Nigeria’s Osun State Government has launched smart identity card for all public school students within the province. The initiative began with the Salvation Army School, and stresses a commitment on the part of the government to use technology to improve planning, resource allocation and service delivery in the education sector.
The smart card program is backed by leading Nigerian smart card provider, Chams Plc. According to Nigerian news outlet, This Day Live, the smart ID cards will be linked back to a central database that will provide the government with accurate and reliable data on both the identity and number students attending public schools in the state of Osun.
Chams and First Bank of Nigeria partnered with the state government this past April to provide civil servants with smart identity cards embedded with MasterCard prepaid capabilities. This partnership produced the first credential of its kind by any state government in Nigeria.
Now, the Nigerian government intends to implement a similar offering for the nation’s school children. Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola explained that with the new smart cards, each student would remain a unique and identifiable individual that cannot be mistaken for another person.
The new cards will also bolster Osun student life programs including O’Meals, O’Schools and Opon Imo – a program that provides student with e-learning tablets – along with other student welfare programs. As Aregbesola explains, the new smart cards will introduce an added level of accountability, providing more accurate data as to the exact number of eligible beneficiaries – a utility that the governor believes will eliminate fraud and accounting errors.
According to Chams’ managing director, Demola Aladekomo, the Osun Smart ID card will also provide biographical and biometric identification of public school students across Osun’s elementary, middle and high schools.