LP app, connected to internet, with target to connect 300 more in 2023.Also, 30,000 teachers were trained in 2022 with a target of 27,000 in 2023. IHS towers has also connected 187 schools and provided connectivity/signal to 400 unconnected communities in 2022 with target of 200 schools in 2023. In the pipeline for end of year 2023, UNICEF intends to provide 100 solar systems (to power devices and modem in schools with no or unreliable electricity) and create 150 offline hub devices.”