A GROUP of hundred primary school girls, known as the TECH Girls Club, have celebrated this year’s ‘Girls in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Day’ to reiterate the message that girls are equally good in the use of ICT.
The day, which falls on the last Thursday of April every year, was set aside by the International Telecom Union (ITU) to raise global awareness and prompt action towards encouraging girls and young women to pursue careers in ICTs.
It highlights the opportunities in the growing ICT industry and how females could play their part in this new world order.
This was the first time that the TECH Girls Club of Ghana was celebrating this day centred on the theme: “Girls and Women can make a difference using ICT.”
They were joined in the celebrations by members of the Female ICT Teachers Association (FICTTA).
Both groups were formed by Savana Signatures (SavSign), an ICT-focused non-governmental organisation, with the objective to promote girls participation and use of ICTs.
Some of the members of the club said they were enjoying the benefits of being in the club because they were learning more things in ICT than their colleagues at school. “I have learnt how to play some educative games on the computer,” said Musah Aisha of St Theresa’s School in Yong Dakpemyili.
Ms Angela Boateng, the President of FICTTA said members of her groups assist the girls in their training programmes and mentors them to believe in themselves.
The Director of SavSign, Mr Stephen Agbenyo explained that the club was formed as part of its Girls in ICT project being funded by Empower Foundation.
“We want to bridge the ICT gap between males and females and we feel that starting with the kids is the most successful and sustainable method,” he noted.
“When these kids sit in front of the computer, they can do a lot that adults cannot even do,” he further stated.
Mr Agbenyo said the girls have been engaged in hands on training in various application software and how to play educational games on various subject areas.
“We also organise knowledge-sharing platforms, such as quiz competitions in ICT and mentoring sessions with female teachers of ICT,” he mentioned.
He said the NGO also takes the girls on excursions and study tours to institutions that make good use of ICT in their work, such as telecom companies and media houses.
Mr Agbenyo said in 2013, 10 more girls would be recruited into the Tech Girls Club. “This time, we are picking the ten girls from the Junior High Schools and they would be trained in Advanced ICT skills, such as programming and coding,” he explained.
He predicted that a number of the girls would consider taking careers in ICT in their youth and adult life.
(Published in the Daily Graphic of April 30, 2013, page 11)