DIGITAL DIVIDE AND LITERACY:
ICT School Girls Assisted Learning
In our community schooling for the girl-child is an issue, therefore all effort should be made to educate, encourage, support and sustain those already in school to take on public Services in the near future and bridge the digital divide to fill-in the huge vacuum existing in STEM related profession, especially in the technology, and health sector. This is possible when those girls are made to remain in school and trained to be digital compliance in any chosen career and profession, thereby positioning themselves to take their rightful place in the digital world. The introduction of ICT School Girls Assisted learning, :( Sure ways to bridging digital divide from the school) females enrollment in schools will Increase, thereby drastically reducing gender based violence. The rate of gender violence in the community makes almost impossible to adopt the policy ’catch them young”, the prevalence which is at 65.5% in the country is stressed to wrong socialization, culture, inadequate law and lack of digital literacy. Violence and abuse are used to silence girls and hold them back in digital world as well as the real world, girls’ demands for equal freedom for both on and offline so that they can network, mobilize and speak out for change. 130milion girls are said to be out of school, 1 billion women without access to bank account, while some 39,000 girls became child brides daily. If this trend continue, over 400million girls will not be gaining skills and education that could help them reach their potentials by 2030, this will further widen the gap in the digital divide, therefore making the girl-child more vulnerable. Over 55% of the world population remain unconnected including 1.7billion women in low and middle in-come countries due to High cost of devices and internet services, lack of digital literacy and prohibitive social norms which disproportionately impact on women, excluding them from opportunities, digital tools and services provided, thereby limiting women access to information and services for health, safety, and education for themselves and their families. If given a chance, this project named ICT School Girls Assisted learning could have not come at a better moment than now. According to USAID, nearly one in two women in the world lack access to the internet, they are denied chance to share in the economic prosperity of their communities and countries.
Efforts has been made by the state government by declaring state of emergency On education with the creation of Agency for Female Education board which for 3 years now has not yield any notable impact. On the other hand, there is the intervention of G4Health program Sponsor by Bill gate Foundation which is not based on digital literacy and lacks inclusiveness as a program.
This program when picked, will be run alongside the normal school time-table in the students’ core subjects. We start with senior secondary school (SS11) until they are turn out. The 5-10 pilot schools under the program will be made to rearrange their classes after each term examinations or academic session where classes are reallocated to students based on their academics performance in that term or session. The classes are arrange alphabetically, the last classes are for those students with least or poor performance. These students will receive extra-revision lessons with some such of counseling and mentoring services that will make them meet up with the rest of the students and improve on their marks. Here technology or digital devices is used to expose the students to texts, even if a student is unable to independently read a text, they can develop grade-level literacy skills by interacting with vocabulary, sentence structures, and text contents through technology. Several devices have the option to enable text-to-speech functions, which have the device read the text out loud. Speech-to-text functions allow students to speak what they want to have typed. However, this function requires some practices. There’s strength in numbers, learning new tech with colleagues can help you improve your practice and form connections that often extend outside of the school. The Immersive Reader program from Microsoft also reads texts to students. It includes other enhancements, like syllable recognition and the ability to highlight as you read. It even has parts-of-speech recognition to support writing. With this, literacy is promoted in the schools as students’ increases their engagement with IT contents and the use of digital devices. They are also challenged to connect with multiple sources of media found in their homes and environment in other to bring to the class firsthand information related to their contents. The key is to mindfully support the levels of reading, writing, and speaking skills students possess, while focusing on content and complying with the use of digital devices. We want to develop technologically literate students who are good digital citizens and are able to master the intended learning goals to earn a career in the digital world. These students through their final examination are helped to further their studies and graduate as computer literates found in the health and IT sectors assisting their community and bridging the digital divide.
We are targeting about 2-4 thousands Girls in 5 or 10 female schools in the state or community who are left out and behind in academics and digital literacy in a population of about 600,000 with about 300,000 women and girls. We will also incorporate into the project/program leadership training, advocacy, sensitization, etc to reach out to the vast population of women and girls in the community and other schools not part of the program toward bridging the digital divide and literacy.
The outcome of this opportunity will lead to increase in female enrollment in schools and also in science classes. Many adolescents are actually thriving in the digital age, we will see high rates of high school graduation and declining rates of things like teen pregnancy, drug abuse and violence, when this program is on course. When Girls are educated, their families become healthier, have fewer children, get married later, and have more opportunities to generate income. This work will also build on the momentum created by other global initiatives and effectively address the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
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