9 girl schools in various counties across the country have received computers through a donation by Intel’s She Will Connect program that seeks to boost the use of ICT among girls and women and hopefully contribute to the increase of the number of women in the technology industry and promote a self-employment culture among students.
Through the program, Intel Corporation has donated 30 computers worth KSh1.5 Million to the selected girl schools as part of its efforts to improve ICT clubs in girl schools where teachers have undergone training and have been equipped with the skills needed to run the clubs.
The donation was announced at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) as part of the International Women’s Day celebrations where the chips maker was host to over 100 girls from various high schools, in an ICT fair that saw the girls present their innovation ideas and get vetted by a three judge panel.
Interacting with some of the students to know more about their innovations, I must say I was impressed at what the young ladies had come up with. From a mobile application that lets you as a user discover ways of using the Ankara fabric to promote the African culture, to a solution that is designed to connect neighbours as part of the Nyumba Kumi initiative and works like the already operational Ujirani App.
After showcasing their projects to the judges, the girls were then given an opportunity to display their solutions on stage to everyone in attendance, including Manu Chandaria the patron of Global Peace Foundation and his wife, Jacqueline Mugo, the Executive Director of Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE) and the Secretary General of Business Africa as well as Julius Juan the Executive Director at KICD.
Global Peace Foundation has been working to empower high school students with entrepreneurial skills by providing them with a platform to innovate and put their creativity into use and in the long run become job creators instead of Job seekers, through an initiative dubbed Leap Hubs that seeks to promote ICT use in schools
The ICT fair at KICD saw winners of the competition take with them tablets and laptops for their respective schools, with an application dubbed ‘Spice up my Science’ that is designed to promote reading in Science and Mathematics by making it fun taking the number one position.
Second place went to Chania Girls for a Tourism App that aims to connect tourists to the best sites in Kenya by giving a brief description on what to expect from the sites and times on when to visit, accommodation places as well as a section to communicate the different cultures of the Kenyan people.
Third place was then taken by Mom App, a solution by Embakasi girls that aims to connect pregnant women to nearest hospitals and available doctors, educate men on how to take care of their babies by providing baby care information as well as any other information regarding being a mom.
The three solutions were lucky enough to be awarded Lenovo laptops after judges selected them out of a pool of nine, by considering various metrics such as the UI interface, general usability of the app, functionality, responsiveness as well as the amount of work put in coming up with the applications and the obvious use of the solution in solving real world problems.
“Intel initiated the ICT clubs to inspire girls to pursue studies and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics),” said Mark Matunga, Intel’s head of Corporate Affairs. “The program emphasizes problem-solving in real world issues because educating girls and also showing them how technology can help resolve these issues, has an important multiplier effect—expanding opportunities for families, communities and the nation.”
With the internet gender gap in Sub-Saharan Africa standing at 43 per cent, Intel hopes that the initiative that is part of the She Will Connect program will help contribute to reducing the gap across the globe, through the combination of digital literacy training, an online peer network and gender-relevant content.
Speaking at the event as the chief guest, Jacqueline Mugo said, “It is the duty of everyone, women and men alike to ensure there is an equal opportunity for girls in the STEM space. We need more girls in this industry.