Written by Godfrey AKON

NCCE moves to rid Colleges of Education of plagiarism

The National Commission for Colleges of Education, NCCE, is combining efforts with a United Kingdom-based ICT company, Sixgold Technologies, to tackle plagiarism in the colleges.

Executive Chairman of Sixgold, Dr Kingsley Aguoru, said the partnership would lead to the establishment of a Tertiary Education Central Academic Repository, TICAR, to provide e-check for plagiarised content in long essays and academic writings in the institutions as well as archive their academic works.

Aguoru, who spoke in Abuja on the side-lines of a sensitization workshop for Provosts, Chairmen Committee of Deans and ICT-Directors of NCE-awarding institutions, described plagiarism as an act similar to kidnapping.

He said plagiarism has assumed alarming levels in Nigeria and does not allow the country’s educational system to contribute to knowledge as the system only continues to recycle what others have said without adding value to it.

He however assured that the problem would be tackled when TICAR is fully operational in the colleges as it will enable academic institutions to collect and disseminate academic works with a customised integrated plagiarism checker built for Nigeria, and students using other people’s work would be identified and punished.

Aguoru noted that although there are so many plagiarism checkers, TICAR was special because of the “machine learning algorithm” that can specifically capture everybody who copies another person’s work without credit.

Explaining further, he said the system has been built in a multi-channel format so students can access it using their smart phones, personal computers, tablets and order devices to get summary information, adding that the manual school work of every subscribed institution would be converted into digital format using a digital scanners.

He disclosed that funding for the project in Public COEs would be provided by the NCCE and the Tertiary Education, Trust Fund, TETFund, while interested private colleges would be charged a reduced fee to ensure that they also implement the programme.

Earlier, the Provost of Federal College of Education, Technical, Umunze in Anmabra state, Prof. Josephat Ogbuagu, described plagiarism in Nigeria as a very serious problem, which is destroying the originality of Nigerian students.

Ogbuagu noted that the establishment of TICAR is part of quality control measures to enhance teaching and learning in the colleges as students would thereafter, do their works, own them and put them into practice.

Also speaking, the Secretary General of Committee of Provosts in Nigeria, Prof Mojisola Oyarekwa, called for sanctions against anyone caught plagiarising other peoples’ work, stressing that plagiarism was the result of laziness.

Oyarekwa urged students to be proud of being in the academic environment and do what will attract a good name to them.

In his remarks, the Director, Management Information System in Aminu Kanu College of Islamic and Legal Students Kano, Mr. Hamisu Abubakar, expressed confidence that TICAR will provide a platform for students and teachers in the colleges to store information and an avenue through which teachers can screen the work of their students.

Abubakar, who noted that plagiarism permeates all aspects of the educational system in Nigeria, attributed the problem to instability in the system, overwhelming number of students and lack of infrastructural development, warning that unless these issues are tackled, the problem could continue.

At the end of workshop, participants agreed through a communique that a centralized academic repository and digital students information management ecosystem, with integrated smart checker and proofreading robot for tertiary institutions be deployed, comprising multiple channel access from any device, smart search, meta data and keyword management among others.



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