Free Wi-Fi in senior high schools (SHSs), an initiative of the government, will be launched in October this year, the Minister of Communications, Mrs Ursula Owusu Ekuful, has said.
She said the government would also implement an enhanced rural telephony project to provide network access for all under-developed areas in the country where network was poor.
The minister was speaking at the celebration of the 2020 Girls in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Day at Nkwanta in the Oti Region last Monday.
The event, which was on the theme: "Expanding horizons, change attitudes", was organised by the Ministry of Communications.
Prior to the event, 580 girls were selected from eight districts and municipalities in the region to participate in an ICT competition.
The 60 girls who excelled were trained in coding, which offers them the opportunity to explore the world of technology through the creation of websites, computer games, interactive arts, mobile applications and animation stories using programming languages such as JAVA Script, Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS).
Ten girl-child coordinators and 54 teachers were later presented with laptops, citations and routers.
Mrs Owusu Ekuful expressed concern about the lack of trained people, especially girls, to occupy vacancies in the ICT sector, thereby limiting girls’ participation and career development in the industry.
She said males had dominated the information technology disciplines for long, and that it was time to create space for women and girls to also explore their full potential.
She added that it would be impossible to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 if girls and women were left behind in the development agenda, “the same way it will be difficult to eradicate poverty if issues of female inclusion are not addressed”.
According to the minister, ICT had become the fastest growing sector globally, for which reason there was the need to adopt a strategic and systematic approach to encourage more girls and women to take up leadership roles in the industry.
She urged young girls to prove their worth when offered the opportunity by demonstrating that they too were capable of making a difference in the IT industry when given the needed push.
The Director of ICT Services at the University of Cape Coast, Dr Regina Gyampoh-Vidogah, also advised the girls to embrace the initiative by working hard to bridge the gap in technology.
The Oti Regional Minister, Mr Kwasi Owusu Yeboah, lauded the Communications Ministry for the programme and said it offered girls the chance of acquiring the necessary skills and knowledge in ICT to support them on the technology-inclined job market.
The Queenmother of the Adele Traditional Area, Nana Asete Dakoa II, also asked the beneficiaries of the programme to put the skills learnt and the items presented to them to judicious use.