How to make STEM education attractive to young girls, by experts
Experts in the sector have identified access to digital tools and resources as key drivers to facilitate and encourage young girls to take more interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)-related fields.
This was the summary of the conversations during the monthly edition of EdTech Mondays, an initiative of Mastercard Foundation in partnership with Co-Creation Hub.
The virtual roundtable moderated by Joyce Daniel, a social engineering practitioner, featured experts in the education and technology space, including Ada Nduka Oyom, the Founder of She Code Africa; Dr. Adefunke Ekine, Deputy Director, Research and External Linkages, Tai Solarin University of Education, and Judith Okonkwo, founder of Imisi 3D.
Speaking at the roundtable themed ‘Celebrating African women in education and technology,’ Ekine noted that the low number of young girls in the nation’s engineering and technology-related field is due to the challenge of direct access to digital tools and resources.
She said the problem is further aggravated by the abysmal quality of teaching noticeable in foundational subjects such as Mathematics, adding that teaching in Nigeria is more abstract than functional.
The Associate Professor of education explained that there is the need to adopt a storytelling approach to elicit interest in the girl-child participation in STEM-related courses.
In her remarks, Oyom, an advocate of female representation in STEM education, noted that young girls must be optimistic that anything is achievable if they set their minds to achieve it.
While citing examples of the success stories of She Code Africa on STEM education, Oyom stressed the need for stakeholders to make resources and tools available as well as expose young girls to other opportunities.
Also speaking, Okonkwo stated that the global aspiration for gender parity is realisable if stakeholders focus on providing immediate access to the girl-child regardless of social status.
She urged women in the technology space to remain focused regardless of the challenges they may be going through, noting that success awaits them in their chosen careers.