Following gender discrimination that has led to lack of confidence in girls to enjoy the value that information and communications technology (ICT) has to offer, Unites Academy Foundation, a non-governmental organisation has partnered Cisco, a technology solution company, to address the ugly situation among girls.
According to the Foundation, girls are particularly at a disadvantage as they are often not encouraged to take up courses in Science, Technology, Education and Mathematics (STEM) fields, which are hugely male dominated fields. This has therefore created a misconception and stereotype that girls are less wired for technology and ICT careers than their male counterparts.
In order encourage girls to take a career in science and technology related courses, Unites Academy Foundation, last week in Lagos, organised the second edition (south-west regionals) of the National ICT Champions Olympics for girls. The competition, which took place at the Queens College gymnasium, was aimed at providing a platform for the girl child to demonstrate their skills in ICT, inspire girls in Nigeria to embrace ICT and encourage entrepreneurship skills and ICT competency among girls.
Students from Queens College being the host school, FGGC Sagamu, FGC Akure, FSTC Yaba, FGC Ijanikin, FSTC Ikare, FGC Ikirun, FGC Idoani, FGGC Akure, SMAC, FGGC Oyo, FGC Ogbomoso, New Estate Baptist School, FSTC Ijebu Imushin, and eight other schools were in attendance.
While welcoming the female students, the Director/Principal of Queens College, Chief Mrs. Bola Are, said: â€œThe world is now a global village courtesy of ICT and so girls must use ICT to develop their brains, impact their lives positively and add value to society.â€
The Director, Secondary and Basic Education, Ministry of Education, who was represented by the Director/Principal, Kings College Lagos, Mr. A.O.Thomas emphasised the importance of the young womenâ€™s experience from the competition which would be beneficial to them in the future.
The Executive Director of Unites Academy Foundation, Mr. Toyin James Olatayo stated that inspiring and encouraging young girlâ€™s interest in technology would empower them to take their rightful positions as future leaders in a competitive world and position them to become innovative and successful future leaders. He reiterated the determination of Unites Academy Foundation to close the gender digital divide by deciding to establish a network of Internet of Things (IoT) innovation centres in secondary and tertiary institutions.
After three hours session of creativity and applied skills in Computer System Assembling and Troubleshooting, Logo Design, Quiz Competition, ICT Presentation, Internet and Networking Skills, Game Development and Coding, the results of winners were announced.
For the ICT Quiz, FGGC Akure won, while FGC Ijanikin was announced as first runner up, and SMAC as second runner up.
For Computer System Assembling, FGGC Sagamu won, while Queens College was announced as 1st runner up, and FSTC Yaba as 2nd runner up.
For Logo Design competition, Queens College won, while FGC Ijanikin was announced as 1st runner up and FSTC Ijebu Imusin was announced as 2nd Runner up.
For Scratch Programming competition, Queens College came first, FSTC Ijebu Imusin was the first runner up and SMAC was the second runner up.
Medals were presented to winners in various levels of the competition.
Queens College won two gold and one silver medals.
FGGC Akure won one gold medal, FGGC Sagamu won one gold medal, while FGC Ijanikin won two silver medals.
Also, FSTC Ijebu Imusin won one silver medal, and one bronze medal. SMAC won a total of two bronze medals, while FSTC Yaba won one bronze medal.