The ministry of communication and digitalization has on Tuesday, 11th April, 2023 launched Girls in ICT Initiative in Damongo, the Savannah Regional capital.
In Ghana, “Girls in ICT” refers to the initiative that is aimed at encouraging and empowering young girls and women to pursue careers in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector.
The initiative is part of a global effort by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to bridge the gender gap in the technology industry.
Ghana is working towards increasing the number of women in ICT by offering mentorship, training and educational programs. By promoting girls in ICT, Ghana hopes to build a more diverse and inclusive technology industry, as well as support the development of the country’s digital economy. These efforts include scholarships, internships, and mentorship programs aimed at providing young women with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the ICT sector.
The project involves a five-day training of selected girls from the region in basic ICT and coding, through which the girls explore the world of technology through the creation of websites, computer games and animation stories, using Scratch.
The program has the following components: Training of 100 selected Teachers from across the selected Region, Training of 1,000 Girls in ICT from across all the districts within the selected Region, A Mentorship session whereby women currently working in the ICT Field share their personal and professional experiences with the Girls-in ICT, to encourage and guide them in their future careers and endeavours.
However, despite these efforts, the representation of women in ICT remains low in Ghana, with a significant gender gap in terms of access to technology and participation in the digital economy.
Addressing this issue, there is the need for a continuous effort from all sectors of society to promote Girls in ICT and encourage young women to pursue careers in technology.
The Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation, under the stewardship of Mrs. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, Minister for Communications and Digitalisation and MP for Ablekuma West has since 2017 adopted the Girls-In-ICT initiative, as a platform to equip girls between the ages of 9 and 15 years (Upper Primary to Junior High School), with knowledge and skills in basic ICT and Coding.
The project Introduced in 2012, is implemented with support from Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC) as the technical resource provider, with training by Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence (KACE). The programme is also supported by MTN Ghana, National Communications Authority (NCA), American Towers Company (ATC) and others.
Mr. Emmanuel Ofori, the Director of policy planning, monitoring and evaluation at the ministry of communications and digitalization who represented the minister of communications, Mrs Ursula Owusu Ekuful said girls in ICT flagship project is one of the top most priorities of the minister since her assumption into office.
“The training of trainers is a critical activity that contribute to the knowledge of girls” he said.
He added that, the training has had great impact in the life’s of teachers and students that had gone through the training in other regions, hence the need to impact such great impact in the Savannah Region and that, the ministry intent to train about 5,000 girls in five regions including the northern, Savannah, Eastern, Volta and Accra regions representing 1,000 girls in every region.
In accomplishing the sustainable development goals ( SDGs ) goal four and five, quality education and gender equality respectfully, Mr Emmanuel said the ministry is working assiduously in achieving that
“Ghana is gradually migrating from the informal economy to the digital, we are currently putting together our digital economy policy with a key policy of digital skills” Mr Emmanuel outlined
The Programs manager of Ghana investment fund for electronic communication (GIFEC) Madam Zuliaha Yakubu said the role of GIFEC is to provide ICT equipment in making the training a success by providing laptops in the training centres.
Madam Zuliaha said the best district schools will be given ICT laptops by GIFEC and the teachers will be taken through some additional training.
“Where there is a gab in ICT, we have tried to step in, so our focus is usually on the underprivileged and unserved” she said
The lead coordinator of the girls in ICT initiative at the Kofi Annan centre of excellence in ICT, Madam Priscilla Hope noted that, their responsibility is to train the trainers of the girls for the benefit of Ghana, saying that girls in ICT has been a project that has been running for the past twelve years
Madam Priscilla also explained that the training will be in two batches and awards will be given to 100 best performing student in districts of the selected region and will be providing them with laptops, the best three students out of the 100 students will also be given additional cash and the best 10 girls will win ICT lap for their various schools.
Adding to the voices, the Savannah Regional Minister, Hon Saeed Muhazu Jibriel expressed his gratitude to the ministry of communication and digitalization for choosing savannah region to be part of the initiative, noting the importance of the project and how it will help in bridging the ICT gab in the region.
“We know the level of education, the standards of education in the Savannah Region for that matter for the girl child” he added
The Hon. minister said many interventions are been developed to improve access and quality education in the region including the girls in ICT project which is one of the interventions that will help elevate the region’s poor performance in the education sector.
He further explained that, about 40% of his MMDCEs budget goes into education in the region for the development of education in their respective Districts and therefore urged all teacher trainees to take the training serious and incorporate the knowledge acquired to the selected students and also improve their teaching skills in ICT
Source: Padtm.com.gh/ Gogu Edwin/0555588660