The recognition was given in Colombo, Sri Lanka during a week long United Nations-backed World Summit Award Global Congress on E-Content and creativity last Saturday.
Africa’s leading representative, Nigeria, won two awards in eight categories, at the Grand Finale of the ceremony.
The award ceremony was the climax of the week-long annual assembly of the world’s most innovative e-content initiatives in the following categories: e-Government and Open Data, e-Health and Environment, e-Learning and Science, e-Entertainment and Games, e-Business and Commerce, e-Culture and Tourism, e-Media and Journalism and e-Inclusion and Participation.
The august event was inaugurated by His Excellency, Mahinda Rajapaksa, the President of Sri Lanka.
The winning projects, TRANSPARENT NIGERIA (e-Government and Open Data category), pioneered by Harvard based Mr. Uchechi Iweala (son of Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala), and OPON IMO – Tablet of Knowledge (e-Learning and Science category) from the State of Osun, triumphed over 421 other innovations for the 2013 Awards vetted by the grand jury of global eminent experts.
The World Summit Awards (WSA) is a project of the International Centre for New Media that is organised among 190 UN-member States and runs within the United Nations (UN) framework of the World Summit on the information society. The World Summit Awards has been an on-going activity since 2003 in cooperation with UNIDO, UNESCO, ITU, ISOC, UN GAID and UNDP.
Grand Jury’s evaluation for Osun’s Tablet of Knowledge, Opon Imo
“The State Government of Osun in Nigeria, as part of its strategic mandate to meet the educational needs of students in Osun, commissioned delivery of 150,000 units custom-based Android tablets (a library of easily navigable text books).
The tablets are packed in bear rugged leather to protect from harsh conditions of various remote areas of Nigeria and its schools. What makes the project attractive is the archival availability of content in terms of questions for the last ten years for the three levels of the Senior Secondary students.
Hoping that the students may not be required to look for physical text books, the tablet is enriched with multimedia contents including video, images, text and reference materials and test questions for practice”.
A statement by the Director, Bureau of Communications and Strategy, Office of the Governor, Osogbo quoted Governor Aregbesola as saying that the Opon Imo is an intelligent solution towards producing smart public school students in the state.
He said: “In the State of Osun in Nigeria, where I am governor, we have taken a giant stride in preparing ourselves for that future.
“This e-learning ‘table of knowledge’ is a practical and radical solution to a very daunting and nagging problem. It is our smart ICT solution to produce smart public school students in the State.
“Like we have made clear, the vision behind Opón-Ìmò is to democratise access to learning, to complement our overall education reform, to help senior secondary school student better prepare for School Leaving Examinations, and to use technology as a silver bullet to the learning problem in Osun”, Aregbesolasaid.
The governor said the introduction of Opón-Ìmò has not only positively redirected education but also laid a solid foundation for children’s ICT future, adding that it had also solved learning problems through ICT.
He noted that the tablet has provided a level playing field for all students from different social and economic backgrounds to learn under a comfortable atmosphere, saying opon imo has saved for the state huge chunk of cash.
Aregbesola continued: “With Opón-Ìmò, we have not only introduced a game-changer into the landscape of learning in public schools, we have also laid a solid foundation for our children’s ICT future.
“Already, the introduction of this device has saved the State Government a stupendous N8billion that would have gone into the purchase of text books for our free education policy.
“This veritable tablet of knowledge will level the learning playing field for all students from different social and economic backgrounds. It would allow them to learn at their own pace, and in any place they choose. Opón-Ìmò also offers robust and uniform learning content for all students, and provides a feedback mechanism for monitoring their performance.
Speaking on the environment friendly learning apparatus, the governor stated that the device the tablet comes with water and fire proof pouch while the charging adaptor also comes with a fuse to protect the device from the very routine power surges that are the bane of electrical and electronic devices in our country.
He added, “Its light weight makes for easy mobility that also enhances the ease of getting it charged”.