Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq’s revolutionary basic education transformation program in Kwara State, KwaraLEARN (Leading Education Achievement and Reform Now) is already benefitting more than 54,000 primary school children in their classrooms, trained more than 3500 teachers across four local government areas of Ilorin East, Ilorin West, Offa and Baruten with more expected as the program will expand into more schools, more local governments, encompassing more pupils and teachers.
Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq said “We are taking the future of our state and shaping it with a carefully designed policy which places Kwara as an innovation capital in Nigeria and West Africa’s economic growth. Our aim is to transform every government primary school and, in doing so, transform the learning outcomes for every Kwara child.”
KwaraLEARN is improving teaching and learning using innovative technology, data-driven platforms, high-quality learning materials, effective training and continuous coaching and support for teachers and school administrators. KwaraLEARN is accelerating pupils’ learning, their literacy and numeracy performance, leading to better classroom culture and more robust curriculum management.
The education reform programme will enhance the teacher-pupil interaction experience through technology (eLearning), boost uniformity and strict adherence to the curriculum as teachers’ tablets will be preloaded with lessons and content that will be effectively monitored for standardisation across all public primary schools.
This systematic methodology implemented in KwaraLEARN is the subject of a report after a 2-year study by Nobel Prize-winning economist Professor Michael Kremer. The report has confirmed among the largest learning gains ever measured in schools by a major study in Africa, including Nigeria. This ground-breaking study, led by the 2019 Nobel Prize-winning economist, suggests that children living in underserved African communities could receive 53% more learning in schools supported by Nigerian government partner NewGlobe, throughout their early childhood and primary schooling, through to junior secondary.
2019 Nobel Prize Laureate, Professor Michael Kremer said “This study shows that attending schools delivering highly standardized education has the potential to produce dramatic learning gains at scale, suggesting that policymakers may wish to explore incorporation of standardization, including standardized lesson plans and teacher feedback and monitoring, in their own systems.”
Learning gains in Kwara are expected to translate into economic growth benefits for the state. Education scholars estimate education reforms resulting in a 25-point gain on Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) (0.25 standard deviation) will increase the GDP growth rate by 0.5% annually in middle-income countries. Kwara can expect the same outcome.
Commitment in the implementation of KwaraLEARN will drive the targeted learning outcomes. The State government is driving this commitment by involving all stakeholders in the implementation process as evidenced in the recent orientation exercise carried out for the social mobilisation team. The social mobilisation team is a team comprised of dedicated personnel for public sensitization to drive community engagement, enrollment and support for KwaraLEARN. This kind of grass roots engagement is critical and will ensure the learning gains and economic impact for the state.
Another recent event development in KwaraLEARN is the capacity building training coordinated by the Learning & Development department for school supervisors to bridge the learning gaps that were observed in Weeks 5 and 6 of the current term an output of the continuous improvement feature of KwaraLEARN. The supervisors were coached on how to conduct pupil’s registration audit, troubleshoot headteachers and teachers attendance, tend their tone and posture during difficult conversations with teachers and headteachers and how to conduct interviews for the headteachers to get qualitative data that will inform the enrolment drive exercise.
KwaraLEARN is fully in action, Kwara classroom experience in the local governments currently been covered has been transformed for pupils and teachers alike. Continuous implementation improvement features including the orientation for the social mobilisation team and the capacity development for school supervisors will guarantee desired outcome. Additionally, the positive report and commendation from the Nobel prize winning Professor is further proof that Kwara has embarked on the right education transformation path towards future economic growth and prosperity for Kwara State.