By Dayo Adesulu
IN line with the national policy of showcasing projects and initiatives tailored towards the development and growth of the Nigerian economy in all sectors, the Science Teachers’ Game, a reality television show took the shine at the maiden edition of the Nigeria Oil and Gas Research & Development Fair and Conference at Eko Convention Centre, Lagos.
Powered by the Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), participants at the fair included several Nigerian universities such as UNN, UNIBEN, FUTA, UNICAL, Covenant University, and oil and gas stakeholders such as Total, ExxonMobil, NNPC, PTDF, Science Teachers’ Game, Cypher Cresecent Ltd and many others.
In his remark, Senator Tayo Alashoadura who represented the Senate president, Dr. Bukola Saraki, assured of Senate’s support in the initiatives while the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Kelsiye Wabote, stressed the need for Nigerians to use their local resources, both human and material, to develop innovative local technologies that could tackle the challenges of the oil and gas industry and other sectors. He promised to set up an R & D Council, comprising members of the academia, industry players, NCDMB, entrepreneurs and stakeholders to articulate all the R&D presentations showcased at the fair and come up with recommendations.
However, the Science Teachers’ Game show which is for science teachers and students across secondary schools in Nigeria is powered by an indigenous and 100 per cent local software and technology tagged Assppaa-ISBORS. This technology connects with science teachers and students across secondary schools in Nigeria, and allows them to showcase their different classroom science experiments on a dedicated portal available at www.assppaa.com . It captures the teachers and students science experiments, measures the qualities and quantities of these experiments, scores and awards Teacher Basic Points (TBPs) and Students Basic Points(SBPs) respectively to teachers and students, and makes Payment-Per-Practical(PPP) to the deserving science teachers. Invariably, the software allows science teachers to earn extra monies while carrying out their routine classroom science practical workload. Science Teachers Game is an edutainment project which combines science education with fun, social media and television reality shows. At the end of the 2017/18 academic session, the Assppaa-ISBORS software shortlists teachers and students with the highest TBPs and SBPs, and these shortlisted teachers and students are qualified to participate in the STG television reality show, where Best Biology, Chemistry and Physics teachers and students would emerge, with winners going home with brand new cars, N60 million cash prizes and all-expense-paid vacations to Dubai.
The CEO of Laboratory Supplies and Solutions (a.k.a Mr. Labss), chief promoter of the Science Teachers’ Game, and owners of the Assppaa-ISBORS software, Patrick Ejike Ochuba, in his speech stated that STG and the technology powering it, were conceived to change the status quo, to the change the ways the Nigeria teachers and students perceive and study science education. He said “ science subjects like Biology, Chemistry and Physics are not literature, neither are they history. Teachers in our schools do what they call ‘alternative to practical’, or ‘theory of practicals’.
This is totally wrong and that is why our schools keep producing half-baked science students. Science is experimental and never theory. We are using the STG as powered by Assppaa-ISBORS, to push, encourage and reward these teachers and students across our schools, so that they would do the right things in the learning and studying of sciences. The STG was launched on September 12, 2017 in Lagos, and we are happy that science teachers and students across secondary schools in Nigeria are happy to participate in the reality show. We have been receiving entries from teachers and students from every states in Nigeria and we are happy that the portal has been proved to be friendly and easy to use. Of course we have had a few challenges, which though are not technical, but are related to media and information dissemination. A lot more Nigerian teachers and students need to be aware of the Science Teachers’ Game, so that they can participate actively.
Media spend is heavy. We are calling on Nigerians and the big corporate brands to support this innovation by associating their brands with the STG project and help us off-set the media spend. If Nigerian brands can stay behind such reality shows as The Voice, Big Brother Naija, Project Fame and several beauty pageants, why not STG. We are grateful to Fidelity Bank, Konga, Systemtech and Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing (IVM), who find it worthy enough to associate their brands with this noble project. Very soon, STG would be competing for audience and attention with the other reality shows in Nigeria and Africa, especially because, STG is not only edutainment but very critical to our national growth.
I therefore call on all science teachers across our secondary schools to come onboard, go to www.assppaa.com and register free of any charges, and start earning more money and accumulating more points. The Assppaa-ISBORS software is also designed to interface with undergraduate studies across Nigeria universities and higher education. We are researching the university science curriculum and understudying the training programs of Oil and Gas Trainers Association of Nigeria-OGTAN. The project software developer, Systemtech Services Limited is putting the interface together and by end of 2019, we will be launching Undergraduates’ Science Academy Awards, which would be another reality show designed for science lecturers and their undergraduates across science faculties and departments in Nigeria”
Managing Director and Country Chair of Shell Companies in Nigeria, Osagie Okunbor who personally visited the Science Teachers’ Game exhibition booth was delighted to hear about the innovative concepts around STG and its enabling software, but wondered why he had not heard about the project until he visited the booth. He said “we need to encourage our young ones to take more interests in science and engineering. You guys have a great initiative, but you need to make sure that the female components are captured in the project, to encourage more female students to participate. I am sure it is a great project. This is the first time I am hearing about it. I am sure the ES of NCDMB will be so excited when he comes here. We need to encourage this project. We will pick a lot of interests in what you are doing. We will keep in touch.”
Several other speakers at the event made very remarkable statements and contributions during the presentations and panel sessions.