As part of efforts to ensure that the girl child is not left out but rather harnessed to acquire the skill set to face 21st century realities as well as to be gap fillers in the technology and ICT space, so many initiatives and organizations around the world have been set up to encourage, enhance and prepare the girl child. This is all in an effort to bridge the gender gap and push girls to take up their place in the tech world.
Jos is presently housing a couple of these organizations that have really gone a long way in advocating and coming up with effective ways to have more girls in the tech world. One of such is the THE GIRL CODE INITIATIVE. The Girl code initiative over the years has equipped a lot of people with the necessary skills relevant for the future through the use of offline classes, seminars, workshops and partnerships.
According to Mr Olayide, an international education specialist and co founder Girls code initiative, the journey started officially in 2018 with 4-5 girls from westwood park and summer class students from cluster4kidz who were the first to offer them a space to kick start the first training in HTML. It then grew into over 20 participants later that month and subsequently had over 100 online and offline students in both secondary and undergraduate levels. The initiative further grew the process and supported it with their monthly fireside chat.
He said the primary aim of the initiative is to ‘develop and teach every girl child by imparting technology skills through the use of high quality Technology training programs for young girls’. It is their desire that through both their offline and online trainings, every girl someday would have the right skills to put her on the global stage.
Since it’s inception, The girl child initiative success stories steam from the impact they have been able to achieve by working with relevant institutions and people who would champion further what they hope to achieve. The most recent is their partnership with EDequity.Global , a non profit organization based in California with participants spread across 14 countries. At the moment the two partners are working on the next skills challenge after the previous one that had over 167 young people who signed up for the Alexa skills challenge, 5 Nigerians were among the top 3 to get to the final stage.
Of course, the initiative has some challenges that have hindered them from fully achieving a satisfactory outcome and one of which is the lack of adequate circulation of the importance of young girls being allowed in the tech space. Also, there are girls who are not motivated enough to venture into this field and achieve the set goals and objectives, because it has high demands and requires time.
However, the Girl Code Initiative is a bridge and a change agent determined to do more and bridge the gender gap in the tech world starting from Jos to the the far ends of Africa.