Graffiti painted in black and white superimposed on different bright colours welcome you to the Skool Media office. As you walk, you notice small painting boards with different artworks on them.
“Those were done by students of different secondary schools in Nigeria,” Moses Imayi, Project Director, Skool Media said as he takes me around the office.
“The students are from all classes, sciences, arts and commercial, yet they have interpreted technology through art. We are passionate about using technology and creativity as a key to transform education. We are passionate about using it to transform the world,” he continued, excited about the #ArtTech Competition. In the Nigerian educational system, students have to choose between sciences and the arts. However, for society to progress, it is important for both fields to shake hands. This is what SkoolMedia, one of Nigeria’s leading edtech organizations, tries to do with its #ArtTech Challenge, an inter-school art competition for secondary school students.
The #ArtTech Challenge also has an accompanying social media art appreciation competition. Through the competition, technology had a conversation with arts. The conversations happened on social media. Launched in March 2017, an artwork was shared online and art lovers were asked to interpret it. There was a final list of three winners—Shalom Idoko Idagu, Ibironke Ayomide and Ejeye Jolomi.
The TGIF was an award presentation ceremony, as well as a media parley introducing the media to the work that SkoolMedia does. The MC, Isabella Akinseye, host of Correct Student on CityFm, welcomed the guests with a dashing smile. Words and short videos introduced SkoolMedia, as an organization using technology to increase access to quality education in Nigeria.
“We stand with educational institutions to have the right technology to be globally competitive. For us as an organisation, we believe that by default you are investing in the professional development of Nigeria,” said Moses Imayi, the project director of SkoolMedia. He added that it was important for them to organize the #ArtTech competition as a way to inspire innovation in students, regardless of their course of study. For the social media competition, it was also a way to share the joy of art and technology with Nigerians online.
Leadership coach, Dotun Arifalo was the guest speaker at the event. There she spoke on innovating for success. She charged the audience on the importance of not being average, of doing more, of giving everything in one’s endeavours.
“Don’t get lost in the euphoria and the applause. The enemies of success are two: the path of least resistance and the expediency factor. When we do barely enough; just what has been given to me to do. Many do barely enough-resume right on time and close right on time. The world is waiting to see you in your fullness, not barely enough,” she said.
There was an unveiling of the artwork that was interpreted. A product of combined efforts of two artists Queen Waneri and Clara Aden, the two parts fit perfectly as one piece. On it, two locked interlocked padlocks; smileys with different symbols of various professions in them; within the padlock is a globe. A combination of tools was used to make this art work a reality: organic material as pieces of wood can be seen above the padlocks; metal as small keys are used to trace the big key; inorganic paint was also used. The artwork offers itself to a variety of interpretation; however one that resonates more has to do with the power of technology as a key to access a wide world that transcends a variety of careers.
Ejeye Jolomi (@therealmisan): Education opens you to endless possibilities, with the aid of technology Education makes us to be able to be whatever we want as long as we can dream and believe.
Ibironke Ayomide (@a.y.o.m.i.d.e): Education is the key to exploring the world.
Shalom Idoko Idagu (@Maaterplanned): Education is the key to success. THE SECRETS of the whole through time has been unravelled by innovations and discoveries, and are continuously being unraveled this is made possible by the accumulation of knowledge which is passed down to generations by education we have many fields or careers: Medical science, Engineering, Law making and enforcement, which all play a part in unlocking these mysteries and making them knowledge which is useful for evolutions.
Clara Aden and Queen Nwaneri (The Artists): The inspiration to create this artwork was conceived at Federal Girl’s Technical College Benin, I stumbled on a rusty old padlock. Something struck my imagination that to open any locked device, there must be a key. Technology is the key that unlocks potentials and opportunities. With technology, Skool Media unleashes the potentials of education.
After a keenly contested competition online and a panel of judges reviewing the entries, the three finalists were presented with their prizes. Shalom Idoko came first; Ibironke Ayomide came second and Ejeye Jolomi was third. The excited winners were beaming with as they received their prizes.
“I am so happy that I won,” said Ibironke, a student and lover of football.
After the award presentation, there was a toast to the many awards that Skool Media has won for educational technology, the latest being the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry Award for Innovation in Education (2017).
At Skool Media’s TGIF event on August 4, 2017, the audience watched as art and science met; shook hands and embraced. They even clicked glasses in celebration of the union. There is more to expect from Skool Media before 2017 ends. The grand finale of the inter-school #ArtTech Challenge will hold in October.