The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has begun awareness creation that would promote safety and security amongst girls in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the country.
The commission held an awareness event at the Government Science Technical College (GSTC), Area 3, Garki, on Thursday in Abuja, to commemorate the Girls in ICT Day.
Girls in ICT is an initiative of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the global body responsible for setting telecommunications standard.
The yearly event is with the theme: “Access and Safety”
Mrs Tokunbo Oyeleye, the Deputy Director, New Media and Information Security Department, NCC, said that the event aimed to encourage girls to pursue careers in Science, Techology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
Oyeleye said that this year’s theme was meant to create discussions on access and safety barriers girls faced when they pursued STEM studies and careers.
She, however, said that the main focus for this year are: equal access, accessibility, gender stereotypes and workplace environment and safety online.
“There is a need to promote opportunities for girls in STEM and educate them on the benefits they can gain from it.
“There is a need to make classes and materials in STEM more inclusive and easily understandable for people with disabilities, especially women.
“These stereotypes increase a sense to girls that they are not capable of pursuing ICT careers and are not supposed to be in it.
“To ensure girls are safe online, they need to be educated and empowered with the appropriate knowledge and tools to be used online,” she said.
Also speaking, Mr Ebuka Nkoro, an Early Career Fellowship facilitator of Internet Society (ISOC) and partner to the Commission on Child Online Protection, said the girls should beware of their digital footprints.
Nkoro advised the students to use some tips for online safety, which were the use of very strong passwords, eight to 10 digits password, use of password managers and installation of good antivirus accordingly.
He said that girls should avoid online bullies, phishing and online gaming attacks and online swindlers.
“Do not share or post unnecessary things, especially nude pictures of yourself.
“These are social engineering attacks generated by a hacker to gain access to your personal data,” he said.
Mrs Nusirat Atoyebi, Matron, ICT Club, GSTC, called for a better relationship between NCC and the school adding that it needed more equipment to empower the girls.
Atoyebi said that this was an eye-opener to greater opportunities in the ICT sector and the students were ready to learn, unlearn and relearn at all costs.
She thanks the NCC for the gesture and ecpressed the hope for supply of more computers to the school.
She said that as one of the technical trades in the school was computer craft the infrastructure was not enough.
“As government school the population is high and the infrastructure is not enough, we will be happy if NCC will help us with computers as one of the technical trades is computer craft.
“We have students that have been thought computer programming, computer electronics, computer repairs as their core subjects; so to be able to do more, we need more equipment,” she said.
Ms Emmanuella Freshman, a student of the GSTC, said the programme had imparted knowledge into her such that it improved her thinking and learning on online bullying.
Freshman said that she had an online Application called “Things Vibe”, which deals with teenagers that have no time to express themselves.
“I made this app in such a way that teenagers can express themselves.
“There is entertainment, learning, talent, quotes and mentors that can encourage and motivate you, using the App.
“My ICT teachers have been helpful in the success of this project,” she said.