“Determination is a key to success. You cannot however succeed without a clear vision”. These were inspirational words by Patience Bacho, a medical student at the University for Development Studies (UDS) when she addressed 30 participating young girls at the ongoing ICT Clinic for Girls.
ICT Clinic for Girls is an annual event instituted by Savana Signatures, an ICT for development organization to build the capacity of young girls to use ICT for their professional, personal or academic development.
The event is also a way to encourage young girls to study Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education in school to improve their competitiveness in science and technology development. This year’s event brought together 30 young girls from basic schools in Sawla/Tuna/Kalba District, Kpandai District, Savelugu Municipal Assembly and Tamale Metropolitan Assembly.
Savana Signatures for the past four years has successfully organized this event and exposed over 3000 young girls to the application of technology. As a step further, Savana Signatures is currently developing School Management System (SMS), a computer software to aid school based data management.
Coming from a broken home, Patience Bacho strived to be where she is today. She first had to work harder to overcome “loneliness”. Patience’s parents separated when she was only 6 years old. “I grew up to realize that it was better for my parents to live separately because of the frequent disagreements”, she said.
Patience did not enjoy motherly care. She lives with her father all this while but sometimes she feels there is something great missing in her life-mother. “I have to fill that vacuum left in my life. Reading books became my hobby because I really have to learn almost everything by myself”, she said.
Patience’s father is an academic professor who guided and mentored her to be focused in life. Her original dream growing up was to be an industrial pharmacist. “My dad sat me down and explained to me that pharmacists in Ghana are reduced to Out-of-Counter-Medicine Sellers”. But he encouraged me to read science anyway”, she said.
Patience however took up the challenge to read science in school. She was enrolled in Notre Dame Senior High School in Sunyani where she passed her West African Examinations papers. She later gained admission to read medicine at the University for Development Studies (UDS), Tamale campus.
Patience tells me that because she had defined her focus in life she leaves no chance to mediocrity. “From high school to university I knew boys were my major competitors. Majority of my friends on campus are boys however I do not fall to their lustful emotions. I will always tell any guy who proposes love to me “you don’t love me”, she says.
She tells me she first realized that falling in love with a guy as a student could hinder her academic performance. “I was very careful and thoughtfully resisted love proposals. There is one thing you couldn’t do-stop love proposals from coming as far as you are a girl”.
She said being in a relationship while schooling takes the chunk of one’s learning periods. “You are likely to spend more time chatting than reading books. That is why I avoided falling in love in school”, she said.
She says apart from physical make ups, there are no differences between girls and boys. “The ability to dare is the only factor. Girls aren’t daring enough” she stressed.
Now 23 years old, Patience who is in her sixth year in UDS medical school says, girls can do better particularly in the area of science, technology and engineering. “These areas are not as difficult as we think and not exclusively for boys so don’t be intimidated by science complexity”, she urged young girls.
She admonished young girls to aspire to the top. She advised them to keenly follow their career interests and not allow social barriers to obstruct them from achieving their personal dreams in life.
She said “Life is worth working harder, dream big, and pursue it with all your heart”. She stressed that girls can do better in science and urged young girls to pursue science related careers.