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19.06.2015 Social News

Penplusbytes train more girls in ICT

By GNA
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Accra, June 18, GNA - Penplusbytes on Thursday signed memoranda of understanding with two institutions, paving the way for the training of more than 200 girls in ICT in selected vocational and basic schools in Accra.

The South Labone Girls Vocational Training Centre and the Junior Girls Correctional Centre and the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEMBee), a non-profit organisation, entered into the agreement to provide skills in ICT for target groups.

Under the agreement, girls at both centres would attend the training in batches of 20 three times a week.

Mr Kwami Ahiabenu II, Director of Penplusbytes, explained that the training is a component of a year-long Gender and ICT project by the Institute to empower young women and heighten the interest of girls in science and technology.

He said there is the need to involve girls and women in ICT development to ensure that they are not left behind as technology advances.

He said girls need to be encouraged to use new media tools to research and expand their learning and creative abilities as future fashion designers and caterers, among other fields of endeavours.

Ms Dela Sowah, Deputy Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, said women and children are a large percentage of the vulnerable and the Ministry would support any initiative to empower them.

She said technology is a very vital information and communication tool for development, while the rapid development in most developed countries could be traced to lCT.

'However, there is a gender divide, with women and girls using less lCTs than men and boys. This Gender-based ICT project put together by Penplusbytes will contribute to redressing the divide and empower women and girls to leverage on ICT and its many benefits'.

She said training of girls in the correctional centres and vocational schools would also help to rehabilitate inmates and train students in skills development.

The knowledge in lCT could be applied to the vocation learnt, which would empower them and enable them live dignified lives, she said.

Ms Charity Binka, Board Member of Penplusbytes, said the gender divide in the use of ICT could be bridged if girls are exposed to it at an early stage enabling them to develop an interest in it and building a career in the field to enhance their lives.

Ms Linda Ansong, President of StemBees said her organisation is a non-profit body founded to respond to the tremendous gender gap prevalent in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

She said STEMBee also seeks to encourage and mentor young African women to pursue their dreams and careers in STEM to become innovators of technology and not just consumers.

Ms Dorothy Gordon, Director General of Kofi Annan ICT Centre of Excellence, urged females to get interested in ICT to bridge the gap between them and their male counterparts.

Ms Georgina Mensah, Centre Manageress of both the South Labone Vocational Training Centre and the Junior Girls Correctional Centre all under the Department of Social Development, said girls in vocational centres need ICT training to enable 'the girls go online to find ways of cutting sophisticated designs and apply them to their work'.

GNA

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