MTN Foundation, Mobile Web empower over 50 young girls in STEM


By Christabel DANSO ABEAM

MTN Ghana Foundation has teamed up with Mobile Web Ghana to empower 70 young girls in STEM education, as part of activities marking ‘Girls in ICT Day’ 2024.

To facilitate this endeavour, MTN Ghana Foundation enlisted mentors from MTN Ghana specialised in STEM fields to address these students from Kwabenya SHS, Islamic JHS and SHS and Newell’s Academy.

Explaining the rationale behind the initiative, Economic Empowerment Advisor – MTN Ghana Foundation, Cynthia Mills, said that it aims to cultivate interest among young females in these fields, given that majority of them appear to harbour apprehensions.

“We are here to encourage our young girls to embrace STEM courses bodily, as many of them shy away from Mathematics and Science. The mentors are present to inspire them with their own stories of overcoming challenges in these subjects.”

On her part, the lack of interest is that girls are not encouraged to pursue such courses from childhood, and they are not provided with a conducive environment to participate in them.

she further highlighted that during childhood, boys are given toys that encourages disassembly and assembly, while girls are given dolls like Barbie, which may contribute to the differences in interest and skill development.

Ms. Mills highlighted the success of this initiative for the past five years and stated that a follow-up would be conducted after some time to assess the effectiveness of the measures taken to build the confidence and interest of these students.

She noted that while Ghana has been slightly behind STEM education, there has been significant improvement in recent years.

Director – Mobile Web Ghana, Florence Toffa, also stated that according to research statistics, many young girls lose interest and confidence in Mathematics.

Explaining Mobile Web Ghana’s role, she indicated that they reached out to the selected schools whose girls were empowered.

Ms. Toffa underscored the issue of girls being underrepresented in ICT and other STEM fields, despite the country’s high Internet penetration rates.

She stressed the importance of showcasing female role models in leadership roles to inspire girls to pursue careers in STEM.

According to her, there is a vast untapped potential that STEM and technology offer girls. She further urged them to explore these fields, regardless of their academic background.

The event featured a breakout session where students were grouped in tens and mentored.

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