BY DAYO ADESULU
…commends Aregbesola for Opon Imo
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, (UNESCO) has promised to assist the federal government in all its developmental agenda including education and security challenges in the country.
Speaking at the official launch of Opon Imo (Tablet of Knowledge) held at Zenabas Half Moon Resort, Ilesha, Osun State, the representative of Director-General, Koïchiro Matsuura to Nigeria, Professor Hassana Alidou noted that the UN is in consultation with government to design a framework for 2013 to 2015 that would ensure freedom from all forms of discrimination as well as entrench a competitive workforce.
While congratulating the governor of Osun State on the launch of Opon Imo, she expressed hope that the shift from the rot in education sector in the state will lead to improved learning.
Deputy Chairman, Senate Committee on Education, Senator Sola Adeyeye while reading Professor Wole Soyinka’s keynote address challenged the leaders of Nigeria to begin to think towards ensuring that technology is incorporated in every sphere of life.
He described Opon Imo as a ground breaker saying that the students will be proud and be motivated. “I am filled with envy and let it be said that a new drive for knowledge and learning have begun in Osun State.” The Nobel laureate urged the government to spread the initiative to market women, saying, “a new march of knowledge has begun and it should be a new life for education and empowerment.”
Speaking in the same vein, the initiator and dreamer of Opon Imo, Governor Rauf Aregbesola who applauded national and international dignitaries for gracing the occasion said the long awaited Opon Imo which contains both software and hardware has arrived to revamp the education sector of the state, pointing out that though the road was difficult, he is happy today for the dream come true.
His said; “Opon Imo is a first-of-its-kind learning tablet in the world for self-paced study. It provides three major content categories vis-à-vis, e-library, virtual classroom, and an integrated test zone.
The virtual classroom category contains 63 e-books covering 17 academic subjects for examinations conducted by WAEC, NECO and JAMB as well as non-academic life-enriching subjects such as History of The Yoruba, Sexuality Education, Civic Education, Ifa on ethics and morals, enterprise education, hints and tips on passing SSCE and ‘How to live a Healthy and Happy life’. This section also contains an average of 16 chapters per subject and 823 chapters in all, with about 900 minutes or 15 hours of audio voice overs.
In the integrated test zone of the device, there are more than 40,000 JAMB and WAEC practice questions and answers dating back to about 20 years. It also contains mock tests in more than 51 subject areas, which approximates to 1,220 chapters, with roughly 29,000 questions referencing about 825 images.”
Recapitulating the successful birth and delivery of Opon Imo, Aregbesola said: “The journey began from a trip I made to the Borough of Southwark in the United Kingdom in 2011 where I saw an electronic learning device while window-shopping in a bookshop at Dockland. And it occurred to me that we could build something like that and adapt it to our own purpose in a manner that would be unique to our circumstance. And then we went to work, and Opon Imo is the product of our toil.”
He, however pointed out that the idea of an electronic tablet is not his invention, and that he is not making such claim, saying it would be patently false. His words: “But we have made something completely unique out of the existing idea. Hence, we make bold to say that Opon-Imo is a tablet like no other on the face of the earth.
Opon-Imo stands alone. It is a complete library in a single computer tablet. It’s a complete and closed system that cannot interface or interconnect with any other system, because it does not need them to function. It was commended at Harvard University and by the Mayor of Pittsburgh who made no disguise of his admiration for the device.