By Joyce Kantam Kolamong
Eleven-year-old basic six pupil of T.I. Ahmadiya Islamic School at Kpalbusi in the North East Gonja District of the Savannah Region, Mohammed Rahimmah, has won the best ICT girl in the region.
She beat 999 girls to take the enviable position in the Ministry of Communications and Digitalization’s Girls in ICT program by scoring 92 out of 100 in an assessment test.
Rahimmah Mohammed is one of 1,000 girls selected from primary and JHS in all seven districts in the Savannah Region to participate in the training program. She took home a check of 3000 Ghana cedis, a plaque, a certificate, a laptop, and other souvenirs.
About 1000 girls from seven districts in the Savannah region received training in information, Communication and Technology. The two-week intensive training was organized by the Ministry of Communications and Digitalization under its Girls in ICT Programme.
The training, which began on April 25 this year, equipped the girls with basic computing, E-safety, coding, web design, development of games, and animation. The aim is to provide them with the needed basic ICT skills and to boost their confidence to take career paths in ICT.
100 girls out of the 1,000 girls who took part in the training, were awarded laptops each and certificate of participation. Saratu Salu and Alfreda Frimponmaa both from Sawla- Tuna-Kalba district emerged 3rd and 2nd positions. They took home a check of 2000 and 2,500 Ghana cedis, a laptop, a plaque, and a certificate.
The first three best also won fully furnished computer laboratories for their schools. The winner, Rahimmah Mohammed expressed gratitude to the sector minister for the life-changing opportunity given to her and the girls.
According to her, most of the girls, including herself, have never touched or used a computer before; therefore, the Girl In ICT program came at an opportune time. On behalf of her colleagues, she promised to learn hard to enable them to pursue STEM-related courses in the future.
The Minister of Communication and Digitalization, Mrs. Ursula Owusu Ekuful, said the Girls-In-ICT program is aimed at demystifying ICT for all and that it is not the preserve of men. She said COVID-19 had come to expose the gap in ICT and it taught the nation how important ICT is.
She indicated that with the right tools and systems in place to provide access and connectivity, life will continue without interruption in the midst of challenges. She said digital tools have taken on a crucial role and young girls cannot be left out, and for this, the government is developing a digital economy policy with one of its key pillars being digital skills.
The minister stressed that it is, therefore, crucial to train girls in ICT and equip them with digital skills to stand the test of time in the fast-emerging digital space.
A Deputy Minister of Education, Madam Gifty Twum, said ICT is a tool for whatever one wants to do in life and advised parents to make their mobile phones safe and accessible for their children to use.
Solidarity messages from Various dignitaries all echoed the need for the government and stakeholders to prioritize ICT for girls. The Girls In ICT program in the Savannah region is the first to be held this year. It was supported by MTN, Kofi Annan Center of Excellence, GIFEC, GIZ, ATC and Kodris Africa.
Northern region is next to host the Girls-In-ICT training.