World Education commends government for narrowing gender digitisation gap

Accra Oct 12 GNA - Mrs Susan Adu-Aryee, the Country Director, World Education Inc. has commended government for working to improve Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education for girls in the country.

Such targeted investments, she said would empower and facilitate opportunities for girls' to safely and meaningfully access, use, lead and design technology.

The Country Director said this on Monday to celebrate the International Day of the Girl Child in Aburi in the Eastern region on the theme "Digital Generation-Our Generation".

The day is used to raise awareness of issues facing girls Internationally such as in education, nutrition, forced child marriage, legal rights, among others.

The event was organised by the Girls Education Network, in collaboration with the Ghana Education Service and funded by World Education.

Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, the Minister of Education announced that government had allocated land for the construction of girls' STEM Senior High School in Kpone Katamanso, Accra to be affiliated with the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS).

The 12.6-acre land will also be used for the construction of a world-class campus for AIMS to nurture Ghana and Africa's talented female students from SHS to tertiary in STEM-related fields of study.

The project, the Minister said, was part of the 11-model state-of-the art STEM SHS being built across the country. They will be equipped with 12 laboratories and a STEM pathway will also be established in some existing SHS.

Mrs Adu-Aryee said the theme for the International day of the girl, critically addressed the 21st century learning and skill needs of young girls and women, especially those in key subgroups who could hardly access digital knowledge and technology due to societal barriers, norms and other challenges.

She called on all other Ministries, Departments and Agencies, institutions both private and public and NGOs to invest in interventions that provide access to devices, connectivity, skills and safety in order to close the digital gender divide.

That, she stated would open up pathways for all girls and women, for generations, to live their full potential.

Mrs Adu-Aryee said she desired to see more girls and women demystifying the notion that boys or men were more technologically inclined.

" We should begin to be more curious about digital literacy, invest more in devices and applications that will boost sales in business, support us to delve more into research and education", she said.

Studies conducted by the UN highlighted the gender digital divide in connectivity, the use of devices, skills and jobs.

An assessment study by the FCDO Supported Programme Strategic Approaches to Girls Education (STAGE) revealed that many of the girls in hard to reach areas in seven regions were in no position to own mobile phones.

Some of those who owned phones were not aware they could maximise the use of the devices for business or receive relevant information on reproductive health.

She said if every government or institution intentionally empowered girls and women in the digital world of today, there would be highly successful workers, entrepreneurs, inventors as women.

Mr Mustapha Haruna Appiah, the Municipal Director of Education, Akwapim South said government was ready to support girl child education initiatives in every step of the way to ensure their future development.

He encouraged the girls to make the most use of their time in school and in the communities and take advantage of the service and opportunities available to achieve their full potential.