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NBTE to add data science to education sector

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By Abiodun Okunloye

Nigeria's education sector will undergo a tech-driven overhaul by 2024.

The National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) has expressed that Nigeria’s educational sector is set to undergo a radical revolution with the inventive utilisation of Data Science. Mrs. Fatimah Abubakar, the Head of the Media Unit at the NBTE, revealed this exciting announcement through an official statement released on Tuesday. Scheduled for January 2024 is the complete implementation of a ground-breaking strategy that seeks to elevate the quality assurance process of Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions in the country.

Also, she asserts that the triumphant execution of the digitalisation endeavour can be attributed to Prof. Idris Bugaje, the Executive Secretary, and his Investment in enhancing the skills of NBTE employees in web development and artificial intelligence. This comprehensive training, conducted both domestically and abroad, plays a pivotal role in effectively handling the web platform. She emphasised that the provision and installation of internet facilities across Polytechnics in the six geopolitical zones by the National Communication Commission (NCC), on behalf of the Federal Government, reflects the government’s commitment towards the digital transformation of education.

Operations will be revolutionised to make accreditation processes seamless.

In 2023, a significant transformation occurred in the HND Computer Science Curriculum under Bugaje. Abubakar emphasised that the restructuring resulted in splitting the curriculum into four different elements: Software and web development, cybersecurity and data protection, artificial intelligence, networking, and cloud computing. This ground-breaking initiative marked a historic milestone for education in Nigeria, as it entailed a partnership with influential industry leaders like Huawei and Cisco 8 networking companies. The ultimate aim of this endeavour was to cultivate an entrepreneurial spirit among Nigerian graduates.

Furthermore, in Nigeria, the digitalisation initiative aims to transform technical education by harnessing the power of Technology. The objective is to keep the country’s technical education system ahead of global competition. Vowing to adapt to digital tools and platforms, NBTE aims to revolutionise different areas of its operations and make accreditation processes more transparent and seamless. Digitisation strategies cover various key goals, such as converting educational records into digital format, streamlining accreditation procedures through automation, and incorporating e-learning platforms equipped with a closely monitored Learning Management System (LMS).

Abubakar focuses on revolutionising education through digital innovation.

She further referenced Bugaje, pointing out his focus on the significance of these actions in order to stay in line with the swiftly changing needs of contemporary society. The objective is to furnish learners with advanced learning and empower them with the aptitudes essential to flourish in the age of technology. Bugaje also discussed the plans for advancing digitalisation by presenting a user-friendly online portal that will act as a central hub for students, educators, and administrative personnel.

The main objective of this platform is to streamline communication, offer easy access to educational materials, and effectively handle academic documentation. Bugaje has high hopes for the profound influence of this transition to digital systems. Their dedication to this digital transformation stems from their faith in technology’s potential to remarkably improve the standard and availability of technical education. By embracing these progressions, their ultimate goal is to establish an environment that nurtures inventiveness, cooperation, and distinction.

Related link: FG preaches technical education to citizens

In this era of digitalisation, data has attained a status comparable to that of oil. This analogy emphasises the immense value that data holds. However, unlike oil, data is not confined to specific locations. Every individual unknowingly contributes to data generation through various means, such as smartwatches and Google searches. Consequently, Data Science has emerged as one of the highly sought after domains for a successful career. A recent report reveals a 37% rise in job opportunities within the field of Data Science, securing its dominant position among emerging professions. With its capacity to revolutionise countless industries, Data Science continues to gain momentum and increased recognition on a daily basis.


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