Plan International, an NGO, has called for more girls participation in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) careers to foster a more dynamic technology sector and enhance innovation and productivity.

The Country Director, Plan International, Mr Charles Usie, made the call in Abuja on Friday, at an event to commemorate the 2022 Girls in ICT Day.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event featured debate and quiz competition amongst schools in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The topic of the discussion is tagged “Is Technology a Critical Component of the Education of Students today”?

The selected schools in the debate and quiz competition includes Light of Day School, Kubwa, Capville School, Government Secondary School (GSS) Dutse, GSS Garki, GSS Wuse Zone 3 and Maitama Model School.

Usie, represented by the Communication Advisor of the organisation, Mr Yunus Abdulhamid, said that the competition would spur conversation of girls in ICT.

“Girls in ICT debate competition for young adolescent is to help spur conversation of girls in ICT.

” Data indicates fewer female in ICT and science generally. Also, as you progress, more girls drop out from ICT/Science related courses.

“In today’s world, more women are found in all human endeavours like the pilots, engineers, architects, medical doctors, bankers and many more.

“For us as a country to advance in what we do, we need more participation of girls in ICT in our world today,” he said.

Usie also said that 50 per cent of the country’s population were female, hence the need for the government to pay critical attention on the girl child in the area of technology.

“We can hardly survive in today’s world without technology. In Nigeria, 50 per cent of our population is female and involving them in ICT will help to advance the country’s development.

“Any society who looks down on this group of people will definitely fail. So, we are saying that female must imbibe technology to really grow our country.

“At Plan International, we focus on the adolescent girls. This does not mean the boys are not important, they are because in our programmes for girls, we also carry the boys along,” he said.

The Project Coordinator, Plan International, Mrs Mary Mbukpa, called for monitoring of devices used by children from home.

Mbukpa called on the government to provide digitalised library and put in place a system where the girls don’t have to go to other sites that would not be significant to their learning.

She also encouraged parents to ensure that they guide their children in the use of digital platforms.

“We have had debate and quiz competition towards showing the good about ICT, so it is important for young girls to begin to access ICT and also baring in mind that they need to be safe online.

“Looking at our society, the boys have access to different ICT platforms but we are very conservative in the way we build up our young girls.

“We need to try to control a lot of things they do but we are looking at how girls can use the ICT to better their education,” she said.

One of the students, Jamie David, an SS1 student of GSS, Wuse Zone 3, said there was need for girls to be given the opportunity to be able to have access to ICT.

David said this would be one of the ways to tackle gender inequality in our society.

“We have to evolve as the world is evolving. Technology has helped us in many ways; it all depends on the choice of the technology.

” Parents should look more into what the children does and not buy gadget for children who are not matured to use it,” she said.

Mr John Osigbemhe, a Science Teacher in GSS Garki said that girls around the world were becoming more interested in ICT, hence the need to encouraged Nigeria girls to utilised the power of ICT.

Osigbemhe added that stakeholders should help the children by putting in place restrictions on the use of technology and controlled by parents.

He said that there was a limit to what the school could do to curtail the gadget being used for all manners of social vices in the society.

NAN reports that Capville School clichéd the first position, GSS Wuse Zone 3 came second while GSS Garki and GSS Dutse came third in the debate category.

Also, Maitama Model School clinched top, Light of Day School came second and GSS Dutse came third in the quiz competition.

NAN reports that Plan International in partnership with Tech Her for Women in Technology, an NGO, would offer a six months online programme for ICT mentorship from June to December for best students in the competition.(NAN)

By Editor

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