The ministry had launched the Digital Girls ICT clubs in I2 Federal Government girls schools across the six geopolitical zones.
The Minister of Communications Technology, Omobolaji Johnson, said on Thursday that 16 per cent fewer women than men use the internet.
Ms. Johnson made this known at the launch of the Digital Girls ICT clubs at the Federal Government Girls College, Bwari.
She said that in a bid to improve this ration, the ministry had identified 1,000 girls to be empowered through the Digital Girls Information Communication Technology (ICT) Clubs.
The minister said that global reports and statistics revealed that women and girls were grossly under-represented in the field of ICT.
She noted that statistics also revealed that men dominate the ICT industry.
“According to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) in developing countries, 16 per cent fewer women than men use the Internet, compared with only two per cent fewer women than men in the developed world.
She said that the ministry had launched the Digital Girls ICT clubs in I2 Federal Government girls schools across the six geopolitical zones.
According to her, 28 club managers (teachers) chosen from federal schools across the country would be trained to promote the initiative.
She added that in recognition of the power and transformative potential of the ICT for development, the ministry was working hard to ensure that Nigeria leveraged on the power of ICT to transit to a knowledge-based economy.
She called on Nigerian girls to take advantage of the initiative as this would contribute to the economic growth and empowerment of Nigeria in the future.
Also speaking, Henry Akpan, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, said the initiative was to encourage Nigerian girls to develop a career in ICT.
He added that the ministry was working in partnership with the Ministry of Finance to actualise the project.
Mr. Akpan, who was represented by Oluwole Edun, the Director of Planning, Research and Statistics in the ministry, said the project was championed by the ITU. He called on other corporate organisations to collaborate with the ministry to ensure its sustainability.
“Through the clubs, workshops will be carried out in schools from time to time which will go a long way to make girls digitally effective,” he said.
In her remark, Anna Bamaiyi, the Principal, said that ICT education was part of the school’s efforts to teach valuable knowledge and skills required in the use computers as well as encourage the development of knowledge for software application.
She said that the school had taken steps to integrate ICT into the day to day administration of the college and even use SMS to send the result of students to the parents before giving the hard copies to the students.
Ms. Bamaiyi expressed her gratitude that her school was chosen as one of the pilot schools for the initiative.
She appealed to the minister to help expand wireless coverage as well as increase the bandwidth available to the school for enhanced teaching and learning.
“All our laboratories are equipped with electronic starboards for enhanced teaching and learning.
“The starboard can be more effectively utilised, if the wireless coverage is expanded and the bandwidth increased,’’ she said.
She, however, called on teachers in the school to continue their symbiotic relationship with the ICT platform to further improve on Internet compliance.
Zainab Maina, the Minister of Women Affairs, observed that the Internet had transformed the lives of people by helping them to actualise their new skills in various endeavours.
Represented by Nkechi Onwukwe, she stressed the need to achieve long-term sustainability in girl-woman ICT appreciation.
She urged the girls should avail themselves of the opportunity presented to them by the ministry.
Nyeson Wike, the Minister of Education, expressed the ministry’s commitment to support ICT through the provision of e-library in all federal colleges.
He said that the ministry would also give the needed support to students in the FCT to be able to compete with their peers in other states.
“The ministry appreciates the gesture of the Federal Ministry of Communications Technology to empowering Nigerian girls in ICT careers,’’ he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that of the world’s 2.8 billion Internet users, only 1.3 billion are women.
The Digital Girls Club is a continuation of the Smart Woman Initiative launched in Lagos by the ministry.
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