International #GirlsinICT Day is an initiative backed by all ITU Member States in ITU Plenipotentiary Resolution 70 (Rev. Dubai, 2018) that aims to encourage and empower girls and young women to consider studies and careers in the growing field of ICTs, enabling both girls and technology companies to reap the benefits of greater female participation in the ICT sector.
The international Girls in ICT Day is celebrated every year on the fourth Thursday of April, with this year’s theme as “Expand Horizon, Change Attitude”. (https://www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/Digital-Inclusion/Women-and-Girls/Girls-in-ICT-Portal/Pages/Portal.aspx)
On the 25th day of May 2019, the Institute of ICT Professionals Ghana (IIPGH) as part of its Digital Education drive decided to celebrate the International Day of Girls in ICT with the Girls from two (2) notable educational institutions in Ghana. Namely, Adonten Senior High and Sunyani Senior High School (SUSEC).
The workshop at Adonten senior high school was in collaboration with the MTN women in Tech wing and the Sunyani High School workshop was held by the Brong Ahafo regional chapter of IIPGH.
The aim of these workshops was to encourage girls to take up the IT/ICT courses during their Senior High School education seriously and also pursue higher education in Computer Science/ IT and be the change the world wants to see.
Both team (IIPGH and MTN) arrived at Adonten Senior High school and paid a courtesy call on the assistant headmaster for Academics, Mr. Nathaniel Duku at 10:55am.
In attendance were the assistant head of academics – Mr. Duku; Executive Director of IIPGH – Mr. David Gowu; Director of Learning & Development at IIPGH – Mr. Richard Amanfu; supporting team from IIPGH, Core Network Engineer – Muniratu Musah and her team from MTN and the administrative staff of Adonten Senior High School.
Giving the opening address, Mr. Duku indicated that usually in Ghana, among certain sects, whenever anything relating to ICT is mentioned, it is synonymous with “Sakawa”, local name for internet fraud or scam. He posited that this mentality must be changed especially when girls get involved in ICT other than boys. He went ahead to motivate the girls to develop interest in studying ICT.
Muniratu Musah, the leader of the MTN Women in Tech team presented on the 4th SDG (Quality Education) with focus on the use of technology. She practically interacted with the girls and mentored them through questions and answers. At the apex of the questions and answers flowing from the students during her presentation, it was decided that the students be segregated into smaller groups for more effective personal engagement, thus a breakout session that lasted close to an hour.
During the breakout session, students tried to find out how relevant technology is to the various career options they have in mind. Some asked if technology was in anyway linked to being a chartered accountant, medical doctor, farmer, etc. and most of the girls also tried to find out the possible entry points available to them if they decide to join the technology field.
The team from MTN surprised the students with lots of MTN branded souvenirs during and after the question and answer session. There was something for every girl that participated in the International Day of Girls in ICT workshop.
Mr. David Gowu, the Executive Director of the Institute gave the closing remarks and emphatically said that the active involvement of the girls in technology in the 21st century gives them higher chances of success and impact. He went on to encourage the girls to appreciate ICT and said that the Institute of ICT Professionals Ghana will come back later to organize more of such programs to educate and train the girls and other interested students.
Zanetor Emmanuella, the girl’s prefect gave the vote of thanks followed by the Chaplain of Adonten school, Rev Phillip Kusi Asiamah, who said the closing prayer and finally brought the entire event to an end.