In an effort to enhance training in the computer and technology field the ICT Directorate at the University of Gondar pledged to educate Gondar’s clever female students. By doing just that, on 23 September, the ICT Directorate in partnership with UoG was able to graduate its first batch of female programmers.
The training program that was coined GCC (Girls Can Code) was initiated by Western universities to support up and coming potential female programmers to delve into the subject. And for the past two months the students, which the ICT Directorate has chosen, trained and focused their attention on the sciences of computers. The 35 female students from grades 9-12 have completed their courses and have now received their certificate of successful completion.
Those who were available to witness the occasion were, amongst others, Dr. Desalegn Mengesha, president of UoG, Prof Afework Kasu, state minister of the Ministry of Science and Technology, Dr. Asrat Atsedeweyn, academic vice president, Dr. Yinges Alemu vice president of Business and Development and the loved ones of the graduates.
The founder of GCC Mr. Esuyawkal Sisay and co-founders Tewodros Abebaw, Berihun Molla, Endalk Zemene, Henok Simengew and Henok Gebeyehu were also in attendance to share in the excitement.
“In the exceptionally good two months of the training,” Mr. Esuyawkal founder of GCC said, “a lot of work was being done to prepare these young girls to become well in-depth in the science of technology.” The organizers of this program, who all work in the ICT Directorate, helped to coordinate the other ICT trainers who had volunteered to share their insights and experience with the female potential.
From the selection process to the creating of modules, these ICT professionals who work for the University of Gondar have been doing heads and heals above other universities in the nation.
Much attention has been given to the fact that these 35 females were concentrating on the sciences only. But, in fact other lessons were also being taught along the way. Every Friday the students had the pleasure to take a life’s skills course that allowed them to understand the experiences of professionals. Throughout the 2-month training 6 role models graced the ICT Directorate to motivate the young girls on what the future holds for them.
The vision of GCC is simple. One of the underlying issues in the country and even more broadly, globally, is the lack of female power. Therefore the ICT Directorate wishes to push young females into the technology field. Therefore the directorate plays the part of a bridge that connects the University of Gondar to the larger community. In essence this allows all of those who are impacted to gain positive benefits that are practical and life changing.
All of the female students enjoyed the advantages of this well thought out program. The training that covered basic computer training, basic networking training, basic website development and basic programming was put to the test on Saturday the 23rd of September.
By being put into 3 groups, the students used what they learned to create something that would be of some use to society.
The 3rd place winners called their system Patient Information System. This clinical and hospital interconnection system allows doctors and patients to meet on a network without the hassle of going to a facility. Group members made it to assist in the hospital workplace so that access to qualified doctors was free and clean of restrictions.
The group who placed 2nd was also innovative in their approach. This group created system called Counseling Solutions. This system helps those citizens who are stressed and depressed. They would essentially be able to contact those doctors who will best help their needs.
Moreover, all of the participants were winners because of their hard work, but the group who took the first place prize were those students who created The Doctors Simplified system. The judges focused on the projects that were creative and practical. By creating a 3rd party platform that allows people to get in contact with sanitary technicians so that infested areas are cleaned the first place winners addressed a serious problem that needs to be attended to. Therefore epidemics, garbage dumps and all unsanitary things would be history because of the smart work of these young girls.
For the passed two months these bright students came together to finish these projects. Now going off to their respective schools for the new school year it is evident that their experience will stay with them for month to come. Following this milestone achievement, continuing next year, UoG will do the same to provide technical training in the art of science and technology.
Therefore in the hopes to train as much bright females scholars as possible, the University of Gondar is setting a path that will benefit the community and society.
Once the projects were presented there was a handing of certificates and laptop computers to a few exceptional students. It is an important thing to motivate our young female youth. Their abilities, as shown from their projects, are proof that they can change the status quo of society and become impactful.
Therefore, the ICT Directorate and UoG cannot wait until it gives the opportunity again to a new batch of students next summer.
Paving a way for success in the sciences for young females is something that is not seen often. But major strides are being taken to tackle inequality. Hence, elevating all people who are overlooked and forgotten is a priority of the ICT team and, more specifically, UoG.
By Samuel Malede| Public and International Relations Directorate