The University of Ilorin in collaboration with Al-Hikmah University, Ilorin and Covenant University, Ota, Delta State University Abraka, Benue State University Makurdi, University of Jos and Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife, have developed an anti-plagiarism software, designed to check academic fraud.
According to the University of Ilorin’s most recent bulletin which was released today, the development of this software was at the instance of the Association of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities.
The association mandated its Information and Communication Technology Sub-committee, chair, and the Vice-Chancellor, University of Ilorin, Prof. AbdulGaniyu Ambali, to assemble IT team from Nigerian universities to would develop the home-grown anti-plagiarism software with the local and global repository. When operational, the anti-plagiarism application, would be made available to all Nigerian universities.
According the bulletin, the software is already at 80 per cent completion. Admittedly, this makes it a bit late to be raising a questioning brow at this but we have some reservations about a software of this nature.
First, how many of these Nigerian universities have fully functional Information and Communication Technology infrastructures? Till date, only a handful of these tertiary institutions have designed proper internet tests for their admissions. If anyone has ever had to endure the long lines at these tests, then you’ll understand our concerns.
Another concern is that they have developed this software using local human resource in order to cut down cost and show the ingenuity of Nigerian. While this is very laudable, it’s hard not wonder whether a software of this nature will not be ridden with the problems of test applications.
Where we’ll see an application that breaks down in the middle of project verification, hence increasing the time students spend defending their theses.
We are also forced ask if the development of this software has been preceded by the digitization of academic content in the various universities. This will ensure that there’s a database with which a software of this nature will work.
It’s not all bad though. With features such as peer review, document comparison, grammar checker, language support and title validation, this may just be a giant step in the right direction. It might even push the schools who are still lagging behind in terms of ICT to buckle up.
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