in order to ensure the sustainability of the one month long training programme, Ondo State Girl Child ICT programme organised for 100 girls picked from 23 secondary schools in Akure, Ondo State, 100 tablets were today distributed by the First Lady of Ondo State, Arabinrin Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu at the graduation ceremony which climaxed with the Closing Ceremony of the programme in Ondo State.
Speaking at the event held at the Public Service Training Institute, Ilara-Mokin, Arabinrin Akeredolu while highlighted the numerous challenges facing the nation and said that individuals and stakeholders who truly desire change must be a part of the change agenda.
The first lady of Ondo State expressed hope that these digitally empowered girls are going to use the knowledge they have acquired to become key players in the global space.
Arabinrin Akeredolu who recalled her growing days in Emeabiam, a remote community in Imo State gave insights to the dream behind the vision.
“I was born when women were not supposed to go to school and all you get is that they prepare you for that graduate husband. That is why all these things you see me do are causes I have been championing and now that God has given me the opportunity, I am running with it. We need to make extra effort to make our young girls understand that they do have the capacity to be more. That is the foundation we are laying now.
Speaking about the synergy in her initiatives she said “We all know that women are the energy managers in homes; women manage the energy for cooking, heating, lighting, they care about reducing electricity bill. The training our girls are getting from Solar4Girls Naija on Renewable Energy and Climate Change will have a ripple effect on our great nation and help in reducing our fossil fuel dependence. We have numerous social problems in our society like poverty, unemployment, lack of basic amenities of life, epileptic power supply among others”.
“I don’t just want to bridge the gender gap; I want these girls to be a part of the solution to our societal problem. Here is the connection. The Solar Girls will fix the panels in their school and the ICT girls will operate the computer. In a few years time, we should have a Digital Academy here in Akure- a virtual classroom. That is how to use skills to solve societal problem.”
The wife of the Governor explained that these initiatives are geared towards solving our social problems. We can sit back, fold our arms and watch as our problem as a nation grows bigger. Or we can choose to do something and that is what we are doing here today. Giving knowledge, opportunity and hope to the future through empowering our young children. We cannot wait for government to do everything for us, these initiatives are citizen drive”, she further stressed.
Arabinrin further acknowledge the place of ICT coupled with Solar Energy Technology as being able to help in the development is virtual classroom all over the nation most especially in the remotest villages one can imagine.
Earlier in his remark, the facilitator from SAO Capital, Temitope Runsewe highlighted all the areas of skills impacted on the girls while also calling for sustainability of the programme.
Temitope Runsewe who stated that the digitally empowered girls will go home with a tablet each reiterated that each of the tablets have been loaded with Jamb Questions, School Curriculum, WAEC syllabus among others in order to encourage them to continue with the training at home.
Mrs. Funke Opeke in her keynote address stressed the need to bridge gender gap in ICT as there is less than 10% gender gap in advanced countries while in Africa, it is over 30%.
Mrs. Opeke used the opportunity to charge young women to pursue career in engineering and sciences as it is quite fulfilling as part of efforts to close the gender gap in the nations’ drive towards development.
The climax of the event was however the distribution of 100 tablets to the 100 girls. Two of the beneficiaries, Ayomiposi Christopher and Bukola Ayodele from St. Dominic’s High School and St. Francis High School, Akure respectively expressed joy at the opportunity given to them to be a partaker while thanking the First Lady for impacting their lives for which they will forever be grateful.