Ms Monica Ankrah, Regional Director of Education says despite the availability of the wide variety of technological gadgets, girls are less likely than boys to use or own these devices as well as gain tech related skills and jobs.
She said, “It is only by addressing the inequality and ensuring the inclusion of girls in the acquisition of knowledge in Science and ICT, that we can usher in the digital revolution, for all and with all.
Ms Ankrah, speaking at an event to commemorate the International Day of the Girl Child, said there was the need to encourage more girls in this era of technology.
On December 19, 2011, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution 66/170 to declare October 11th as The International Day of the Girls, to recognize the girl child and their unique challenges.
The International Day of The Girl Child was first observed by the United Nations on the 11th of October 2012, after the Beijing Declaration in 1995 at the World Conference on Women in Beijing, where they declared advocacy for women and girls’ rights now.
The event organised by the Korle Klottey Municipal Education Directorate and supported by the MTN Ghana Foundation was on the theme: “Digital Generation, Our Generation.”
She said technology had been used to keep economies moving despite the presence of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has slowed down many businesses and economies.
“COVID-19 has really pushed society to depend on or make maximum use of technology,” she said.
Ms Ankrah said people were now working from their homes, students learning and writing their examinations online, shopping done more online now as well as families, friends and loved ones staying connected just to mention a few.
She, however, said it could also impact negatively on the society, including students getting addicted to negative content on the internet, distracting students from their studies, rampant perpetuation of fraud and scams, negatively indoctrination of the youth through foreign cultures that might endanger our moral standards.
The Regional Director said to overcome these negative effects of technology, which the digital generation were likely to face, “we must use technology in the right direction and to discipline ourselves as students and youth to use technology for productive purposes like research and avoid spending so much time on the internet at their expense of their studies.”
She called on teachers, parents, and guardians to guide the students to use technology productively because, whether it was agreed or not, this was the generation they find themselves in.
Ms Ankrah said girls understood their digital realities and the solutions they needed to pave ways to freedom of expression, joy, and break boundaries of exclusion.
She encouraged girls to take up courses in technology in their advanced studies at places like the Ghana-Indian Kofi-Annan Center in ICT.
“We are all at risk if this generation does not put technology to good use and we those born before the era of computers should make every effort to be in tune with the generation we find ourselves in now,” she added.
Oheneyere Gifty Anti, Gender Advocate, urged the girls to take their education seriously, since education was important in the betterment of oneself.
She called on them to take advantage of the digital space to enrich their daily lives and advised them to be careful of what they post on the internet.
“To make your goals or dreams possible, you can use the digital platforms to promote your interest,” the Gender Advocate said.
Mrs Joyce Osae-Apenteng, the Director of the Korle Klottey Municipal Education Directorate, said the directorate placed importance on programmes and activities to empower the young generations of which girls were not exempted.
She said through the Girl-Child unit at the directorate, young girls within the Korle Klottey Municipality were empowered through a series of activities aimed at unearthing the unique potentials and talents in them.
Mr Ebenezer Terkpeh, Education Portfolio Advisor at MTN, said MTN was committed to the development of the girl child by supporting various activities, including instituting scholarship schemes.
He said MTN was trying very hard to promote safe internet use among young people and girls were not excluded.
“We will continue to champion and promote girl child education and we want girls to take advantage of the digital space to improve their lives,” he said.