Lagos state government’s flagship education transformation initiative, EKOEXCEL, has been featured at the ongoing three day (7th – 10th May) Education World Forum (EWF) in London, England.
This year’s edition of EWF is themed ‘New Beginnings: Nurturing Learning Culture, Building Resilience, Promoting Sustainability. Stronger, Bolder, Better Education by Design.
Education ministers from 118 countries are gathered to address how education has changed and what has been learnt from recent disruption and responses, and what longer term challenge and change should be considered.
Among other things, the participants addressed building resilience among people, organisations and systems for learning and education. They will examine policies for development of knowledge, skills, attitudes and values; it will reflect on the importance of leadership, and the growing potential of technology’s support for education’s core aims.
In his keynote address, NewGlobe’s CEO and Co-founder Jay Kimmelman said that the government of Lagos, which is responsible for the 5th largest city in the world, has significantly reduced levels of learning poverty of students who can’t read.
“Three years ago, Lagos state public primary schools had learning poverty at par with low income countries around the world, and in just three years, they have accelerated that to levels at par with middle income countries”
“Lagos state public primary schools are now producing top pupils in Nigeria’s National Common Entrance Exams, which is a testament to their holistic transformation” he said.
The Executive Chairman Lagos State Universal Basic Education (LASUBEB) Board, Hon. Wahab Alawiye-King represented the Lagos State Government and EKOEXCEL as a delegate at the forum.
Other notable Nigerian delegates present at the forum were the Edo State Commissioner for Education, Dr Joan Osa Oviawe, Edo SUBEB Chair, Mrs Ozavize Salami, Kwara SUBEB Chair Kwara – Prof Shehu Adaramaja, HC Bayelsa – Dr Gentle Emelah, Bayelsa SUBEB Chair – Chief Victor Okubonanabo, Ogun State Commissioner for Education – Prof Abayomi Arigbabu and a few others.
EKOEXCEL’s feature at the 2023 EWF is significant because it further positions Lagos state as an African leader in public education transformation with its data driven methodology which aligns with UNESCOs views on data collection which states that, “A common obstacle preventing the alignment of a vision with a realistic target is the lack of regularly collected data of good quality on learning outcomes”.
Last April, the Lagos State government, through EKOEXCEL launched a dedicated real-time monitoring control centre called the Situation Room that visualizes the flow of data – direct from the classroom to dashboards displaying it in real time from all 1013 primary schools under the program.
The state-of-the-art facility equipped with cutting-edge technology, is arguably the first in Nigeria for government owned schools.
Apart from enhancing transparency by allowing officials to see what is happening in every classroom and school in real-time, it also boosts the digital tracking of attendance, the percentage of lessons delivered daily, pupil assessment data and quality assurance data via a real-time dashboard and timely reports all provided by a software called Spotlight.
At the launch, Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Mrs Folasade Adefisayo, affirmed Lagos State’s commitment to transforming primary education with data and technology.
Adefisayo, who further noted that improvements in quality, systems strengthening, and access would lead to gains in learning, added that the Governor is very proud of the initiative, particularly its impacts on pupils, who have vastly improved.
Speaking during an interview at EWF, Alawiye-king said that “Education World Forum is a platform where we can share our responsibilities and visions as education leaders and come together to forge the way ahead. We are trying to use this platform to improve the basic education sector and the education sector in general. We have spoken to so many experts about access, opportunity and equity, all of them are areas that have to be improved globally.”
“It is very pleasing to see a replica version of the EKOEXCEL Situation Room here at the Education World Forum”.
The replica version was on display at the NewGlobe exhibition stand, who are technical partners of the EKOEXCEL programme.
Also recently introduced to EKOEXCEL to further enhance the programme’s efficacy, is the Let’s Mark App, which allows teachers to quickly and accurately mark multiple choice exams using the school leader’s EKOEXCEL smartphone. The teacher uses the app to ‘scan’ the answer sheet. The app, in turn, automatically marks all responses and identifies incorrect responses. The teacher then marks the incorrect answers on the paper.
The introduction of the app is significant because it falls in line with some key contributions made by the UK Education Secretary of State, Gillian Keegan, during her welcome address at the 2023 EWF, she said “AI could have the power to transform a teacher’s day-to-day work. For example, it could take much of the heavy lifting out of compiling lesson plans and marking. This would enable teachers to do the one thing that AI cannot and that’s teach, up close and personal, at the front of a classroom”.
This is an indicator that the Lagos state government is on the right path to becoming a major player amongst global trend setters in the education technology sector as well as a top producer of large quantity and quality instructional learning materials.
In the just concluded World Book Day, the Lagos state government, through EKOEXCEL, celebrated the incredible milestone of distributing over 300 million learning materials to all 1013 Lagos State public primary schools under the EKOEXCEL programme with close to a million children benefiting.
This article appeared originally on Champion News, May 10, 2023