Sunday, September 26, 2021

IT expert calls for introduction of Machine Learning in Nigerian education sector

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Ibrahim Ramalan
Ibrahim Ramalan is a graduate of Mass Communications from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria. With nearly a decade-long, active journalism practice, Mr Ramalan has been able to rise from a cub reporter to the exalted position of an editor; first as Arts Editor with the Blueprint Newspapers before resigning in 2019; second and presently as an Associate Editor of the Daily Nigerian online newspaper. He can be reached via [email protected], or www.facebook.com/ibrahim.ramalana, or @McRamalan on Twitter.
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For Nigeria’s education sector to get the much-needed boost and also become competitive globally, its various stakeholders have to embrace machine learning, a leading ICT expert and software developer, Salihu Isah-Kantigi,  has said.

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Mr Kantigi, who is an alumnus of University of Texas and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT, where he studied Data Science and Machine Learning, made the call in a paper titled, “Application of Machine Learning in Boosting Nigeria’s Education Sector”.

Mr Kantigi explained that machine learning allows assessment and analysis of data without external coding or human interference, hence if adopted, would make teaching and learning faster and easier in the country.

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He said: “Our education sector has so many benefits to achieve from embracing machine learning: it will customise and personalise the learning process, it will bring about all round content analysis, it will enhance better grading, e-learning courses and automate time-consuming tasks.”

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While disclosing that many country have gone far in embracing the technology, Mr Kantigi lamented that the reverse is the case in Nigeria.

“Only the private institutions understand it at the moment, and they were even triggered by the outbreak of COVID-19,” said Mr Kantigi who is also a certified anti-money laundering solution expert.

Mr Kantigi added that, “if machine learning had been mainstreamed in Nigeria, banditry and even the outbreak of COVID-19 would not have affected schools the way they did or have been doing; distance learning would have just simply replaced physical learning.”

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Mr Kantigi, however, called on the government to make available the infrastructure that would  machine learning operative in the country.

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