Abuja: NGO launches tech programme for schoolgirls – Punch Newspapers

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TechHer, in collaboration with Plan International Nigeria, has launched a six-month tech skill mentorship programme for secondary school students in Abuja. The programme, which flagged off in July 2022, will be completed in December 2022, and continues work overseen by both organisations to encourage the advancement of girls and women in non-traditional fields, including Science, Technology and Engineering.
In a statement on Tuesday, the TechHer’s Executive Director, Chioma Agwuegbo, spoke on the partnership as one which represented a mutual vision for providing women and girls with access to skills & opportunities for personal development and economic growth.
The group noted that initiative aimed to foster interest and lay a foundation for girls to thrive in STEM, particularly to prepare them for potential opportunities in tech at an early stage.
“Tech continues to revolutionise human activities, and the COVID19 pandemic provided a stark reminder that digital literacy, penetration and adoption are critical for societies to advance. Unfortunately, inequalities remain, and women and girls have yet to benefit from or equitably integrate into the opportunities tech provides.
“Amongst Nigeria’s 18.5 million out-of-school children – the highest in the world, 60% are girls. These are problematic figures, especially as the number has risen exponentially instead of decreasing.
“The gap in this area continues to widen, and we must deliberately close it by supporting more girls and women to grow their their Information and Communication Technology skills and be prepared for the job market.
“This partnership with Plan International Nigeria presents an excellent opportunity to remedy the educational gap amongst Nigeria’s teeming youth population, especially amongst women and girls whom we must equip with digital skills to thrive with their global counterparts.

“We’re grateful for Plan International, with whom we share a long history of providing pathways for more young Nigerians to access tech skills, compete globally and contribute to national development,” she said.

The Country Director, Plan International Nigeria, Mr Charles Usie, spoke on reducing gender inequalities in the ICT to improve women’s economic fortunes in Nigerian society.
“We are pleased to partner with TechHer on the Digistar Tech Mentorship Programme for adolescent girls in Abuja. Through our innovative and gender programming, we remain committed to supporting 10 million girls in Nigeria to learn, lead, decide and thrive.
“Despite advances in the world today to ensure gender parity, women, especially adolescent girls, remain largely unsupported and their unique needs un-catered for, especially in technology. Women are not typical features in the world of tech.
“We, at Plan International, want a change. We believe governments at all levels, stakeholders and development partners can make this happen if it is prioritised through support to girls from their early years.
“A balanced world is a fair world. Let’s support women in the ICT,” he emphasised.

Students selected to participate in the mentorship programme are winners of a quiz competition organised by TechHer and Plan International to commemorate the 2022 International Day of Girls in the ICT.
This was said to be TechHer’s digital literacy efforts for secondary schools in Nigeria. Upon the completion of the programme in December, certificates would be awarded to the participants.
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