The Government of Ghana, under the Ministry of Communications and theNational Communications Authority set 25th and 26th April aside to celebrate the Girl in ICT Day.
The event was in 3 stages:
-Girls in ICT day: 25th and 26th April, 2012
-Empowering Market women in the Use of ICT : 9th to 11th May, 2012
-Women and Girls in ICT : 17th May, 2012
On 25 and 26 April, the key programmes were:
- Field trip to selected companies
- Official opening ceremony and Panel Discussions.
Scheduled educational tours (field-trip ) were organized to selected institutions and organizations to show how these institutions use ICT in their daily operations. The field-trip was intended to give the girls who were drawn from selected educational units in around Accra, a hands-on feel of how ICT facilitates work. On Wednesday, April 25, 2012, selected girls between the age of 5 –20 years, were taken on tour to different institutions. The girls were drawn from:
-Nima 2 JHS
-Independent Avenue JHS
-Calvary Methodist JHS
-Islamic Education Unit
Thirty (30) girls were drawn from each of the schools above, with 2 teachers each to join the tour.
The girls were delighted and satisfied with the various institutions they visited. The exposure was timely , since most of them did not have much knowledge about career opportunities and field of studies in ICT. According to them, It was a wonderful experience to be chosen out of a many who may not be privileged to have this exposure. They suggested that it should be an annual affair and must involve more schools.
At the Ghana Telecom University College the students were received by the leadership of the school who organized a small programme for the girls.They were given a brief lecture on fields of study and career opportunities in ICT. They were inspired by a young female lecturer who encouraged them to focus on their studies.They had very exciting experience with a teleconference with past students of GTUC in Denmark.
At the Ministry of Defense, the students were exposed to a fleet of air craft, communication gadgets and role of the ICT in executing their duties. The feeling was great since they had an opportunity to board a helicopter to see how the pilot employs ICT to communicate as he flies. This enlightened the girls to know the importance and application of ICT in the military.They were happy to interact with female officers and who inspired them to take key interest in ICT since it has a lot to offer in their choice of a career.
At Joy FM, the students were taken through a general overview of their programmes and how they apply ICT in their transmission and programmes. The students were introduced in a live on-air programme. They were excited to see the presenters who encouraged them to study hard to become better them. Some of them expressed interest in joining the media in the future.
The visit to RLG was incredible as students were taken to their assembling plant where laptops and mobile phones are assembled. This exposure gave the student an opportunity to know and see various ICT hardware, how they are assembled and function. They were given opportunities to ask questions. The students were delighted to see young ladies at the assembling plant who to them were a motivation for them to strive for a higher career opportunity in the ICT sector. The RLG experience also gave them a practical feel of the theories taught in their schools. The students were content with the exposure and suggested similar trips for their colleagues in other regions and districts who were not privileged to take part in the programme.
The student felt very privileged and excited to have visited the various institutions. The experience was beyond their expectations. To many, it was a first time experience. They were inspired to consider careers in ICT. The exposure also boosted their morale to study hard in order to achieve excellence in their quest to become future ICT icons.They also appreciated the women in ICT in the various institutions visited who to them served as role models.They suggested the program should be replicated in all the ten regions to give the same exposure and benefits to all girls as well as broaden the impact.Some also added that, GES should make it compulsory for all schools to organize field trip to ICT institutions.
OFFICIAL CEREMONY –THURSDAY, APRIL 26, 2012
The panel discussions was the key segment in the program of activities earmarked to celebrate the “Girls in ICT” day. The idea was basically to invite outstanding women who have excelled in various fields of ICT to share their experiences and challenges and success at the ceremony. The panellists' presentations revolved around the theme of the event; “Girls in ICT”, but with a focus on their respective area of competence.
Declaration by Hon. Minister, Haruna Iddrissu, who officially launched the Girls in ICT Day in Accra, Ghana
Women can champion our quest to make Ghana an attractive business destination process outsourcing. I am told that there is an empirical shortage of some 2 million IT professionals and I believe that Ghana, training and skills development can deal with that deficit.I had a consultation with my head of bureaucracy and I am happy to announce that [from the] beginning [of] this year, the Government of Ghana through the Ministry of Communication working in collaboration with the Scholarship Secretariat will offer one post graduate and one undergraduate scholarship to a female to go and study ICT either in Ghana or outside Ghana. We therefore, will facilitate it through the Ministry’s Innovation Fund so that we can train more persons to deal with the deficit.
We are constituting the Chairperson (Ms. Eva Lokko) and the members of the high table into a committee –if they have no objection –I can declare the chairperson, (Ms. Eva Lokko) the chair of the group. They will determine their own secretary to work as a committee to promote ICT girls education in Ghana. Their first task will be to produce a documentary that role-models those who have made it in the IT sector who can serve as inspirers. The second should be to develop a manual of literacy skills in IT dedicated to females and accordingly, the NCA will foot all associated bills with this enterprise as their corporate social responsibility in promoting IT education in Ghana. I declare this group inaugurated. My understanding is that this will be a collaboration between the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology.
PARTNERS:Other partners, involved in the planning of the celebration included: The ministry of Education, Women and Children Affairs, Ghana Telecom University and Vodafone
EVENT ORGANIZERS:Infocus PR, a Public Relations, Events Management and Media Relations Firm was mandated to draw a plan for the celebration and execute it.