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Girls need digital literacy-ICT expert

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By Perpetua Onuegbu

Mrs Mercy Shosanya, an ICT expert has called for imparting of digital literacy and science knowledge on girls for national advancement.

Shosanya, a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) instructor made this call during an interview with the The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Abuja at the end of a five-day STEM training programme for 45 teachers selected across the country.

She said that this would require training science teachers on interesting ways of imparting the students with the knowledge of coding, especially the girls.

She said the plan was to train the teachers to stop seeing the science courses and technology subjects as mere theories and  make their classrooms more practical and interesting.

The ICT expert said that if Africa did not invest in raising   STEM experts, it might never become a developed continent.

“We may forever remain a developing country so it has both political and economic socio implications in our lives.’’

Speaking on her advocacy for girl-child education in STEM, she insisted that there was a wide gap between the two genders when it came to STEM education.

“I live in the North, the girl-child education is nothing to write home about; people are not interested, one of the things you should know is that if you educate a girl you educate a society.

“If you educate a man you educate an individual because the girls are the ones who are responsible for passing down the values to the younger ones who are coming behind.

“So this girl who is not educated and doesn’t know anything about technology and when she gives birth her children are disadvantaged.

“Because she can’t help them to access information, she can’t help them with their home work, when it comes to science, technology, engineering and mathematics, they are no go areas.

“They have been conditioned to believe that science engineering and mathematics is not for girls, which is very sad,’’ she said.

Shosanya also a Senior Lecturer in Federal Polytechnic Bauchi, and Head of Nutrition and Dietetics, said it was the responsibilities of the teachers to ignite a spark in the girls.

The training is organised by Working to Advance STEM Education for African Girls (WAAW), an NGO, established in 2007 by Dr Uloma Okoroafor to train, mentor and inspire secondary girls to explore STEM careers.

Some of the foundation’s programmes to promote STEM education in girls include Robotic and Renewable Energy Summer camps aimed to attract girls to STEM fields at an early age.

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