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NCC: Gender roles a major barrier to girls’ education in ICT

NCC: Gender roles a major barrier to girls’ education in ICT
May 19
16:18 2022

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says gender and societal roles are major barriers to girls getting an education in information and communication technology (ICT).

Tokunbo Oyeleye, deputy director, new media and information security department, NCC, said this on Thursday at a sensitisation programme at Government Science Technical College, Abuja, to mark Girls in ICT Day.

It is celebrated globally on the fourth Thursday of April and the theme for this year is ‘Access and Safety.

Speaking at the programme, Oyeleye said Girls in ICT Day is an initiative of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the global body responsible for setting telecommunications standards.

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She said the day aims to encourage girls to pursue studies and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), particularly ICT.

The director said ITU data shows that girls are falling behind boys in STEM education because of exclusion caused by affordability and a lack of education.

“Hence, there is a need to promote opportunities for girls in STEM and educate them on the benefits they can gain from it,” she said.

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“There is a need to make classes and materials in STEM more inclusive and easily understandable for people with disabilities, especially women.

“Gender and society roles are the major barriers to education in STEM/ICT. These stereotypes increase a sense to girls that they are not capable of pursuing ICT careers and are not supposed to be in it. This can create a toxic learning environment for girls because it is male-dominated.”

Atoyebi Nusirat, matron of the ICT Club in the school, said the sensitisation has opened the eyes of the students to greater opportunities in the ICT sector.

“It has had a lot of impact and the students are enthusiastic about it. We’re happy the NCC has come and we hope this will be the beginning of a beautiful relationship between them and our school,” she said.

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