The Deputy Minister, Hon Ama Pomaa Boateng has opened the training of this year's Girls in ICT for SHS on Cyber Security and Data Privacy targeted at 100,000 girls across some regions.
The beneficiary regions are Northern, Bono East, Bono Ahafo, Volta and Oti.
The program is organised by the Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation (MoCD) in collaboration with the Ministry of Education (MoE); Ghana Education Service (GES) and Huawei Technologies, Ghana.
Speaking at the St Mary Girls Vocational Institute, a TVET school in the Northern region, Ms Ama Pomaa Boateng stressed the importance of Information Communication Technology (ICT) and Cyber Security in the day-to-day operations of entrepreneurs as well as building successful businesses online.
She advised the students to take keen interest in acquiring ICT skills to participate in e-commerce and choose their career paths to make them become globally competitive within the digital space.
Hon Ama Pomaa Boateng encouraged the students to expand their entrepreneurship ideas to target potential clients through reputable and secure social media platforms, financial apps and courier services.
Noting that every aspect of daily life as well as their entrepreneurial skills require the constant application of digital technologies to perform tasks and increase productivity in real-time.
She advised the students to pay attention to Ghana's Cyber Security Act and the Data Protection Act to protect the way they act as digital citizens and have good digital habits.
According to the Deputy Minister, the digital space grants women the opportunity to learn and work remotely at their convenience.
She said, “now in the comfort of your home, you can have your courses online and get a degree from any country in the world. Interviews are also now conducted online remotely; one can buy and sell products and services through online platforms irrespective of one’s location,e-health, e-banking & payments(Transfers like momo), online Meetings, and all these are the possibilities of ICT advancement”.
Tamale Girl's Secondary school
At the Tamale Girl's SHS, Mrs Pomaa Boateng reiterated that the internet was a whole new world on its own with the ability to store information online forever and posts on social media could be retrieved at any time anywhere, hence, students must be guided and mindful what contents they post and share online.
According to Deputy Minister, the digital space has many predators hiding behind the internet, therefore students should avoid downloading apps and accepting strangers' requests for friendship online.
The most worrying she mentioned was posting or sending nude pictures and that should be avoided at all cost
She cautioned that inappropriate content posted online could damage a person’s reputation and could affect his/her career in future because employers nowadays investigate a prospective employee’s background checks via their online activities and posts.
She acknowledged the fact that, though the ICT space is male dominated, girls could venture into that space as long as they were prepared to learn.
To address the gender digital gap, the Deputy Minister said the Ministry had implemented the Girls-In-ICT programme with the aim of providing basic ICT skills and to also encourage more girls to take career paths in the ICT as well as encouraging girls and women in the usage securely of it.
The Principal of St Mary's TVET, Tamale, Rev Sister Cynthia Anabire expressed gratitude to the MoCD and partners for the training, adding, " this is timely".
She was full of praise for TVET for the resources provided to enable the students get ICT education. "We are grateful for the Cyber security awareness program for the students. With all these computers provided by TVET, I am hopeful that the cyber security training will help the students stay safe online".
Last year, the Ministry collaborated with the Ministry of Education and Huawei educated 60,000 Senior High School girls from St. Louis, Yaa Asantewaa Girls, Krobo Girls, Adventist Girls, Holy Child, Wesley Girls, Afua Kobi Girls, St Mary’s, St Monica’s, Mamfe Methodist Girls, St Roses and Kumasi Wesley Girls.
Topics that these beneficiaries benefitted from include cyber security and artificial intelligence.
Some beneficiary schools for this year’s training in the seven regions include Our Lady of Mount Camel Senior High School, St Ann's Girls Senior High, Our Lady of Providence Senior High, Notre Dame Girls Senior High, Ola Girls Senior High, Serwaa Kese Girls Senior High, Tamale Girls Senior High, E.P.C Mawuko Girls Senior High, St Catherine Girls Senior High and Kyabobo Girls school among others.