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Akirachix graduates 18 girls in ICT

SCI & TECH
By - | May 5th 2013
By - | May 5th 2013
SCI & TECH

By Standard Digital Reporter

NAIROBI, KENYA: Eighteen girls were feted following completion of a year-long training that sought to bridge ICT skills gap for high school graduates on Saturday.

 Drawn from the city’s Mukuru and Kibera slums; the girls were trained programming, Computer literacy, Enterprise skills and graphic design.

“Currently, our country is basking in recognition and appreciation of a robust technology scene, but we only have a handful of women making an impact in this field” said Linda Kamau –Akirachix Training Project Lead.

This is part of effort to encourage girl child to take ICT courses in colleges and universities, the  number of schoolgirls opting to study technology-related disciplines  was noted to be on the decline in most countries including Kenya,” she said.

“We were drawn to these girls from the moving stories we captured during our mobile computer classes in the slums. We discovered that most if not all would end their education just after form four since their parents couldn’t afford to support them to the next stage.”

Akirachix- an all-girl group in ICT has been training at least 20 girls annually from Nairobi slums since 2010, in what was a mobile computer literacy class in Dandora then, growing into a formal class in 2011 after admitting 30 girls from Kawangware, Deep sea, Mukuru and Kibera.

This year’s programme started in March 2012 after a rigorous interview process to select the 20 beneficiaries of the free programme based on all rounded curriculum.

Classes are held daily and the girls receive mentorship and personal support in addition to ICT skilling in order for them to get the most out of the training.

“Teaching the girl’s about computers and building their appreciation of science is one thing, but we cannot achieve much when they have to withdraw from class to attend to personal issues. We therefore ensure that we facilitate school attendance with things like bus fare so that they don’t miss class and personal effects for proper hygiene “added Linda  

In the next year, Akirachix looks at enriching the curricula to include financial literacy and psychosocial support in addition to seeking collaborative input of stakeholders such as the KNEC in recognition of the training.


 

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