Develop abilities in ICT and STEM – Ursula Ekuful encourages young girls
The Minister of Communications and Digitalization, Mrs Ursula Owusu Ekuful has encouraged young girls in the country to develop their abilities in digital skills and Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education as well as choose careers in such areas.
According to her, there was a wide gap between boys and girls when it comes to digital skills and taking up ICT and STEM courses.
“There is the need to demystify ICT and bring it to the doorstep of everyone and let the girls know that the area is not only for boys but they can also have digital skills” she said.
Mrs Ekuful made these statements when she toured some Girls-in-ICT training centres in the Eastern region to interact with the girls and encourage them.
The Girls-in-ICT training project was adopted by MoCD in 2017 as an initiative, 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 programme is being 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) and y MTN Ghana, National Communications Authority (NCA), American Towers Company (ATC), Ministry of Education, GIZ and others.
1000 girls and 100 teachers would be trained in the Eastern region in basic Information Communication Technology (ICT) skills and beneficiaries would be taken through coding, cybersecurity, website development among others.
Mrs Ekuful reiterated the need to train more girls in ICT to narrow the gender digital gap since fewer girls have skills in computer.
She stated that the whole world was going digital, reiterating the need to immense girls and not to leave anyone behind, hence to train the youth to enable them compete in the digital space and enable them to contribute towards the rapid technological progress and productivity in the country.
She revealed that as part of the project, the MoCD in collaboration with GIFEC and other stakeholders were working hard to provide computer laboratories for senior high schools in the country “so that by the time the girls who have been trained get there they will be able to use the computers.”
She revealed that the project was not just a regional capital project but the young girls and teachers have been selected from the 33 districts of the region to enable all districts have a feel of the impact of the project.
“We have done other 12 or 13 regions and after this we would want to see our youth equipped with digital skills which they can utilise in every area of their lives, ”she said.
She stated that after the training the girls and teachers could go back and train others who could not participate in the training to enable the project to be sustained and maintained beyond the project.
“We would want to build computer laboratories so that after the training the girls and teachers would have access to ICT devices to enable them continue practice and get all sort of learning resources and this would help to expand the scope of the project
Mrs Ekuful who was excited about the progress made revealed her ministry was in the process of procuring the computers for the SHS to enhance the project.
One of the students who was a beneficiary of the project, Mashline Avorga said the project has equipped her interest in the area, adding that previously she thought ICT was for boys.
It is her hope to get a career in the area and encouraged other girls to also develop interest in ICT.
She thanked the MoCD and all stakeholders for rolling out the project.
From Ama Tekyiwaa Ampadu Agyeman, Koforidua