The Director of the United Nations Information Centre, Ronald Kayanja, has implored girls and young women to aspire and acquire skills for careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics as these are not exclusive professions for boys.
Kayanja made this observation at the 2023 International Girls in ICT Day, organised by UNIC in collaboration with Women’s Technology Empowerment Centre and Tek Experts, in Abuja on Tuesday.
The Director, in a statement by the UN, copies of which were made available to our correspondent, urged girls to change the narrative that certain professions are for boys.
He said, “You must change the gender-based stereotypes that society has ascribed to certain professions and careers, especially those in STEM.
“You can only do this if you aspire and work hard in your studies and develop a passion for ICT,” the UN Director said.
Kayanja, represented by UNIC National Information Officer, Oluseyi Soremekun, recalled that the UN International Telecommunication Union had estimated a skills shortfall of over two million jobs in the information and communications technology sector within the next five years.
He therefore charged all schoolgirls and young women to acquire ICT skills to be well-placed for a successful career in the sector.
Meanwhile, Country Director of Tek Experts, Gbolahan Olusanya, allayed the fears of the school girls on STEM and ICT, disclosing that his organisation had trained 500 girls who are all doing well in the sector.
He said, “There is nothing to be afraid of in acquiring ICT skills. You can do it. It is not as complicated as you think it is ” he maintained.
The Assistant Director of Bilateral and International Relations at the FCT Secondary Education Board, Mary Ajibola, in her remark, disclosed that the management of SEB was unrelenting in promoting and encouraging girls to pursue their studies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
She thanked the UN Information Centre and its partners for organising the event and extending an invitation to three of the schools in FCT to participate.
Ninety girls from four secondary schools and the W.Tec ‘Make Her Space Girls’ attended the event. The schools were – Model Secondary School, Maitama; Government Secondary School, Garki; Government Secondary School, Wuse and Premiere Academy Lugbe.