Christiana Wehle Awiah, a 14-year-old JHS 2 student of St Paul’s Roman Catholic Junior High in the Tamale Metropolis has been named the winner of the Northern Region Girls-In-ICT competition.
She received a laptop, plaque, certificate of participation and a cash price of 3,000 cedis.
In a short remark, Christiana who expressed excitement for her achievement indicated that she was determined to make her headmistress proud for believing in her.
According to her, though she knew how to play around the computer, “this is my first time of learning how to code. How wonderful I felt knowing I can instruct the computer to create games, animations, stories, and websites”.
The training, she said, gave her the ability to think critically in solving problems step by step.
“Before last week, my desire was to be a lecturer in human languages but with this exposure, I intend to explore the possibility of lecturing in computer languages. Girls-In-ICT has really aligned with my aspirations”, she added.
She thanked the Minister for Communications and Digitalisation, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful for expanding the initiative to reach girls in the Northern Region.
“Thanks to Girls in ICT, my 999 friends and I learnt of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and its related careers. Because you believed in us, I want to promise on behalf of my friends, Hon. Minister, that we have accepted the challenge to take up STEM-related careers. Hon Ursula, we shall surely make you proud”.
She also thanked the Ministry, the Regional Minister, Regional Coordinating Council (RCC), MMDAs, GIFEC, MTN, KACE, Regional and District Education Officers, teachers and parents for their support throughout the program.
In all, 1000 girls were trained in basic ICT skills, coding, website development among others.
Since its introduction, over 500,000 girls and women worldwide have benefitted from this initiative.
The training in coding has given the girls the opportunity to explore the world of technology through the creation of websites, computer games, interactive arts, mobile apps and animation stories, using various programming languages.
As part of strategies to ensure that Ghana achieves the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 and Ghana’s ICT for Accelerated Development policy (ICT4AD) on bridging the gender digital divide, the MoCD, through its agencies –the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC), National Communications Authority (NCA) and the Kofi Annan ICT Centre of Excellence, has expanded the reach of the GIICT event.
As part of the training programme, the girls are introduced to scratch and basic structures of programming applications, after which they participate in a competition.
This competition is expected to test the depth of knowledge and ICT skills acquired during the training period, including website design, development of games, coding and simple ICT applications.
Interestingly, over 60 per cent of the girls trained had no prior knowledge or experience in the use of computers.
This, therefore, buttresses the determination by the sector ministry to expand the programme to reach more girls with adequate funding and resources from benevolent individuals and organisations.