Rescuing education with social media

on   /   in Education 12:20 am   /   Comments

By Amaka Abayomi

IN an era where mass failure has remained prominent among the problems holding the educational sector down in Nigeria, the introduction of a mobile social quiz platform for secondary school students – www.efiko.com.ng – appears poised to reshape the sector.

This latest innovation, which was created by the Co-Creation Hub (CCHub), Nigeria’s foremost social innovation centre, launched the EFIKO mobile application to enhance students’ learning through self-assessment with topical quizzes.

The launch also served as an award ceremony for students who excelled using the platform during its pilot test in Lagos. With sponsorship support from Samsung Electronics West Africa, each winner from the pilot test went home with a Samsung Chief Hero E1500 mobile phone which they can use to download the efiko mobile application.

According to the Project Incubator, CcHub, Mr. Tunji Eleso, the application has merged the powerful powers of social media and education to build a critical mass of students that can take on any educational challenge.

Winners displaying their Samsung Chief Hero mobile phones at the launch of Efiko, a mobile social quiz platform for secondary school students.

Winners displaying their Samsung Chief Hero mobile phones at the launch of Efiko, a mobile social quiz platform for secondary school students.

“Social media is a very powerful tool which most youths use negatively. The reality is that there is competition for the attention of these youths and our goal is to challenge them to, at their leisure, learn by taking the mobile quiz”, Eleso said.

Speaking on the workings of the application, Eleso said efiko.com.ng can be downloaded on multiple platforms such as Android, Nokia S40 and mobile web for other mobile devices.

“The 10-question short quiz is to test their knowledge, and at the end of the quiz, they can share their results on facebook with a very simple message ‘I scored this much in this particular subject in the quiz and I challenge you to beat my scores.’

“Since the competition for their attention is stiff, visiting efiko.com.ng has some incentives such as the best students in different subjects and different classes would win Samsung mobile phones at the end of the month. Also, the best students would be promoted on the website.”

Improvement in public exams
Pointing out that Nigeria is in a crisis situation as far as secondary education is concerned which is responsible for the poor results recorded in public examinations, Eleso said the goal of the application is to help students improve on their academics.

“Since the application is in accordance with the national curriculum, it would help students in schools that have shortage of teaching materials and teachers to cover the curriculum and equally challenge their mates. This, we believe, is crucial in addressing the challenges of education at the secondary level.

“When students use this application to study what they learn in school, it would help them know their strengths and weaknesses in different subjects from an early stage and on a term by term basis, thereby leading to an improvement in public examinations.

“We are also working with publishers and government to ensure that we don’t deviate from the curriculum. In the pilot phase, we worked hand in hand with Lagos State Education District 4 and they helped provide the content. So whatever we are giving the students is what is relevant to them.”

Some of the key features of EFIKO include: topical-based learning as students learn as they are taught according to the national curriculum; standardized content, which is especially important for students in schools with a shortage of teachers for certain subjects; and instant scoring with a leader board. Here, students are challenged to do better when they see their current scores and ranks as well as those of their peers.

Others are social-based learning as peer-to-peer engagement makes learning fun for students and students can challenge each other on social media to become top students for different subjects; recognition in form of incentives for high performing students and their schools on the platform; geographical mapping, which is tied to the leader board and it enables students see schools of top scorers.

EFIKO Secondary School Challenge
EFIKO was formally launched with a national secondary school challenge competition. For the next six months, the top student on the EFIKO leader board in five subjects will win a mobile phone i.e. 15 students every month for six months, bringing the total number of winners to 90 students.

To participate, SS1, SS2 and SS3 students are to log on to www.efiko.com.ng to download the application and register (include a valid phone number), after which a test can be taken which would be submitted for them to see their scores.

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