ISLAMABAD: The government is establishing 226 additional computer labs in government girls institutions in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) under second wave of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) for Girls Programme, launched to increase their employability potential. Around 110,000 girls and 202 teachers would be provided training by Microsoft in these labs, being established to provide digital learning in one cycle.
The second wave of this programme has been launched at a cost of Rs600 million. According to Ministry of Information Technology (MoIT) on Monday, the other objective of the programme, launched with joint effort of Pakistan Baitul Maal (PBM), Universal Service Fund (USF) and Microsoft, is to help prepare many young girls from underprivileged area of society, with a goal that they can get suitable occupations.
So far over 150 computer labs have already been established in the country under PBM’s Women Empowerment Centres at a cost of Rs.300 million and around 35,000 students are getting training annually. ICTs for Girls has been playing a colossal role for knowledge enhancement and ultimately financial independence of women in the country.
Microsoft has been collaborating to provide training to young girls which has been empowering and accrediting them to participate in socio-economic development and bridging the gender digital-divide. This specialized programme includes training on coding, computing and communication skills coupled with coaching from industry experts.
With regard to ICT for Girls Initiative, Minister for IT and telecom, MRsAnusha Rehman has said it is quite important and vital that women segment who constitutes 50 per cent of country’s population, should come forward, show their potential and contribute in socio-economic development.
The Minister emphasised in this age of innovation and technological advancement, steps need to be taken that benefits of ICT, reach girls and women and added the government was focusing on this particular areas and ensuring implementation following party’s manifesto.
She advised that the women segment should not restrict themselves for typing only rather they should take advantage of and focus on learning different IT and computer courses as Information Technology has assumed a pivotal role in every sphere of life. This phenomenon will also lead to women empowerment, she said.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 24th, 2018.