A total of 100 girls, who emerged top performers in the examinations for the beneficiaries of the Girls-in-ICT programme in the Savannah Region, have each been given a laptop, and a certificate as prizes.
Three of them; Mohammed Rahimmah, aged 11, from North East Gonja District, was adjudged the overall winner after recording a score of 92, while Alfreda Frimpong, aged 12, from Sawla-Tuna-Kalba District, and Salu Saratu Alele, aged 11, from the Sawla-Tuna-Kalba District took the second and third positions after scoring 90 and 89 respectively during the examinations.
Besides the laptops and certificates, the overall winner also received a cash prize of GHc3,000 while the second and third place winners took home GHc2,500 and GHc2,000 respectively.
There were also awards for Girl Education Officers, Best Teachers from the Districts in the region, and the Minister’s Special Award.
Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, Minister for Communications and Digitalisation, speaking during the climax of the Girls-in-ICT programme in Damongo on Tuesday to present the prizes to the winners, said the initiative would leave its mark in the minds of the people of the region, and its fruits would be felt for a long time.
The Girls-in-ICT programme was held in the region from April 25 to May 09, where a total of 1,000 girls, drawn from basic schools in all the seven districts in the region, were trained on basic ICT skills to help them explore digital technologies.
This year’s event, which was on the theme: “Digital Skills for Life “, was organised by the Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation, and sponsored by MTN, German Development Cooperation, Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT, GIFEC, ATC and KODRIS AFRICA.
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful said the training offered the beneficiaries would enable them to participate in the digital economy adding the speedy adoption of technology was the surest way for the country to catch up with the developed world.
She said the government was working to build 2,016 Rural Telephony Networks in un-served and underserved communities to ensure residents’ access to high-speed voice and data services to improve their business operations as well as enable the schoolchildren such as those trained on ICT skills to continue to explore digital technologies.
She encouraged girls to embrace ICT, explore opportunities in ICT and pursue Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics courses adding computer laboratories would be built in some of the schools in the region to facilitate it.
She advised parents to guide and support the girls to excel in the ICT field while urging the girls to continue to practise what they learnt during the Girls-in-ICT programme training sessions to improve their knowledge.
Madam Gifty Twum Ampofo, Deputy Minister for Education lauded the effort to ensure voice and data connectivity in underserved communities saying this would make learning easy in the communities.
She advised the girls to make good use of digital technologies to uplift themselves.
Madam Lariba Zuweira Abudu, Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection lauded the initiative saying it complemented the efforts of her Ministry to ensure that girls remained in school.
Madam Abudu told the girls that the world was full of opportunities advising them to explore with care.
Mr Saeed Muhazu Jibril, Savannah Regional Minister encouraged the girls to continue to explore ICT tools to excel in their various activities.
Mohammed Rahimmah, the overall winner of the examinations, described her feat as a life-changing experience saying the first time she used a laptop was when she joined the training under the Girls-in-ICT programme.
She expressed gratitude to the Minister for Communications and Digitalisation for organising the initiative, and thanked the teachers for the effective way they delivered the lessons to them.