A total of 5,000 selected female pupils in five regions are expected to benefit from the ‘Girls in ICT’ initiative bootcamp.
The beneficiary young girls would be selected from upper primary (Basic 4) to JHS 2 in public schools across Bono, Bono East, Ahafo, Northern and Savanna regions.
They will undergo one week bootcamp to equip them with some basic training in ICT. In addition, 500 ICT teachers will also receive training to enhance their knowhow in the field of work.
The pupils are mostly selected from communities and schools with deprived ICT infrastructure and poor experience with the use of computer. At the end of the bootcamp, the girls will be examined to select 100 of them for further training, mentorship and awards.
The Girls in ICT initiative is part of the International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) effort to encourage and empower girls and young women to consider studies and careers in the ICT space. It seeks to create an enabling environment for both girls and technology companies to reap the benefits of greater female participation in ICT.
The initiative is being implemented by the Ministry of Communications and Digitalization through the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communication (GIFEC), and Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT (AITI-KACE). It is also supported by Regional Coordinating Councils (RCCs) and District Assemblies as well as MTN Ghana.
One of the trainers at Techiman in the Bono East Region, Evans Asante, described the initiative as a brilliant concept that has immensely helped to boost the confidence and knowledge of the pupils in ICT and urged the Ministry and its partners to sustain and expand it to benefit more girls.
The ICT teacher at St. Paul R/C JHS in Techiman mentioned lack of ICT infrastructure in basic schools as the bane of the teaching and learning of the subject, hence the need for such intervention.
For her part, a beneficiary and JHS 1 pupil at St. Francis R/C Basic School at Techiman, Adwubi-Kete Asante, commended the government for the implementation of Girl in ICT initiative which she said had exposed her to new concepts in ICT studies.
The 12-year-old Ms Asante said: “Thanks to this training, I am able to create my own games and programmes. The training has really exposed me to different and new things in ICT and it has stimulated my interest in ICT studies.”
Meanwhile, the Acting Chief Corporate Service Officer-MTN Ghana, Nana Kofi Asare, expressed gratitude to the Ministry of Communications and Digitalization for “giving us the opportunity to be part of the initiative.” He also applauded the facilitators, teachers and beneficiaries for their cooperation in making it a fruitful venture.
MTN Ghana is supporting the initiative with GH¢10 million to cover the cost of the project over a three-year period, starting from 2021. The telecommunication giant will also provide female personnel for the mentorship component of the programme.
“As a responsible corporate citizen, MTN remains committed to supporting government’s effort to bridge the digital divide. It is against this background that we have been supporting the initiative since its inception. It is also in line with the celebration of MTN’s 25th anniversary as the business has decided to invest a bit more in ICT to benefit more girls, “he said.