St John of God Births Technological Device

…Wins Southeast JAC Competition, 2022 Most Supportive School in Nigeria

By Chioma Ndife

The Catholic Diocese of Awka owned citadel of academic excellence, St. John of God Secondary School, Awka, has birthed a new technological device named Verso Bot Robot.

Fides gathered that the Verso Bot Robot produced by the students of the school can be used to monitor examination halls (to curb malpractice), shopping malls and in agriculture for irrigation purposes.

The school, through their Verso Bot Robot, emerged as the most supportive school in the National Junior Achievement Nigeria, JAN, competition. This came about after topping other schools in the South East and was declared winner of the Regional Company of the Year Competition (RCOY), 2022, which qualified them to represent the Southeast at the National level.

Speaking to Fides, the three students that represented the School’s Students Company in Enugu and Lagos, Rita Kosichukwu Chukwuma; Chinamelum Daniella Obi, Project and Manufacturing Manager; and Chiamaka Elizabeth Ogbuke, the marketing manager, recalled how the teacher moderator came to announce names of students that should take part in the competition, noting that the JAC geared at inspiring young people to be entrepreneurial, creative and innovative in order to assist in making the world a better place.

They disclosed that the device, through its APP called the Dabo Bluetooth APP, could be used to monitor examination halls to detect any malpractice; in agriculture, as farmers could attach their watering cans on the board and control the irrigation process through the APP installed in their phones, and could also be used in shopping malls to carry shopping carts around without any pushing by the buyer, saying that the device could stop when the buyer stopped to pick any item of choice.

They noted that the students discovered the APP through an engineer and that the APP could be used to control many electrical and electronic devices.

They appreciated God for crowning their efforts which made them to win at the zonal level and represented Southeastern schools at the national level and emerging again as the most supportive school in Nigeria.

The excited trio said the competition had taught them the importance of teamwork, hard work, being selfless and innovative and expressed readiness to mass produce the device if given the needed support as the raw materials for the construction were not easily accessible, very delicate and could easily develop fault if not well protected.

They said they had visited places they never taught they would be in because of the victory they attained through the production of the device and said that more attention must be paid to girl child education. They also said that empowered girls could change the world.

Also speaking, the Anambra State JAN volunteer and Vice Principal, Administration of St. John of God, Awka, Lady Ifemeluma Ikekamma, said she was not surprised that the students emerged winners at the zonal level and recalled that when JAN was introduced in the State, the school management team saw the need to get the students actively involved.

She noted that the idea behind JAN was simply to encourage students to develop entrepreneurial skills, start up a mini company and manage it. She disclosed that the materials and products which students in the state had produced showed that the state’s students had put commitment in developing their inherent potentials.

Lady Ikekamma while commending the students of St. John of God, encouraged all schools in the state to get a Verso Bot device and deploy it in their examination halls to curb the incidence of malpractice and have less stress in examination monitoring.

Adding her voice, the school JAN coordinator, Ngozika Umeh, said the students fulfilled all specifications given for the competition. She disclosed that the students were able to get to the national level because they followed to the letter, the guide given by the organizers of the competition.

She tasked all schools in the state to develop Students Company as St. John of God Secondary School, Awka, through the Students Company called ‘De Percipient’ was able to attain the feat as it taught the students the need of being entrepreneurial in practice and not just in theory, saying that every procedure of forming a company was followed. She noted that winning was important but that schools should not only be interested in winning, but in teaching students how to stand on their own later in life.

Contributing, the School Manager, Rev. Fr. Malachy Maduewe, described the students’ representation of the School in Enugu at the zonal level and Southeast in Lagos as wonderful and noted that their performance was in line with the vision and mission of Catholic schools in Awka Diocese.

He explained that the idea behind the establishment of Catholic schools was to produce holistic and balanced human beings that would fit into the world and be useful in society in every sphere of life. He said that the performance of the students was a clear indication that the school operated in line with the mission and vision of its establishment.

He explained that just as the development of the human person was the major target of Catholic education all over the world, the development of the robot had great connection with Psycho motive domain and said it was a sign of a greater future for the students.

Fr. Maduewe while explaining the device produced by the students, said that Verso Bot was a combination of the two words versatile and robot put together, saying the purpose of the creation of the robot was for it to do multitasks and likened it to bringing many robots into one in order to reduce the task and stress associated with different tasks by human beings. He said the device could also be modified to do many things at the same time and noted that it was crucial in the development of robotics.

He maintained that for the robot to be fully developed to perform different tasks, there was need for the government to support them substantially and disclosed that Senators Victor Umeh and Uche Ekwunife had supported the students during the preparation process.

He noted that research and development could only be executed through proper funding; even as he disclosed that the school needed funds to take care of the project as the other demands of the school would not allow it to devote the needed funds to the project’s effective development.

He beckoned on school administrators to take into cognizance the need to develop the potentials of the students; even as he called on the government to create prizes for such performance for both the participating schools and individuals involved in order to encourage them to do more.