By Justina Auta
An NGO, Odyssey Educational Foundation in collaboration with the United States Embassy in Nigeria on Saturday equipped underprivileged girls in public schools within the FCT with 21st century technological skills.
The foundation’s Country Director, Stella Denis, said during the 2021 Technovation ceremony in Abuja, that the effort was aimed at promoting Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education and application among young girls.
Denis, who is also a Technovation Regional Ambassador said the project was to target public schools from remote and under-served communities in order to inspire them change the world using technology.
“The essence is to ensure that more girls get into technology track, especially STEM track. The African child is the most marginalised when it comes to STEM training, that is why we started this project,
“Over the years, we have had girls develop mobile apps aimed at tackling community problems ranging from poor education, poverty and hunger, gender inequalities, corruption to climate change, ’’she said.
According to her, project-based competitions like Technovation Girls enables participants to learn how to code, develop products, equipped with team-spirit, research, presentation and public speaking skills amongst others.
She said Nigeria had produced two global winners in 2015 and 2018 on app technology competitions, while 33 from 11 government schools within FCT and two independent teams had shown interest for this season.
Nigeria’s Country Affairs Specialist, US Embassy, Bella-Anne Ndubuisi commended the foundation for its programs towards improving girls participation in STEM, adding that it would support them expand the program to five regions in Nigeria.
“The more we begin early to expose adolescents girls to career opportunities in technology it will spur their interest and inspire them to consider careers in technology,’’ she said.
Also, Ngozi Amanze, National Programme Officer for Education, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Regional Office Abuja, stressed the need to impact STEM education for girls.
Amanze, reiterated the commitment of the organisation towards promoting girl-child education, strengthening and supporting the delivery of good quality Family Life HIV Education (FLHE) that empowers adolescents and young people.
Also, Mrs Nnoli Akpedeye, Chairman, Board of Trustees of Compos Mentis Foundation stressed the need to encourage young girls to delve into science-oriented courses.
Akpedeye, also called on men and other persons to be role models, sponsors and mentors for the girl-child in programs that would encourage her participate in STEM education and application.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 23 public schools in the FCT made various mobile app presentations on themes within the Sustainable development Goals (SDGs). (NAN)