In commemoration of the International Women’s Day, GoDo Hub launched Techamaka, which aims at driving tech inclusion and adoption for girls through structured programmes, mentoring and provision of internet-enabled devices.
Techamaka, a women@GoDo initiative (meaning ‘Tech is great’) is a female-focused programme that provides software and hardware training, coding camps as well as career counselling and mentorship to girls aged eight to 18 years.
Our teaching curriculum is offered through a combination of online and in-person sessions to support the building of a community among the participants.
The Techamaka team, resilient in its effort to bridge the existing gender Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics gap in Nigeria, launched its first set of tech training events by visiting schools in Lagos State, Nigeria. The programme targeted to train girls in scratch, basic coding and web development by partnering with G20 #eskills4girls.
The first group of 300 girls to participate in this training programme were the students of Crowns and Jewels School, Ikorodu; STC Academy, Surulere; and Holy Child College, Ikoyi.
The programme, which succeeded in arousing the interest of these young girls in STEM careers, was not only productive but impactful.
Miss Greatness Olatunbi, a 10-year-old Basic 4 pupil of Crowns and Jewels College, who emerged as one of the best participants, said, “I would love to create more games using scratch. I enjoyed using a system by myself. Our trainers were friendly and willing to answer all our questions.”
Also, Miss Samiat Olajumoke of STC Academy, Surulere, said, “I have seen a lot of applications and websites and I didn’t know how they were developed. They look more like photos that are just pasted on the screen with write-ups.
“At the beginning of the training, Mr Adeniyi Temidayo opened a website and showed us its source code. The code was confusing, as it seemed to us, and was gradually making sense as the training continued.”
She noted that the trainers were patiently willing to take the students through the process and answer their amateur questions.
“I am glad that I had this opportunity, and I would love this team to visit us for more training. Now I know how apps and websitea are developed, and I can explain to my friends what a source code is. Most importantly, I can boast to my friends that I, Samiat Olajumoke, can code,” she added.
Daniella Mogaha from Holy Child College revealed that although she had been attending basic coding classes, the Techamaka training has helped to brush up her knowledge in coding to a great extent.
“One of the unique things about the training is that the instructors (#eSkills4girls and Techamaka team) were patient enough to take us through the class. They broke down their definitions of terms and were willing to answer all our questions. I would like to challenge as well as motivate my fellow girls to start participating in tech training and pursue a career in tech.
“The world is daily getting more digitised and girls shouldn’t be left behind at any level. If you, as a girl, have ever tried a tech career and it seemed difficult, I urge you to be patient enough to give it a try again. This will enable us to be carried along in the activities that go on in the tech ecosystem.”
The Techamaka team, having reached this milestone, will not rest on its laurels until its target of helping 1,000 girls acquire digital skills is met.
The Executive Director, GoDo Hub, Grace Oluchi, said, “Having organised three different workshops in different communities, the disparity between communities with access to simple resources like Information and Communications Technology centres and home-owned laptops as well as those without is enormous.
“For us to ensure we close already existing classist gap, more work had to be done in reaching under-served communities.”
Granted, it may be harder and costlier to reach girls in these communities, since many have little or no access to the facilities and infrastructure, yet their insatiable appetite and interest in learning are evidence that these short workshops have a tremendous impact on them.
Funding is vital to sustainably run coding/computer programming workshops for the girls. Therefore, Techamaka is open to donations, partnerships and mutually benefiting collaborations from organisations, corporates, government agencies, institutions, hubs, individuals, and e-learning platforms, among others.
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