Educating disadvantaged members of a population is an important aspect in the development of a country. The physically handicapped or disabled people are among the forefront of this challenge in developing countries. Even though these members of the community can be very productive, their challenge starts from getting an education to enhance them with the necessary knowledge and skills. This in turn will reduce their competence and creativity in the job market and make them to be dependent on others.
There are more than 15 million people with physical disabilities in Ethiopia, according to a report in 2013. Reports showed that about 95% of these members of the population live under poverty. To ease their burden on the economy as well as make them contribute to the economy a conducive learning environment needs to be created. In their early adolescence, some of them get a chance to join universities. However, it becomes challenging especially in science and technology disciplines, to cope up with the unbalanced education landscape. Climbing a four floor building stairs
for class, laboratories and meeting professors, to walk blocks to find toiletries, dormitory assignment on first come first serve basis, library access and other similar challenges on resource allocation are very challenging and some of them quit at the start or produce very low results.
Designing artificial intelligence (AI) tools for a proper administration and resource allocation is then the main objective of this project. Metaheuristic based approach with neural learning will be used on the mathematically formulated problem based on data science. Uncertainty on the resources and other issues will be considered to make the tool to be adaptive and to be customised and scaled up for other similar challenges. The project will mainly be conducted in the two science and technology universities and later expanded to selected four universities from different corners of the country. The universities are selected to be the hub of scaling up of the study to the entire country in future studies.
LOCATION: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
FUNDING: $ 45,000
PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Prof Surafel Tilahun