Home Education Appraising Governor Obaseki’s Successes And Failures In Educational Sector

Appraising Governor Obaseki’s Successes And Failures In Educational Sector

L-R: Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki; Prof. (Mrs.) Annie Coombes of the University of London; Prof. Nicholas Thomas of Cambridge University; and the Enogie of Evbuobanosa, His Royal Highness, Prof. Gregory Iduorobo Akenzua, during a dinner at the Government House, Benin City

By Erasmus Ikhide

Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has been battling to keep faith with

his electoral promise to revolutionise education to meet the world’s

standard of basic, secondary and tertiary education for his people amidst

mounting criticism by the opposition and Civil Rights Groups that his style

has literally destroyed education in the state than fix the rot in the


One of the governor’s education enhancer and Chairman of the Edo State

Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) Dr. Joan Oviawe lists endless

achievements of the governor to include 20,000 new registration of pupils

in public schools who were originally out of school and are of school age.

Marking one year of its special intervention programme in primary education

called EdoBest (Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation) in a chat with

journalists a few weeks ago, Dr Joan Oviawe stated that so far, 7,000 out

of the 11,117 primary school teachers have been trained and provided with

tablets on modern teaching techniques and through the process also get

feedback on the performance or otherwise of the teachers in terms of

regularity in teaching and punctuality in class.

Oviawe said another set of 615 teachers are currently undergoing training

while she said nothing less than 800,000 free text books have been

distributed to primary schools. Just as she said the Board has introduced

electronic record for pupils with their data and those of their parents and

guardians captured to monitor movement of pupils from one school to another

and keep their proper records including academic performances.

She also told journalists that 232 public schools are being rehabilitated

across the state with 56 of this number undergoing complete reconstruction.

“All these are being done in line with the vision of Governor Godwin

Obaseki who is determined to take the standard of education particularly

primary education to a very high level so that any pupil leaving primary

six will be well equipped to even teach. This is being done at no cost to

the pupil because primary education is completely free.”

She said to check cases of vandalism of school facilities, a School Board

Management Committees (SBMC) has been established to take ownership of the

facilities and help protect them just as she said the recent

re-introduction of subvention to the schools is to provide needed funding

to maintain the facilities being produced by the government. She said Open

day which enables parents to visit schools and see how their children were

being taught has also been introduced and would hold twice in a term.

Investigation has shown that in spite of the government genuine efforts at

providing unfettered access to a compulsory Universal Basic Education (UBE)

for all school age children in the state as a bridge to future

socio-economic development, that milestone is yet to be realised in the

short period of Governor Obaseki years in office. Also, the promised to

establish and maintain quality and standards through enhanced, relevant and

competence-based curricula and effective quality control and monitoring at

both public and private levels is still far between.

​It has been revealed that strengthening Edo State’s technological and

scientific foundation by rejigging technical, vocational and

entrepreneurial education formats and objectives in the state government

style may yet bring about actual development in the educational sector.

Added to that will be making optimal use of Information and Communication

Technology (ICT) to meet the state’s manpower needs in commerce and

industry and other core areas as being provided by the state government.

It’s universally agreed that education flourishes only when enabling

environment is provided that stimulates active participation of the private

sector, non-government organisations (NGOs). However, the state government

has been applauded by the people for ​enhancing the resourcefulness,

competencies and efficiency of teachers, instructors, most especially

lecturers and members of staff at Edo State Polytechnic, Usen through

capacity building, training and other motivational platforms.

The appointment of Prof. Abiodun Falodun of the university of Benin as the

Rector of Edo State Polytechnic, Usen on April 2nd, 2018 has been the

turning point for the visible restructuring and repositioning of the

institution, says Miss Magdalene Okhaide, HND 1 Public Administration

student of the institution.

Miss Okafor Syvia and Master Moses Omofese, both students of the

Polytechnic were elated for the reduction of the school fees cumulatively

from N120,000 to N45,000 for social science students and N50,000 for

science students respectively which has been responsible for lack of

students in the institution in past.

Lecturers, management staffers and students alike attested to Governor

Obaseki’s and the Rector’s tireless commitment to make Usen Polytechnic

unbeatable across Sub-Sahara African countries. “We’re happy that several

months salary arrears and all the overdrafts loans taken by the former

Rector unaccounted for have been paid by Prof. Abiodun Falodun”, the Dean

of Students Affairs, Mr. Usman Osarenren said.

