By Omowaiye Oluremi
The World Summit Award (WSA) is a global initiative for selecting and promoting the world’s best electronic media and applications. It sees the bridging of the digital divide and narrowing of the “Content Gap” as its overall goal and, as of 2006, it involves representatives from 168 countries on each continent.
Putting its focus on cultural identity and diversity, the WSA looks for multimedia projects that effectively and creatively work with quality contents and digitize educational, scientific and cultural heritage
Eminent national experts from more than 100 UN member-states nominated 461 national nominees to compete against each other to win the World Summit Award 2013. There were 5 nominees of various WSA categories from Nigeria namely; Transparent Nigeria in the e-Government and Open Category, Locate Care in the e-Health and Environment Category, Opon Imo in the e-Learning & Science Category, Efiko Quiz Game in the e-Entertainment and Games Category, TWO TV Network in the e-Media and Journalism Category and i-Teller, Category.
After careful examination of the entire 461 world nominees by 17 Grand Jury members, who converged for three days in the city of Tallinn, Republic of Estonia, Northern Europe to judge, 40 WSA winners were chosen for 2013 WSA Summit Awards and of the 40 WSA winner Opon Imo was outstanding in e-Learning & Science Category .
The 40 WSA winners are to be invited to present their projects for the e-Content Creativity competition at the WSA Global Congress 2013 in Sri Lanka (Oct 23-26). Check http://infogr.am/WSA-national-nominees-2013. However, based on the project presentations at the WSA Global Congress in Colombo, Sri Lanka, from October 23rd to 26th, a Global Champion is picked and announced at the Award Ceremony and Gala Night.
As a patriotic Nigerian, I simply could not stomach the joy of news of this Aregbesola’s innovation putting our great state once more on the global map with the World Summit Award (WSA). I promptly posted the details of the WSA award on my Facebook page and my twitter handle, but as usual, the PDP apologists immediately came online, calling us names with the intent of blackmailing and pulling down the Aregbesola’s Opon Imo innovation. I however believe that irrespective of our political affiliations, we should all strive to appreciate whatsoever that bring glory to our motherland. Common sense should tell us we need not to twist fact for personal sentiments at least. Anyway, I am not surprised at the comments of our PDP friends, particular now that they are suffering from PDP POST-BREAK-UP SYDROME ! Anytime anyday, Opon Imo is an award winning initiative
The tablet is preloaded with seventeen (17) subjects offered by students in the West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examinations (WASSCE). The subjects have been designed in forms of lesson notes, textbooks, mostly provided by publishers and master teachers’ inputs. Content verifiers, who happen to be some of our local teachers, were also made to verify lesson notes on each subject. Besides, seven extra-curricular subjects, such as Sexuality Education, Civic Education, Yoruba History, Ifa Traditional Religion, Computer Education and Entrepreneurship Education, and Twelve Thousand Yoruba Proverbs were also included. Test platform for students’ self assessment to monitor their own comprehension and mastery of the subject, including 10 years past questions and answers provided by the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) and the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), as well as questions and answers in 17 (Seventeen) ordinary level subjects .The subject are English Language, Mathematics, Agricultural Science, Economics, Principles of Accounts, Literature in English, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Yoruba, Commerce, Further Mathematics, History, Geography, Government, IRK and CRK. Audio tutorials were also embedded in the Opon-Imo to further aid students through virtual study plan.
Opon-Imo thus creates a virtual learning environment in which each student can immerse herself, preview topics ahead of class, revise after the class and to assess his or her learning. It literally places in the hands of each student, a vast world of knowledge. It is then left to each student to take full advantage of this learning opportunity for his or her success.
The government of the State of Osun took the position that internet access will constitute a distraction to students and so; the tablets are not internet-enabled. However, what makes the story of Opon-Imo very attractive and recommendable are not just the details of the contents, but the cost analysis.
The state saved a whopping N8.4 billion from live textbook purchases and instead, just a sum N200 million was spent by the state government for the purchase of the 56 e-books on Opon-Imo with 150,000 user licenses from a major educational publishing company from the country. As it is structured, Opon-Imo ensures that each student has an e-textbook, not only in all the subjects he is taking, but also on every subject offered at secondary level. This in itself is revolutionary. Thus a science student, who has interest in literature and does not offer it, can still dip into literature texts at his leisure. In the same way, an arts student can learn about scientific concepts that intrigue him, purely for knowledge sake, while the other modules in the Opon-Imo application are largely worked on by WACE and JAMB examiners with the Osun State Teaching Service. In other words, the contents are all locally-sourced. Opon Imo, which was made to go through various levels of mechanical stress test, as this can be verified from UNIOSUN ICT Department, is the first of its kind ‘’stand-alone e-learning tool’ in Africa and arguably in the world. Opon-Imo implementers consciously built the computer tablets with all contents domiciled on the device to cater for the data network challenges in our country especially rural areas. Software application, installation including that of Operating System was done in the Software installation factory already built in Osogbo .
Don’t like Aregbesola! Hate him, detest him. The fact remains that he has made us proud with the Opon-Imo innovation and we must appreciate him for that. God bless Nigeria!