Thirty (30) young girls selected from four basic schools in the Northern Region of Ghana are currently going through ICT skills training and mentorship programme in Tamale.
The weeklong programme dubbed “ICT Clinic for Girls” is an annual programme instituted by Savana Signatures as part of efforts to empower young girls to recognize and effectively use ICT tools to learn and share information. It is also to promote female participation in the use of ICT for personal and professional development.
The programme main objective is to reduce gender inequalities by increasing women and girls’ ability to effectively use information and communications technology tools for their personal and professional development.
The participating young girls for the 2015 ICT Clinic are from Sawla Model Girls JHS in the Sawla/Tuna/Kalba District, Kpandai Girls Model in the Kpandai District, and Pong-Tamale M/A and Experimental JHS in the Savelugu-Nanton Municipality.
Instituted in 2012, the ICT Clinic has brought over 300 young girls from across Ghana together to learn and share acknowledge in the use of ICT. The participants also received ICT training and mentorship for a period of ten (10) or more days.
Participants are usually camped and taken through hands on sessions on the use of ICT tools, engaged female role models in society in discussions and as well taken through leadership training sessions. Fun games, group work, presentations and excursions to institutions that make use of ICT exposed these girls to the use of ICT.
Addressing participants during the opening ceremony of the 2015 ICT Clinic for Girls, the Executive Director of Savana Signatures, Mr. John Stephen Agbenyo stressed that girls’ empowerment is a topmost priority for his outfit.
“To reduce gender inequalities we need to empower girls/women with skills and knowledge through training and mentorship. That is what ICT Clinic for Girls is all about” he said.
Acknowledging IBIS Ghana and Barclays Bank’s support to the 2015 ICT Clinic, the Director said, Savana Signatures remained committed to girls empowerment and capacity building through training and mentorship, hence, the institutionalization of ICT Clinic for Girls.
ICT Clinic, he said offers a unique opportunity for young girls particularly from deprived areas to learn and socialize with their colleagues from other schools. The Clinic, he said is a learning and mentoring event instituted to support girls to realize their dreams in the near future. “We also expose these young girls to the use of ICT”, he said.
“That is why we involved experienced female role models to encourage them to always aspire to the top”, he said.
He urged the participating young girls to use the opportunity to acquire knowledge and skills and be assertive.
The Deputy Director In-charge of Planning, Statistic and Monitory at the Ghana Education Service (GES), Mr. Dery Christopher thanked Savana Signatures for initiating ICT Clinic. This event, he said was supposed to be organized by GES but for lack of fund, they are unable to do so. “We in GES were supposed to be organizing events like this but we are financially constrained. Let me stressed that we however have qualified human resource”
He said the event would not only encourage female students to develop interest in the use of ICT but it would expose them to the use of ICT.
Mr. Dery observed that ICT has become the ultimate tool for socio-economic development and that acquiring skills in the use of ICT would advance both social and academic life of every individual.
He urged the participating young girls to take the sessions serious to improve on their knowledge and skills.
“ICT Clinic has built my confidence and made me bold to always aspire for leadership positions in school”, says Abdallah Naazara Sugri.
Sugri is a 15 year student at Tiyumba JHS based in the Tamale Metropolis. She said she had participated in four ICT Clinic and that “it is really an experience to take part in the event”.
She said the mentorship sessions, interactions with people in leadership positions and her peers from other schools provided an opportunity to learn new things.
“I am always motivated to aspire to the top. Through the clinic I have learnt to speak in public”, she added. She urged her friends to also take part in the event and that it has been a wonderful experience participating in ICT Clinic for Girls. She thanked Savana Signatures providing a platform for young girls to learn and acquire knowledge for their personal and academic development. She said the Clinic has also exposed her to the use of ICT and female role models in society.