About 1,000 girls from selected basic schools in Sefwi Wiawso in the Western North Region yesterday participated in the mentorship programme organised by the Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation.
The event, which was part of the ministry’s flagship programme, Girls-in-ICT, was on the theme: ‘Connected Girls, Creating Brighter Futures.’
The Girls-in-ICT is an initiative of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), aimed at encouraging girls to opt for careers within the Information and Communication Technology ICT (Sector).
The mentorship programme, featured women in the ICT industry, drew mentors from various disciplines including Dr Mercy Badu, Senior Lecturer, Department of Chemistry, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST); Dr Priscilla Kolibea Mantey, Neuropharmacologist, Reseacher, Senior Lecturer, KNUST; Sophia Tandoh, Advisor, Regulatory Affairs, MTN-Ghana and Angela Adu Ampofo, Regulatory and Government Affairs, MTN Ghana.
The rest were, Elizabeth Yaw Amuzu, student, University of Cape Coast; Regina Farco, Instructional Technology, ICT Centre Coordinator/CIC Manager.
The mentors took turns to share their experiences in their jobs with the girls and urged them to remain focused and also take their studies seriously.
The Minister of Communications and Digitalisation, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, reiterated that girls continued to be under represented in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programmes.
She, therefore, stressed the need for an improvement in basic digital skills in internet access to help find and keep jobs to close the growing digital divide.
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful said, the Girls-in-ICT project had been designed to build awareness about the gender digital divide, support technology education and skills training, encourage more girls and young women to actively pursue careers in STEM.
She explained that the mentorship programme was specially organised to break the stereotypes related to gender and technology, and also encourage authorities to support girls to pursue education in technology.
The minister declared: “For me, the mentorship session is the best because it gives the girls first-hand information. It is not only boys who can work with technology and excel, you too, can,” she stressed.
She again stressed the need for the construction of ICT Centres to help girls practice what they had learnt, saying that, the first 100 girls would receive laptops.
The Regional Director, Ghana Health Service, Western North Region, Dr Marion Okoh-Owusu who chaired the programme, advised the girls to take their aspirations seriously, adding that “you can achieve whatever you put on your minds to do.”
She stressed the need for the girls to make judicious use of their time and refrain from procrastination.
The girls were presented with grooming packages, including sanitary pads, deodorant, roll-ons and bathing soaps at the end of the mentorship programme.
Present at the ceremony were the Chief Director, Mrs Magdalene Appenteng; Director, Policy Planning Budget, Monitoring and Evaluation (PPBME), Mrs Veronica Sackey; Director, Research, Statistics and Information Management (RSIM), Mr Alfred Nortey; Regional Director of Education, Mr Stephen Kwaku Owusu.
FROM CLEMENT ADZEI BOYE, SEFWI WIAWSO