By Emma Okonji
In order to enhance technology development among students, the Founder, Data Science Nigeria, Dr. Bayo Adekanmbi has called on the federal government to formalise Artificial Intelligence (AI), one of the global emerging technologies, in school curriculum across the country.
Adekanmbi made this call at a formal book launch on AI, which held in Lagos recently.
The founder said it would help expose the students and the entire country to opportunities that AI presents.
According to him, “One of the ways the government can come in is to formalise Artificial Intelligence as an integral part of the school curriculum. This is because when it becomes part of the curriculum, the students will know that they are going to be tested for it because it pushes them to want to learn it. In addition to the fact that the government can also support the effective production of this book.”
He further said: “Data Science Nigeria is a non-profit and what we are trying to do is to democratise Artificial Intelligence in schools. Let every Nigerian child be exposed to the possibilities of Artificial Intelligence and let us make our nation ready for the possibilities and the opportunities that Artificial Intelligence present.”
He said that the knowledge of AI would prepare the youths of what to come in the nearest future.
“Nigeria has a population of 200 million people, with a median age of 18 years, but the question to ask is that are these young people being given the right insight on their readiness of the reality of the future especially knowing that most of the jobs we see today will go in extinction in the next five, 10, or 20 years. So, the question is what becomes of our country with so much young people without the right job to do and that is why the whole idea of Artificial Intelligence becomes a mandate.
“That is why we at Data Science Nigeria said we would expose the children of both the affluent and less affluent, such that every child wherever they are in the country, will have access to the same knowledge with their counterparts in advanced countries by writing a book on AI that will be distributed freely.
“That is why we are distributing the book freely beyond the traditional model of buying for your child, community, or school,” Adekanmbi said.
Addressing the issue of partnership with government in distribution of the books, Adekanmbi said it would be done through collaboration with the Lagos State Government in training its teachers on AI.
He explained that it would make them to infuse the right skills into the students.
“We are working the Lagos state government to train the trainers where we equip the teachers to also know because you can only give what you have.
“We are going to train the teachers on Artificial Intelligence and after we have trained them, we will give the copies of the book. The training will commence in December and it is going to be on a rolling basis,” Adekanmbi said.