The rapid development of artificial intelligence and application of AI robots (Artificial Intelligence-based robots) for instruction have become an attractive interest among secondary pupils in Nigeria.
It is to this end that a member of the 10th Assembly, Federal House of Representatives, Hon. Otunba Adewunmi Oriyomi Onanuga, provided opportunities for a cross-section of secondary school pupils in Ogun state to hone their skills, knowledge, and creativity through conceptualizing, designing, and programming in AI and robotics.
Themed ‘’Capacity Building on Artificial Intelligence / Robotics Camp for students’’, the one-week training afforded participants the opportunity to explore various ways in which technology is shaping the world around them. The training which climaxed with a Closing Ceremony on Saturday, September 9, 2023, covered areas such as Robotics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IOT) and Virtual Reality (V.R.).
The students who were selected from Hon. Onanuga’s constituency made presentations, performed obstacles, and participated in a debate competition to the delight of friends, and families at the Closing Ceremony.
Speaking at the closing ceremony which was held at the Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Laboratory (AIRHub/aIROL) located at the D.K. Olukoya Central Research Laboratory; Rt. Hon. Onanuga expressed satisfaction with the impact the training had on the participating students.
Her words, “one of the ways by which the youths of nowadays can be galvanized and empowered to go on and proffer solutions to the existing, emerging and future technology problems is by introducing them to robotics at early ages. The trend in most developed countries is that priority is usually placed on robotics at all levels of education, primary, secondary and tertiary, and there is a need for robotics to be fully and officially incorporated into the Nigeria secondary schools’ curriculum”.
“… with what I have seen today, I am convinced that we are doing something right to change the narrative. As the world progresses further into the fourth industrial revolution, there has never been a better time to infuse some much-needed STEM training in the education sector through such initiatives’’.
On his part, the President and Group Managing Director, Gosima Group, Dr. Gideon Chidiebere who was also present at the Ceremony, emphasized the role of technology in sprouting innovation and paving the way for a brighter future. He added that the futuristic fields are empowering students to unleash their creativity, problem-solving skills, and technological prowess.
According to him, a total of thirty (30) persons, including their chaperones, from Ikenne/ Sagamu/ Remo North Federal constituency were introduced to and trained in the field of robotics, from basic concepts to actual works with robots.
Dr. Chidiebere asserted that the initiative further demonstrates Hon. Onanuga’s commitment to education at the grassroots level to advance the interest of young scholars in the digital revolution.
The Coordinator of the Artificial Intelligence and Robotic Laboratory, University of Lagos, Dr. Chika Yinka-Banjo, explained that students were taught ways to build, program, and control various kinds of robots that are being used to perform numerous functions in today’s world. She averred that the experience at the training exposed participants to the essential use of technologies in everyday life, ranging from manufacturing to transportation, and others.
Earlier, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Development Service), Professor Ayodele Atsenuwa commended the facilitators of the program as well as Hon. Onanuga for introducing the students to the world of robotics. She noted that the training had opened the eyes of the participants to the opportunities that lie ahead in the future.
Among the schools that participated in the one-week workshop were: Federal Government Girls College, Sagamu; Remo Secondary School, Remo; Divisional High School; Methodist Comprehensive College; Mayflower School, Ikenne; Christ Apostolic Grammar School, Iperu; Sapaade Grammar School and Ode-Remo High School. To motivate participating students ahead of the new academic term, laptops, and cash prizes were issued to them courtesy of Hon. Adewunmi Oriyomi Onanuga.
The workshop is the first edition of an initiative of DaisyGo Concepts Limited under the auspices of the National Mathematical Centre, with the support of the AI & Robotics Laboratory, UNILAG.