Nigeria partners with education innovator to improve state schools

24 January 2019

The government of Edo State in Nigeria has launched an innovative public education reform programme that is acting as a model for other African leaders to follow. The programme is improving all state primary and junior secondary schools in the region by partnering with the private sector. The initiative is transforming learning outcomes for around 300,000 children in 1,500 schools over a four year period.

In Edo State 60% of the population live below the poverty line. The Governor of Edo, Godwin Obaseki, has a vision to use better education as a driver for economic growth and higher living standards for the eight million people who live there.

So far, the program has impacted 7,000 government teachers, reaching 612 schools and around 150,000 children. Initial studies show higher academic attainment among children in the project.

EdoBEST (Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation) is a comprehensive programme to develop state education across five pillars of work: governance, teacher training and development, community partnerships, infrastructure, and the local education board.

Bridge International Academies (Bridge) is working as the technical partner on the teacher training component of EdoBEST. Bridge is supporting the government to improve teacher training and development, helping to boost the capability of all public school teachers in the region.  The social enterprise is focussed on enhancing teacher effectiveness through a retraining programme that leverages technology and empowers teachers to improve children’s learning. Through intensive training, ongoing support, teacher guides, positive classroom management techniques and real-time monitoring of lessons, Bridge is making classrooms more effective learning environments.

Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, said the programme will: “develop a highly-skilled teaching workforce by training, supporting and motivating Edo State teachers to succeed in the classroom of tomorrow, empowering our children to compete effectively in the world of work.” He also commented that the programme will: “Leapfrog the basic education delivery systems by leveraging technology to gather and utilise accurate and timely data to drive policy and planning decisions.”

Olu Babalola, Head of Bridge Nigeria, said: “Bridge is proud to be supporting the Governor of Edo State to realise his vision of a radically better education system that is free for all children in primary and lower secondary. We’re excited to be helping local government teachers embrace new and better teaching techniques, potentially transforming learning outcomes for their pupils.”

Adesuwa Ifedi, Bridge VP of Policy and Partnerships in Africa, said: “This partnership shows how Bridge can support government teachers to deliver at their very best. Teachers are critical to Africa’s transformation. We’re excited to have the opportunity to champion tech-enabled teaching in Edo State. This work will strengthen local state teachers to rise to the challenge of really inspiring and equipping over 300,000 children with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in tomorrow’s economy. We hope that EdoBEST will demonstrate to education leaders in Africa that technology can be scaled affordably to achieve significant impact in all schools for all children.”

Bridge is a social enterprise that already works in Lagos, Osun and Borno States in Nigeria providing transformational learning opportunities. A recent independent study, commissioned by DFID, revealed that children in Bridge schools in Lagos reached higher literacy levels than their peers in nearby government schools or nearby low-fee schools. The study also shows that the children from the most economically disadvantaged families in Bridge schools reached higher literacy levels than their peers in nearby schools from the most prosperous families.

The new study, called ‘Learning in Lagos’, shows that factors such as parental income, education or language spoken at home had no correlation on Bridge students’ academic performance in Lagos. But this was not the case in the other comparison schools. The report states: “In literacy, students from better socio-economic backgrounds have higher learning achievement in private and public schools, but not at Bridge schools.”

Bridge has ten years of experience training and supporting local teachers across Liberia, Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya and, India. The organisation currently serves hundreds of thousands of children in public and community schools across Asia and Africa. In all these countries, independent tests have shown that children in Bridge supported schools outperform their peers academically in other comparable schools.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

EdoBEST is run by the Edo State Universal Basic Education Board (Edo SUBEB). For more information about the EdoBEST programme visit http://subeb.edostate.gov.ng/

The DFID commissioned study into Bridge schools in Lagos can be accessed online via: http://www.nigeria-education.org/edoren/publications/

The EdoBEST programme started in April 2018.

For more information on Bridge please contact:

Press Office +44 (0)20 3813 8236

Media@BridgeInternationalAcademies.com

About Bridge International Academies

Bridge believes every child has the right to high quality education and works in partnership with governments, communities, parents and teachers to deliver or improve learning. Bridge has educated 500,000 children in over a thousand schools across Africa and Asia since 2009.

Bridge leverages in-depth teacher training and support, advanced lesson plans and wireless technology to provide pupils with a meaningful and life-changing education.

Globally, there is an education crisis. Around 263 million children and young people are not in school and around 330 million children in school not learning. Bridge is committed to helping tackle this through a data driven, evidence based approach that delivers strong schools and a great education for all.

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