On tour on campus with students and members of staff, the achievements of

the present Rector were replete and visible in every corner of the

institution. They include the establishment of a functional Healthcare

centre within the Polytechnic premises, establishment of Centre for

Geospatial Information Science (CGIS), establishment of Edo Poly Table

Water, establishment of a functional Palm Oil Milling Factory,

establishment of the Polytechnic environment through the bring back our

environment campaign, the ongoing Radio/TV studio project, the development

of school mobile App by the students, numerous TETFUND projects under

construction, and many more within the short period Prof Falodun took the

mantle of leadership of the institution.

It’s also to the credit of Prof. Falodun that first Convocation Ceremony

was held on December 1, 2018 since the establishment of the Polytechnic on

19th December, 2002 by Governor Chief Lucky Igbinedion administration.

Under Governor Godwin Obaseki’s administration, College of Education, Abudu

in Orhionmwon Local Government is growing in leaps and bounds. At the last

count, more than twelve existing dilapidated buildings has been renovated

and completed for use by students and members of management staff.

These include ninety five hostel rooms with ultra modern toilet facilities

with separate kitchens, built separately to accommodate both male and

female students, four large lecture halls with additional twelve class

rooms on both side each, administrative building along with ICT building,

members of staff quarters and interlinking roads within the campus

earmarked for construction.

However, the PDP state’s Publicity Secretary, Mr. Chris Nehikhare

perforates claims by the SUBEB Chairman, Dr. Joan Oviawe and Governor

Obaseki”s government that educational reengineering has taken firm foothold

in the state.

“The enthronement of the Obaseki government exposed the lack of depth of

the APC government Education Policy in the state. The primary and secondary

schools are unfunded, no subventions from government, inadequate teachers,

equipment, learning aides or teaching aides. There hasn’t been a proper

student census to determine number of pupils in schools and therefore

proper arrangements cannot be made to cater for them.

“The cosmetic renovations of “along the road” schools have “faded” and the

school buildings are once again become eyesores! The Obaseki government has

closed down functional schools for renovation and revamping only for him to

shift position once he has achieved his sinister motive of closing down.

“As we speak, students of the colleges of education Ekiadolor, college of

agriculture Ogieriki etc along with their academic and non academic staff

are in limbo as no clear policy position of government on their fate. Only

sound bites and empty promises. Obviously, the position of government is

frowned at by all Edo as schools should be opening and not shutting down”,

Chris said.

Human Rights Activist and social crusader, Maxist Kola Edokpaye loses brian

cells on hearing that Governor Godwin Obaseki has achieved milestone in

educational development in the state.

“Governor Godwin Obaseki is a curse rather than a blessing to educational

development in Edo State on the ground that virtually all the State owned

tertiary institutions are shut down by the State Government, thereby

exacerbating the development of the underdevelopment of the State owned

tertiary institution.

“In neighbouring states like Kogi, Delta, Ondo and other States, the

Governors are paying bursaries to their students while Edo State Governor

heart is hardened like Pharoah Ramses towards the payment of bursaries to

the indigent Edo students schooling in Edo State.

“APC-led government under Godwin Obaseki is leading in denial. The Civil

Society Organisations in Edo have written to the State Governor and the

Parliament to ascertained why the Schools are shut down and the need for

the schools to be re opened for academic activities but no responses from

them. Some of our Comrades have had meeting with the Chief Of Staff on the

matter but all to no avail.

“We’re set to expose and disgrace them in our planned protests in coming

days. Our messages are very clear. Open Our Schools now”, Kola said.

Boiling over, Comrade Kola Edokpaye said, “at this junction we can’t afford

to allow lecturers, management members of staff as well as the students’

faiths to be dangling in the balance while jesters and blusters in

government house ride the roughshod”.

Two Principals in Edo State (name withheld) of the same Secondary School —

Senior and Junior in the same premises chastised the state government for

misinforming the general public about its achievements in the


“Since November last year we have not received one kobo from the state

government for subvention. Besides, we only have one English and

mathematics teachers each, teaching over 3,000 students in the entire


“The governor should employ science teachers since older ones have all

retired. After all, Governor Obaseki promised 200, 000 jobs to Edo people

in each of his four years in office”, one of the principal roared.

A visit to Colleges of Agriculture Iguoriakhi and Ekiadolor, now Tayo

Akpata University invokes unrestraining anger over the closure of the once

boisterous institutions without adequate explanations beyond renovations or

restructuring blank twitches from the government, while existing structures

are allowed to be vandalized, degraded and cannibalized.

Only last week the Pro Chancellor of Tayo Akpata University, Hon. Thomas

Okosun resigned his appointment for what Maxist Kola called Governor Godwin

Obaseki’s less than a “glancing touch” on education.

Edo State Commissioner for Education Hon. Emmanuel Agbale abdicated as he

refused to answer calls or questions put to him bothering on the closure of the colleges.