BY LIBERTY RUYI
The Edo State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) controls a counterpart annual budgetary allocation of up to 10 billion Naira, and it is authoritative to say Obaseki’s administration has spent over 40 billion Naira on basic education in the past 3 years and 9 months.
It is on record, with overwhelming realities in our cities and villages that Comrade Adams Oshiomhole built and equipped over 2,800 schools from this fund; what has now come to be legendary as the “Red Roof Revolution.”
This innovation beyond other infrastructural achievements in different sectors established Oshiomhole’s presence in every Edo community.
Obaseki in the last four years has embarked on what he tagged “Edo Basic Education Transformation Agenda (EDOBEST)”; a teachers training program on literacy and numeracy with palm top computers for about 11,000 teachers. He has also replaced windows and doors in about 230 schools among the 2,800 built by Oshiomhole.
My concern in this piece isn’t the embezzlement of over 70 percent of the 40 billion Naira, but the issue of whether EDOBEST is progressive or retrogressive.
Can we confidently agree that Obaseki’s replacement of Basic English, Arithmetic, Basic Science & Technology and Civic Education, with Literacy and Numeracy serves Edo basic education best?
My interactions with Edo teachers have shown discontentment, and the First School Leaving Certificate Examination has further proven Obaseki wrong as the examining body doesn’t set questions for Literacy and Numeracy, but the basic school subjects which have been abandoned by the administration.
What is best in EDOBEST with primary six pupils failing first school leaving certificate examination woefully?
40 billion Naira spent by Obaseki to train 11,000 teachers with literacy and numeracy skills, yet, Edo literacy rate according to UNICEF and other independent agencies is on a standstill while children are failing woefully in primary six examamination because other subjects have been abandoned.

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