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How EdoBEST Ozavize Salami is helping to shape education in Edo State

By Ejiro Adams
05 May 2022   |   11:00 am
Basic education in Edo state experienced three exciting changes in the first quarter of 2022.

Basic education in Edo state experienced three exciting changes in the first quarter of 2022.

Firstly, EdoBEST, the basic education reform programme of the state was introduced into 380 progressive primary and junior secondary schools.

In Edo state, progressive schools are state-owned schools that have less than 100 pupils. Often located in remote areas, historically they have been neglected during major reform drives before the Governor Godwin Obaseki led administration.

Secondly, 577 headteachers and teachers from 148 progressive primary schools underwent the EdoBEST induction training in January 2022 while 1,859 principals and teachers from 232 junior secondary schools were trained in February. Additionally, 166 school supervisors and quality assurance officers were trained to ensure quality across schools in the state.

Thirdly, a mass campaign to reinvigorate EdoBEST@Home, an initiative that allows hundreds of pupils across Edo learn from home was launched. At present hundreds of pupils continue to learn in Edo state from the comfort of their homes.

These developments were the product of vision, careful planning and passion to deliver quality basic education services to the children of Edo State. Led by Mrs. Ozavize E. Salami, Edo State Universal Basic Education Board has continued to push the frontiers of reform, under the leadership of Mrs. Salami.

“At the heart of everything that we do are our children,” Mrs. Salami emphasizes with passion whenever she is addressing school leaders. “They are the reason we rise in the morning and give our very best.”

Since assuming office as Edo SUBEB Chairman, Mrs. Salami has been embroiled in the task of keeping Edo pupils in school and ensuring that they are learning. She has also made it her goal to ensure that principals, headteachers and teachers are equipped to deliver on their mandates.

The impact of these activities is best captured in the statement of those that have benefited.
Mr. Charles Izebhokhae, the Headteacher of Izogen school, a progressive school in Esan West noted that “Having returned to my school after training, I can say that the EdoBEST induction training was really impactful. The teacher-tablets make teaching easier than expected. Teachers are finding it easier to teach because of how well structured the lessons are.

“The training has been a tool for education advancement, not just for the teachers but also for the schools,” he said on the phone from his school, 138 kilometers from Benin city.

Passionate about getting education to every child in Edo state, Mrs. Salami has overseen the extension of the EdoBEST programme to progressive and junior secondary schools.

Acting on the mandate of the SDG goal 4, to ensure that every child has access to quality education by 2030, the extension to progressive and junior secondary schools not only extends the reach of the programme to more children in the state but also ensures that the number of out-of-school children in the state reduces.

“We are the greatest provider of basic education in the state, with teachers teaching with digital tools.
Currently, we have engaged about 3000 EdoSTAR teachers bridging teacher gaps in our 1,330 schools and counting,” she noted at a forum.

Society makes a child and it is important to note that the Salami-led Edo SUBEB takes child protection and safety seriously.

As a mother, Mrs. Salami has taken stringent steps to ensure that children enjoy quality lessons in a safe environment while they are in the care of the school. She noted “To us, child protection and safeguarding our children is a priority.

It is important that we raise teachers that are passionate about child protection in our schools”. Mrs. Salami made this statement at a training held for Headteachers and school leaders held at the John Odigie Oyegun Training Center.

As preparations are in top gear for third term resumption, all eyes are on the Edo SUBEB chairman as she works with key stakeholders to ensure the delivery of quality education at all levels of learning under the jurisdiction of the Board. Mrs Salami’s passion, motivation and drive are results of her work experience and background.

Mrs. Ozavize E. Salami is an education consultant, investment banker and accountant who currently serves as the Executive Chairman of the Edo State Universal Basic Education Board (EdoSUBEB), a public sector agency of the Edo State Government that is responsible for administering public and privately-funded interventions for the growth and sustainability of quality basic education in Edo State.

Since coming into office in November 2021, Mrs. Salami has dedicated herself to leading a game-changing team of public servants committed to further reducing the number of out-of-school children in Edo state, improving learning outcomes in classrooms, and ensuring the prevalence of technologically-enabled learning via the continuous training of digitally literate teachers and usage of smart electronic learning devices across primary and junior secondary schools in Edo State.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting (Second Class Upper) from the University of Benin, Edo State and is an Associate Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN). She was previously the Chief Executive Officer of Stonebridges Learning Educational Resources, an education and learning resource training Centre which she founded in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State.

With over 23 years of diversified professional experience in education, accounting, investment banking, sales, marketing, customer service and the public sector, Mrs. Salami has also displayed commendable entrepreneurial capacity and future-centered innovation by building important cross-cultural, global relationships as she oversees the local and international strategic direction of her bookshop business.

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