How Edo School founded in 1907 held first co-curricular activity after 113 years

The task of developing a community is a collective endeavour that requires the input of different stakeholders. Much as it is the duty of government to chart the course, it behooves on the people and other actors to ensure the proper functioning of the different development enablers to truly attain the status of a prosperous and progressive society.

In a number of communities in Edo State, the school system which had long been left moribund is getting a makeover, going by the rating of a number of actors, including the World Bank, which is a new funding partner for the Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation (EdoBEST) programme, a wholistic initiative to tackle learning poverty in the public school system.

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Surprisingly, during an exercise by the Co-Curricular Department in State Universal Basic Education Board, SUBEB, which is spearheading the EdoBEST programme, it was discovered that 26 schools went for an excursion for the first time ever in 2020. They also recorded that 28 schools across eight Local councils conducted their first inter-house sports competition this year.

Eguare Primary School in Opoji Esan Central is one example of this change. Since the school’s establishment in 1907, they had never gone for an educational excursion or conducted an inter-house sports competition. However, following the government’s mandate that all schools should embark on an excursion and conduct their inter-house sports competitions, the school quickly jumped into action and the pupils for the first time learnt outside the walls of their classrooms when they visited a primary healthcare centre in March, 2020. It was all songs of praise and joy on the lips and faces of primary 4 and 5 pupils who partook in the excursion.

A parent, Mrs. Blessing Omorodion said, “Sadness filled the air when it was learned that the school had never done this before. We are grateful to EdoBEST and the state government for the initiative. They went for their first educational excursion to the Primary Healthcare Centre in Opoji, on Wednesday, March 18 2020.”

The school’s Assistant Headmaster, Mr Oriakhi Julius, recounted, “Our pupils were very happy and they took the opportunity to learn about the medical equipment used for diagnosing malaria, gauging blood pressure, and testing blood sugar levels.”

When the well-arranged files of patients were sighted, a pupil asked why they were arranged in that manner, and the matron told them that it was the Patients Register.

She added that it is one of the most important documents in the clinic because it ensures that the patient’s details and illnesses are well-documented. It was new information for most of the pupils on the excursion.

The Assistant Headmaster went on to say that the school was also “preparing for [their] first-ever inter-house sports competition which was to be held on Thursday, March 26 2020, but due to the shutdown of schools because of COVID-19, it was suspended.’’

These exercise are ongoing across schools in Edo State and a number of records are being broken, while efforts are ongoing to roll out the EdoBEST programme to junior secondary schools across the state.

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