OPON-IMO: Harvest of innovation, hard work and the commitment to public education – Tinubu

Brief Remarks by Asiwaju Bola Tinubu at the launching of “OPON IMO”(Tablet of knowledge) by the Government and People of the State of Osun. June 3rd, 2013


opon imoLet the bookmakers take note, let the so-called experts learn from the ordinary people and let the historians write that history is being made in Osun this very day. The power of e-learning and its resultant benefits now wait at the fingertips of our children. This was not the result of a gift from a stranger or from accident. This fine development is the harvest of innovation, hard work and the commitment to public education and enlightenment of our children by the governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola and his excellent team. On behalf of the children and their parents, I thank the governor for opening this important portal of knowledge to our youngest ones.

The introduction of Information and Communication Technology,ICT, in Education and the provision of Opon-Imo (Computer Tablets) for students in the public Senior Secondary Schools in the state is groundbreaking and signposts the dynamic future of tertiary education in the state and beyond.As a result of this important initiative, school children hitherto separated from the global stream of information and knowledge, are now connected with and to the world by virtue of “opon Imo.”

By investing in this modern tool of knowledge and adapting it to local needs so that our children may more easily benefit, Governor Aregbesola and his administration have improved our educational resources by a bold quantum leap. Things that once were outside the grasp of our system to teach or learn are now in the hands of both teachers and students. Knowledge we would have struggled for months or years to acquire is now available in minutes and seconds. What the governor has done is revolutionary and beneficial. It is a symbol of the positive benefits of progressive governance commitment to the welfare of the people and to the future of our children.

The governor did not do this to attract accolades. He did this because it was the right thing to do. He did this not for himself but for posterity. In so doing, he and his team have acted boldly to secure both the present and future educational well-being of the children of Osun.

With “Opon Imo” and other programs, we are witnessing the silent revolution that reached this state once Governor Aregebsola took the reigns of governance from those who had previously abused them to work only for their own selfish benefit. Today, Osun is alive as if a new dawn has come to it. The state now as an air of progress, justice and equity. Improvement and development now mark this state. Ditto for other Action Congress of Nigeria States. From Lagos to Edo, Ekiti, Oyo and Ogun States the imapact of good governance is being felt.

We surely live in a world of numerous possibilities in which new tools, ideas and technology are being fashioned to do things more effectively than before. Perhaps, the most astounding development in the past decade or so has been the opening of frontiers for acquiring knowledge. Since the advent of the computer technology, the creation of the cyber space and the migration of content from multiple disciplines of knowledge, the ability to educate and learn have benefited greatly but only for those governments and individuals with the wisdom to take advantage of these breakthroughs. The trend in ICT offer better opportunities for learning and leaders must appropriate them to move their societies forward

Recognizing the critical role the Internet plays in knowledge acquisition, the United Nations has invested resources to produce the famous low cost lap tops for school children in developing countries, particularly Africa.

Opon Imo is our answer to conquering the diseases of illiteracy and the lack of knowledge. It is a bold, courageous step toward engendering e-learning and to place Osun on the map of states leading the way in this nation and in africa with regard to modernizing public education. What Osun is doing all other states should and must do. It is nothing short of unlocking the doors of knowledge to our youth. And a knowledgeable nation eventually becomes a prosperous, stable and just one.
The significance of what we witness today cannot be drowned by the blustering of our political detractors. Their vision can be described in one word: Empty. We have seen it and there is nothing to it.

Rather, this milestone will be recorded as a classic example of how one visionary leader brought the world to his people and his people to the world. How he empowered them with knowledge, validating the maxim that knowledge with power.

The youth and children who benefit from this tool will someday represent us. They will become leader in business, banks and boardrooms, they will be scientists and engineers, and they will learn to fly our air crafts, run government, teach in our universities and build the nation. The seed for that bright future is being sown. We all have a responsibility to water it and watch it grow into a bountiful harvest.

I thank you for listening.

Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. June 3rd, 2013


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