Girls in ICT programme resumes as Communications Ministry targets 5k girls

The Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation has kick started the training of 1000 girls from various districts in the Bono East Region.

In all, 5000 girls from five regions, namely Bono, Ahafo, Savannah and Northern regions, will be introduced to and trained in basic ICT skills and coding this year.

“I wish to provide all girls, who desire digital skills anywhere in this country, the same opportunity that these girls have received. We have a very ambitious goal and there is so much work to be done in giving our young people the right skills. For this reason, I am working closely with the Ministry of Education to ensure that we mainstream practical ICT education in the curriculum of all schools,” Minister for Communications and Digitalisation Ursula Owusu-Ekuful.

The training in coding will give the girls the opportunity to explore the world of technology, through the creation of websites, computer games, interactive arts, mobile apps, and animation stories, using various programming languages.

As part of strategies to both ensure that Ghana achieves the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5, and Ghana’s ICT4AD Policy on bridging the gender digital divide, the Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation, through its agencies – GIFEC, NCA and the Kofi Annan ICT Centre of Excellence – has expanded the scope of the GIICT event.

After their training, which also introduces them to scratch and basic structures of programming, the girls participate in a competition.

This competition is expected to test the knowledge and ICT skills acquired during the training period, including website design, development of games, coding and simple ICT applications.

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Interestingly, over 60 percent of the girls trained have no prior knowledge or experience in the use of computers.

The Girls in ICT programme was introduced in 2012 by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to empower and encourage girls and young women to acquire digital skills and consider studies and careers in the growing field of information and communication technologies.

Ghana has adopted this initiative and observed it on a regional basis.

It has already been celebrated in Greater Accra, Ashanti, Northern, Volta, Western, Western North, North East, Central and Oti regions.

  • The programme involves the Training of Trainers who in turn train the girls, training of 1,000 girls from districts within the selected region, mentorship session that provides a platform for women working in the ICT field to share their personal life stories and professional experiences, with the young girls. This encourages and guides the girls in their future career choices. There is an open day experience, where the best 100 girls are brought to Accra for a week to tour Mobile Network Operators (MNO), ICT firms and interact with women in the workspace. This has not been held since the outbreak of the pandemic but will be continued this year.

Prizes such as laptops, modems, etc, are awarded to girls who excel in the competition and ICT labs are also established in the schools of the girls who excelled.

The Ministry has also trained 200 teachers in Bono East and Bono regions as part of these celebrations for the sustainability of this programme in their various schools.

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Three hundred teachers will be trained in the Ahafo, Savannah and Northern regions this year.