The Osun State Government has not always been known for owing salaries and involved in University shut-downs. There was a time in the not-too-distant past that the State under the same administration of Governor Aregbesola that the State was praised for being one of the progressive States in Nigeria.
One of the forward-thinking policies it came up with was the “Opon Imo” (Tablet of Knowledge). The tablet, a mobile computer device, with its technology enhanced learning platform was designed to complement efforts of the teachers and students for better performance in learning and teaching.
The Governor on the 19th of March 2013, the Osun State government began distributing the free computer tablets to students in the state’s Senior Secondary Schools. That day alone, about 387 students in Senior Secondary schools were given the mobile device.
The ‘Opon Imo’ boasts apps like e-book library, integrated test zone and 17 virtual classroom subjects. The tablets were also pre-loaded with past questions and additional traditional subjects, as well as the West African Examination Council (WAEC) and National Examination Council (NECO) syllabuses.
By all means, the idea was innovative and in a good way too. And the plan of the Rauf Aregbesola government was to distribute the devices across the State to all Senior Secondary School Students.
Sadly, after the distribution, the tablets were recalled. According to the State Government, this was done in order to carry out upgrades.
The second round of distribution started in November 2015 when the tablets were distributed to SS3 students of Adventist High School in Ede. The State Government revealed on the occasion that the first batch was retrieved for “upgrading, repackaging and repair because it was obvious that some of these materials might have been damaged by the beneficiaries since they are not meant for keep by the students.”
They then added that whoever for any reason among the students misapplied the use of the Opon Imo handed him/her risks having to pay a NGN 50,000 fine as prescribed by legislation in the State.
While have not heard of more batches of the tablets being distributed, Opon Imo has gone on to win the State awards like Best in innovative category in the e-learning and science category of the United Nations-backed World Summit Awards. In February, 2015, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) approached Governor Rauf Aregbesola, seeking to adopt the e-learning device, to reproduce and adapt the educational learning resource material and content of Opon-Imo in promotin its educational programmes in Nigeria.
Just last week, the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) Head National Officer, Mr Olu Adenipekun, led a delegation of the Council on a visit to Gov. Rauf Aregbesola in Osogbo where they presented a plaque of endorsement of the Opon Imo to teh State. The Council spoke of plans to collaborate with the Ministry of Education to create avenues for experience-sharing with teachers in secondary schools in the state. Also, by leveraging on the tablet’s resources, to cfreate standardised tests and other student assessments.
Creative mind. Enthusiast. Learner. Multipotentialite. And here, an assistant editor.
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