The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, on Wednesday, graced the inter-house sports competition of Ologbosere Primary School, in Ugbekun Quarters, Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area of the State, cheering participating pupils at the school sports tournament.
Obaseki, who expressed delight over the pupils’ performance, reaffirmed his government’s commitment to grassroots sports development.
He said, “Education is that reset button you can press to reset the society. We are lucky in Edo; we always had that culture. So, what we are doing in Edo is not new. We are trying to bring back what we have always known: the all-round development of the child.
“This is what our politics and our whole existence is about. It cannot be about us but the next generation. When I see people in the society talk only about themselves and not about those who are not as privileged and those who are more vulnerable, it’s quite upsetting.”
Obaseki further noted, “I don’t think there can be any greater joy for any government or parent than coming to see to the all-round development of their children or wards.
“We’ve always been a sporting state. When we talk about grassroots sports development, it starts with the school. You could see how healthy this is. There is excitement and potential these children’s participation in this competition holds and this is the time for us to catch them and nurture these potentials to get them to where they could be.”
On her part, the Edo State Commissioner for Education, Dr. Joan Osa-Oviawe said, “co-curricular activities in our basic schools became compulsory in 2019 as part of the EdoBEST reform. When we started in 2019, there were schools founded in the 1920s, 1940s that have never done inter-house sports or even gone on school excursions. So, the same reform has now been expanded to secondary and technical schools and throughout last week, a lot of our secondary schools also did their own.
“Mandatory inter-house sport stopped in 2013, so you have a generation of students who have gone through our basic and secondary schools that never participated in any sporting or other co-curricular activities. The governor is very particular and has directed the ministry of education, SUBEB, secondary school, and TVET boards that co-curricular activities and school clubs are now mandatory.”