Dr Tunde Adekola, a representative of the bank, who visited the Deputy Governor and Commissioner for Education, Mrs Titi Laoye-Tomori, said the bank would support basic education by providing financial intervention to the government to train and re-orientate teachers, and provide Information Comunication Technology (ICT) and instructional materials for schools – like it did in Ekiti and Lagos states.
Though Adekola did not disclose the amount involved, he said the Osun State government would get a moratorium of between 10 and 50 years to repay the loan.
Adekola said the problem confronting basic education in the country was that of accessibility and how to keep children in schools. He added that basic education must be free and compulsory for every child in order for them to learn to read and write.
Responding, Mrs. Laoye-Tomori said the collaboration with the World Bank would facilitate the noble objective of the government at both basic and post basic sectors. She described basic education as a critical stage in the educational development of Nigeria.
She disclosed that the Osun Elementary School Feeding and Health Programme (O’MEALS) were designed to prepare pupils in elementary schools for mental and physical alertness so they can compete favourably anywhere in the world.
Mrs. Laoye-Tomori also informed Adekola of plans to teach basic school pupils in Yoruba Language to enhance understanding and assimilation.
In his welcome address, the Chairman, Osun State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Prince Felix Awofisayo, praised the the global bank’s management for their contributions to basic education in the country, and also their interests to complement the efforts of the state government in the provision of functional and qualitative education.