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Girls celebrated at ICT Day

May 3, 2017, 11:32 AM | Article By: Adam Jobe

The Public Utility and Regulatory Authority (PURA), Girls in ICT and the International Telecommunication Union (ITC) recently celebrated girls at the University of Law Faculty in Kanifing.

The International Girls in ICT Day was an initiative backed by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). Member states in the ITU aim to create a global environment that empowers and encourages girls and women to consider careers in the growing fields of Information Communication Technology (ICT).

Speaking at the ceremony, the Director General of PURA, Ansumana Sanneh, said ICT has become an integral and accepted part of everyday life for many people.

“It is increasing in importance in people’s lives and it is expected that this trend will continue to the extent that ICT literacy will become a functional requirement for people’s work, social and personal lives,” he said.

He said it was a concern to see that not enough schoolgirls are opting to study technology-related disciplines in many countries worldwide.

He underscored the significance of ICT as a motivational factor in students’ learning and said it could support students’ engagement with collaborative learning in specialties.

He continued saying, PURA, as the sector regulator, would do all it could in order to contribute its humble quota in promoting the number of   girls participating in ICT.

Mr Sanneh concluded by expressing sincere gratitude to PURA and MOICI. He expressed his desire that this venture and all its associated programmes would provide the opportunity for bigger and better things to come in the continued collaborative drive as a country to achieve gender parity in development through ICT.

For her part, the CEO, Fatim Badjie, said, there has been an increasing emphasis on girls, information and communications technology in the development sector.

She said government, NGOs and the private sector believe girls should play a big role in resolving poverty and making development gains through the mastery of ICT.

Badjie pointed out that ICT can disrupt gender discrimination barriers and provide feminine perspectives on the issues and discussions on the table.

She added that most professionals in ICT are men and that the content and perspectives portrayed online do not sit well with a woman’s view at times.

“Having a more balanced representation can eliminate many distorted images or stereotypes about women,” she added.

She said the digital age has transformed the way young people communicate, network, seek help, access information and learn, adding that people must recognize that young people are now an online population. She emphasised that access through IT brings a lot of advantages for young people if used in the right way and is supervised by parents or guardians.

Also speaking on the occasion, the Minister of Information Communication and Infrastructure, Demba A. Jawo, heralded the importance of the event to both students and women, adding that students should make the best use of the training.

He expressed gratitude and thanked partners in boosting the ICT sector and for contributing to the national development of The Gambia, especially in the area of ICT.

At the end of the ceremony, the best students were awarded and given prizes. The best two students, one from Nusrat Senior Secondary school and the other from St Peter’s, were each awarded a brand new tablet and a full package scholarship.