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Project to train girls in ICT launched

BY: Gilbert Mawuli Agbey
 Mrs Justina Marigold Assan (arrowed) and Madam Ernestina Appiah (7th left), some guests and some of the beneficiary girls
Mrs Justina Marigold Assan (arrowed) and Madam Ernestina Appiah (7th left), some guests and some of the beneficiary girls

As part of efforts to fully equip young girls with the requisite skills in Information and Communications Technology (ICT), the Ghana Code Club, an after school programme that teaches children computer programming skills, has been launched at Agona Swedru, the capital of the Agona West Municipality in the Central Region.

As part of the programme, 750 girls drawn from public basic schools will be trained to develop or create computer games, animations, interactive arts, websites and mobile applications by the end of December 2019.

Code on Wheels

The project, which is a partnership between Ghana Code Club and Ernesto Series Multimedia, an Agona Swedru-based educational company, is an initiative of the Municipal Chief Executive for Agona West, Mrs Justina Marigold Assan, and is intended to empower the young girls in particular to be able to cope in today’s technological world.

Ghana Code Club’s mission is to expose all children to computer science concepts through interactive activities that enable them to build their own websites, mobile apps, games and animations while its vision is to equip every child with skills, confidence and opportunity to shape the world.

Also, the “Code on Wheels,” which is a community digital literacy initiative where volunteers would travel to communities to host coding workshops for the youth and educators, with particular attention on girls and women, was also launched.

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Its goal is to give all Ghanaian children or youth the unique opportunity to create and not just consume technology.

Women lack ICT skills

Addressing the audience at the Roman Catholic Parish Hall in Agona Swedru last Monday, the Founder of Ghana Code Club, Ms Ernestina Appiah, said the project was focused on girls or women since they lacked basic skills in technology to be competitive in today’s technological world.

She stated that about 1,200 new businesses were created by women every day and that if such women were provided with the basic knowledge in ICT, it would enable them to market their respective trades on the global market.

“These are some of the few reasons why my outfit is collaborating with government, non-governmental organisations and volunteers to spread digital literacy among girls across the country,” she indicated.

She noted, “we believe that computer programming and other technical skills are tools of empowerment for young girls towards positioning them to confront the challenges that may come their way.

Girls’ empowerment

For her part, Mrs Assan, who was the special guest of honour, in her address noted that the programme was intended to technologically empower the young girls in ICT so that they could make meaningful contributions to the growth of the country.

She urged the young girls to avail themselves during the period to learn the rudiments in ICT which would broaden their scope of knowledge and enhance their studies.

Other speakers

The Director of Ernesto Series Multimedia, Mr Ernest Ato Bentil, in his remark, mentioned that at the end of the programme the beneficiary girls would be equipped with the digital skills needed in today’s advanced world.

Ms Elizabeth Helen Essel, the immediate past Agona West Municipal Director of the Ghana Education Service (GES) acknowledged that in many parts of the world today, girls still lagged behind boys in terms of access to and use of ICT.

She charged the beneficiary students to effectively learn the programme to the fullest as it would further enhance their studies due to the basic knowledge they had acquired in ICT.

Miss Universe Ghana 2018, Ms Akpene Diata Hoggor, implored the young girls to remain focused to enable them to achieve their future aspirations as envisaged.

The Agona East District Senior High School (SHS) Coordinator of the GES, Mrs Susanna Ofosu-Eck, who chaired the function, lauded the stakeholders behind the project for their resolve to improve the ICT skills in the area.