Empowering Girls Through Technology: Chitungwiza and Shamva District Girls Benefit

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Empowering Girls Through Technology: Chitungwiza and Shamva District Girls Benefit

In commemoration of the International Day of the Girl Child, The Forum for African Women Educationalists Zimbabwe Chapter and Action Aid Zimbabwe organized a girls and Tech symposium aimed at empowering girls through technology. The event brought together 50 girls from 10 project schools in Shamva and Chitungwiza Districts, Zimbabwe.

The symposium aimed to:

1. Increase awareness and understanding of the importance of digital skills for girls’ empowerment.

2. Enhance digital literacy and skills among participating girls.

3. Increase interest and motivation among girls to pursue careers in technology and innovation.

4. Strengthen networks and mentorship opportunities for girls who have an interest in pursuing tech careers.

5. Raise awareness about the need for digital resources in Shamva and Chitungwiza districts schools

In today’s world, the ability to use computers and other digital technologies is crucial for success in both education and the workforce. However, a 2022 report by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education revealed that only 15% of schools in Zimbabwe have access to computers, with a mere 5% of teachers receiving training on using them. In Shamva, 80% of schools lack digital learning resources, with only 2% having a computer laboratory, and just 1% being functional. Similarly, in Chitungwiza, only 15% of schools have access to a library, and a mere 5% have a functional one, leaving the majority of schools without essential resources for a comprehensive education.

Unique Zimuto, the mentor facilitating the symposium said familiarization with digital media matters for girls’ education as she said,

“Digital media in education increases students’ engagement in education yet with no access to the internet learners will not be ready to take up opportunities in the ever digitally evolving world.”

She also said seeking employment may also be hindered if one lacks basic digital skills,

“Some jobs require one to apply via email and to have basic digital skills such as computer literacy, social media management, software usage, and cyber security. Hence, everyone should have something that she knows about digital”

Unique Zimuto in action at the girls and tech symposium
Unique Zimuto in action at the Girls and Tech Symposium

Learners also shared challenges that are hindering their growth in terms of digital literacy and skills including:

  1. The absence of internet access at their schools
  2. Unavailability of computers at their schools hence they are not familiar with the computer’s functionalities.
  3. Not familiar with software such as Microsoft Office
A learner from one project school sharing their challenges during the symposium

In view of this, the FAWEZI and AAZ girls and tech symposium was a pivotal event that shed light on the pressing need to bridge the digital gender gap in Zimbabwe.

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