The Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation (MOCD) has commenced the Training of Trainers (ToT) component of Girls in ICT (GIICT) flagship project for 100 Teachers in the Savannah Region.
The ToT is a critical activity that contributes to the sustainance of the knowledge acquired and availability of the knowledge in all schools that the teachers belong.
The training which began on the 11th of April and scheduled to end on 15th April 2023, is to equip the teachers with digital skills to enable them to train 1000 selected Girls from 7 (Seven ) districts. Training will be held in 50 Centers across the region.
The programme is being organised by the Ministry and its implementing agencies such as Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT ( KACE), Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC), as well as other partners including GIZ, ATC and MTN.
The Minister for Communications and Digitalisation, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful in a speech read on her behalf by the Head of Policy, Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (PPME), Mr. Emmanuel Ofori, said though the ICT was part of schools curriculum, it was important to include new skills that will be acquired in the days ahead since it would further enhance the teaching ability of the teachers for the benefit of the 1000 Girls to be trained and its ripple effect on other girls who could not be selected.
The Minister said the initiative was established with the goal of addressing the challenge faced by the girl child because statistics available has shown that the ICT sector has been heavily dominated by males for decades.
She observed that it was for that reason that the Ministry introduced the programme to bridge the digital gender divide and help achieve goal 4 (Quality Education) and 5 (Gender Quality) of the United Nations Sustainable Goals (SDG) and also to whip the interest of the girls to take studies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) which is perceived to be the reserve of their male counterpart.
Touching on the purpose of the theme selected for this year, “Digital Skills for Life”, she said it is apt because the 4th Industrial Revolution was currently ongoing and any nation that decides not to participate will be left behind.
She indicated that Ghana intends to be at the forefront of this phase of human history and most critical resource in this age was trainable and well-trained people to be able to compete in the digital world.
“Everyone will be impacted especially our girls and therefore we are taking steps to address the gaps. As it is often said ‘ Little drops of water makes a mighty ocean’. We might not have the resources at once to impact everyone but with the pace we are going and the regional rotation, we are sure most girls will have the opportunity to be impacted by the Girls-In-ICT initiative.”
She said that the success of the initiative was the fulcrum of the collaboration between the Ministry and the Regional Coordinating Council, and that “We are a team in the implementation of this project in the Savannah Region. The Girls-In-ICT train has always left a big impact in every Region it passes and we are more than convinced that we will leave our mark here.”
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful noted, that, Ghana was gradually migrating from the informal economy to a digital one and as such the Ministry was currently putting together a digital economy policy with a key policy pillar of Digital Skills.
“This will ensure that the required environment is created to promote participation of the citizenry. To this end, it has even become more crucial to train more girls with digitals skills to equip them to be capable of fully participating in the fast-growing digital economy”, she added.
The Regional Minister for Savannah Regional, Hon. Saeed Muhazu Jibril in his welcome address, extended his compliments to the Ministry and it’s partners for bringing the Girls in ICT iniative to his region since it would help bridge the gender digital devide.
According to him, the Savannah Region was far behind in many ways and especially in areas of technology and digital literacy, hence, the programme had come at right time, added that, he together with colleagues Members of Parliament were to provide all the needed support to make the project sustainable.
He urged the teachers to take the training with seriousness and impact their knowledge in order to help them transfer the skills learned to the girls, this he said would make the region proud when it comes to using digital services and among others.
In his remarks, the Deputy Regional Education Director for the Savannah Region, Mr. Iddisah Seidu noted that the objective of the project was in line with the Ministry of Education and as such it was important the to work collaboratively to achieve the goal of gender inclusion in education.
Mr. Seidu added, as everyone was moving towards technology, it was important that teachers build their capacities in digital skills.