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Eduweek 2023… Benin hosts local, int’l stakeholders in education value chain

THE Edo Educational Week, EduWeek which was declared open yesterday by Governor Godwin Obaseki before a large gathering at the Victor Uwaifo Creative Hub, Benin City, continues today and ends on Sunday.

Organised by the Edo State Ministry of Education in collaboration with Grace Foundation for Education and Development, the week began with the formal opening of the maiden Edo Book & Art Festival, EdiBAF, and had in attendance about 400 students drawn from several primary and secondary schools from around the state, who Governor Obaseki described as the “most important resources” of the state.

Aside invited guests to the sessions, others may join remotely via:… | Meeting ID: 894 2601 9057 | Passcode: 737749

The Governor assured the students, their parents, teachers and guests that the state would ensure that “no single child would be left behind in the state’s mission to build an educated, enlightened and empowered citizenry.”

Obaseki called on parents and other stakeholders in the education sector to contribute towards sustaining the state’s education reforms during and after his administration.

Expressing his excitement at the recorded academic progress by pupils and students of the state, the governor said his administration has committed huge investment since 2018 towards total reforms of the education sector.

He added that the legacy he wants to be remembered for is the overall education transformation and sustainability in the state.

In appreciation of the progress of the students, Governor Obaseki pledges tablets would be provided for all Edo students by September 2023.

Obaseki said students in the state are fortunate to experience the “sterling leadership” of the incumbent Commissioner for Education, Dr Joan Osa Oviawe.

Acknowledging World Bank’s contributions in sustaining the progress of education in the state, the governor urged parents to intensify their participation in their children’s educational advancement, especially their roles in the EdoBEST at Home Lessons and the School O’ Clock Campaign.

DR OVIAWE Edo satte Education Commissioner
Dr Joan Osa Oviawe, Commissioner for Education

The Commissioner for Education, who is executive producer of the Eduweek, in her welcome address, said the programme is a demonstration of the government’s commitment to a holistic education agenda through various programmes, initiatives, reforms, and partnerships with private sector and international organisations.

She said that the Education week was created to enable young people of the state to acquire quality and functional education in consonance with the theme for the event – Education for Alaghodaro: Investing in Quality Education and Access for our Children and Youth; meaning progress and prosperity

The commissioner said that activities lined up for the week go beyond numeracy and literacy exercises as the students would be able to appreciate and explore their talents in the course of the week.

Aside the large gathering that thronged the venue and took part in the opening rituals, the large compound of the old Observers newspapers compound, also hosted scores of local and International publishers, book distributors, and sellers and agencies involved in the education value chain. The exhibition is expected to be formally declared open today as part of the opening of the Education week.

The week will also feature discourses, workshops and other activities by experts in various areas of education.

Reiterating the theme of the flag-off event, Edo International Book & Art Festival, directed by Samuel Oriakhi Osaze, the commissioner stressed that the creative arts have been spotlighted in the programme outline to ensure that the students are able to discover their talents and are montored on how to develop their skills.

South African poet, literary activist and culture advocate, Lebo Mashile, in her keynote, said African children are the future of not just Africa but the entire world because the major population of other continents are growing old, but Africa has young people as most of its population.

She said that as a result of their importance, the world is contesting for space in the brains of young people because they have the potential to change the world.

Mashile urged the young people to order their priorities beginning with the information they choose to access that shape their influences.

She tasked young people to watch out for who is true or not, those manipulating others and counselled that any influence or authority that would deny them such rights to the right information must be resisted.

Mashile ended her presentation with a moving spoken word performance, titled Every Child, My Child, which was however, rudely interrupted by the impatient master of ceremony. This was recorded as the lowest point of an otherwise well-curated and produced event that had over 1000 people in attendance.

The opening event also featured the launch of a workshop on how to repair tablets for pupils at the Benin Technical College, debate competitions by pupils of selected Basic and Secondary schools in the Ssate, dance performances, discussions, and the launch/distribution of 1.5 million books to schools for pupils in Edo State.

In attendance were also members of the State Executive Council, World Bank representatives, principals from the State Education Ecosystem, parents, and stakeholders both from Nigeria and across national borders.

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Eduweek 2023... Benin hosts local, int'l stakeholders in education value chain 3

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