Since 2018, when the Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation (EdoBEST) was birthed by Governor Godwin Obaseki, basic education in Edo State has witnessed a myriad of interventions. To sustain these gains and to answer questions as to how well the students are learning, the Edo State Learning Assessment Strategy & Systems (ELASS) was initiated in 2021.
To seek broad-based community participation and support for this initiative, the Edo State Ministry of Education and the Edo State Universal Basic Education Board organized a Stakeholder Engagement Session on Friday, 21st July 2023.
The event which was held at the John Odigie Oyegun Public Service Academy (JOOPSA) had in attendance top government functionaries, religious leaders, members of the civil society organization, media, and education professionals, amongst others.
Speaking at the event, the Executive Chairman, Edo SUBEB, Ozavize Salami harped on the relevance of the ELASS, which she described as a means of setting up the strategy and the supporting system for the state to adequately establish proficiency levels and standards and by extension strengthen teaching and learning intervention planning for the state.
Other presenters, including Imuetinyan Akin-Omoyajowo, an education consultant with SUBEB and Mrs. Folasade Franklyn-Osakue, the Focal Person for ELASS, stressed that ELASS has facilitated capacity building among personnel in the state’s education ecosystem. They noted that the programme has exposed the personnel to an array of technical sections and workshops for professional development.
A pilot phase of the assessment took place in March 2022 with the first census based (all public basic schools across the 18 LGAs) conducted in March 2023, while the second assessment is scheduled for March 2024. These series of assessments are expected to culminate in a set of holistic standards that will benchmark the minimum proficiency level of education potentials of pupils in specific classes.
Highpoint of the stakeholders’ engagement included responses to questions by the EDSG officials and two foreign education technocrats: a learning assessment specialist from the Netherlands, Stephen Baker, and a psychometric expert from Canada, Fernando Cartwright
The Learning Assessment Strategy & Systems, a globally recognized tool, is receiving the support of the World Bank, as part of the Program-for-Results (P-for-R) facility for Edo State and support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation under its Accelerator Program.