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Student Loan: A Catalyst For Educational Recovery, Advancement – Rep. Kolawole

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The recent amended and signed student Loan bill by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has been described as a great and most needed catalyst to regain the lost glory of Educational sector in Nigeria.

“The new policy by President Bola Tinubu will also serve as a great ingredient for the Advancement of the Sector”.

Legislator representing Ekiti North Federal Constituency II, Akinlayo Davidson Kolawole expressed the believe in a statement made available to newsmen in Ado- Ekiti.

Hon. Kolawole posited that, without mincing words, Nigerian has since turned to a Nation where Education had become nothing to write home about in recent time, hence the level of security challenges facing the Country.

“It is unfortunate and regrettable that, Education Sector in Nigeria is in backwardness to the point that, it is only the rich that can afford better education for their Children and the development had turned the sector into a commercial enterprise that discourage the poor”.

“Education remains an impetus and unavoidable catalyst in promoting and developing a society, therefore any other investment without proper reckoning to education advancement in this century is a mere waste of time and energy”.

To this end, it is only a visionary and patriotic leader like President Tinubu who can think outside the box on how to fashion out ways of improving education sector in Nigeria through robust policy like Student loans to assist especially indigent but brilliant Students to achieve their vision and mission in life.

Hon. Kolawole noted that, there is no doubt that, accessing the loan with flexible means of repayment by Students after graduation will encourage many hapless young Citizens and their Parents to patronise education than thuggery and other uncharitable ventures.

The Lawmaker said, the need to prioritize the nation educational sector must be taken serious and called on relevant authorities to partner every level of government in its efforts to bring back the lost glory in the sector in Nigeria.

“All Stakeholders both at home and in the diaspora must come together irrespective of our political and religious inclinations to develop education in the Country inorder to take our position back in the comity of states in west Africa sub-region and Africa in general”.

He assured the People that, the current federal Legislators would work together to find a common font in an attempt to promote education in Nigeria at all times.

The President cannot do it alone, hence the need for all to keen into his efforts at repositioning the sector through good legislations at both the National and the state Assemblies.

Hon. Kolawole commended President Tinubu’s foresight and patriotism and called on Teachers, Parents, Guidances and Students across the Country to reciprocate the President gesture by being dedicated to their responsibilities at all times.

He also lauded Governor Biodun Oyebanji of Ekiti State for turning round education Sector in the State through innovative and incentives like free Bus shuttle, prompt payment of subvention, salaries and other allowances for Teachers and other Stakeholders in the Sector.

“Therefore, attitudinal change on the path of all Citizenry towards education development in Nigeria is needed more than ever before to achieve the desired results in the sector”, Kolawole concluded.

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KWASU Lecturer Gets Research Grant for Nigerian Language AI Models

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KWASU Lecturer Gets Research Grant for Nigerian Language AI Models

A lecturer at the Kwara State University (KWASU), Abdulwaheed Musa has been awarded a National Research Fund (NRF) grant to develop artificial intelligence (AI) language models for the linguistic characteristics of major Nigerian languages.

Announcing the feat in a post on X, Musa, who is head of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at KWASU, said:

“My team and I have been awarded a National Research Fund (NRF) Grant to develop advanced machine (deep) learning models and algorithms for Natural Language Processing (NLP) tailored to the linguistic characteristics of major Nigerian languages.”

He added that:

“In the next two years, I’ll be working with an amazing team across Nigeria (and beyond) to train my mentees and students, especially those in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and selected Nigerian languages.”

Natural language processing (NLP) is a branch of AI that allows computers to understand, generate, and manipulate human language.

Musa explained that the project, which is crucial to machine translation is likely to contribute to the development of AI technologies in Nigeria by delivering “a well-developed AI translator”.

The university don explained that he and his team will commence with developing learning models and algorithms for the three major languages in Nigeria – Hausa, Yoruba, and Igbo.

“The outcomes of the research project are expected to enhance language accessibility and inclusivity in Nigeria, as well as foster cultural preservation and socio-economic development,” he said.

“The project will advance the field of natural language processing and machine translation, leading to more sophisticated AI language models with broader applications beyond translation.”

Musa, who serves as the director of the Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Systems (CAMS), expressed his aspirations for the research to spark the emergence of startups and businesses focused on language technology. The goal is to generate employment opportunities and encourage entrepreneurship in the language technology sector.

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Schengen: France Becomes First EU Country To Issue Digital Visa!

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France has started issuing Digital Schengen visas, with plans to distribute approximately 70,000 digital visas for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic games in Paris.

Since January 1, 2024, France has initiated the issuance of Digital Schengen visas, becoming the first country to hand out these visas in the European Union. This move precedes the anticipated complete digitalization of Schengen visa processes set for 2026. 

In preparation for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic games in Paris (July 26 to August 11 and August 28 to September 8), French authorities plan to distribute approximately 70,000 digital visas. However, due to the limited allocation, not everyone will be eligible to apply.

Who can apply for digital visas to visit France?
According to French authorities, two groups of non-EU citizens needing visas for entry may qualify for the French Digital Schengen visa:

1) Members of the Olympic and Paralympic Family applying for accreditation through their respective committees.  

This group includes International Olympic Committee and Paralympic Committee members, international federations, and national committees. Olympic Games organizing committee members, national associations, athletes, judges, coaches, sports technicians, medical personnel, accredited journalists, senior executives, donors, and patrons are also part of this group. 

The process of application is significantly easy for this group. 

They won’t have to wait for an appointment, collect documents, or pay the normal Schengen Visa fees. They will have to show up at the visa center on the scheduled time, and provide their passport, and valid accreditation certificate issued by the OCOG.

2) Other official guests invited by the Olympic or Paralympic Committee (OCOG).

People who have been invited by the OCOG to attend the games will need to complete a visa application with France-Visas website, and collect the documents listed there. 

“They should also provide a letter of invitation from the OCOG. No fee payment is required for this category either. Providing biometrics – fingerprints and photo – at the visa center, is a must for both categories,” as reported by VisaGuide.

Can spectators apply for digital visa?
Spectators who wish to attend the games, on the other hand, will have to apply for a regular Schengen Visa.

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