Feature Article of Thursday, 30 July 2015
Columnist: Mensah, Charles
“Let Girls Learn Hackathon”
LET GIRLS LEARN HACKATHON
All around the world, women are severely underrepresented in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and math). One reason for this is because 62 million girls around the world are currently not attending school. In Ghana, female graduates comprise less than 17% of those completing tertiary-level STEM studies. It is estimated that 54.1% of Ghanaian girls aren’t enrolled in SHS and only 28.1% of girls complete SHS. Given that more girls in schools mean lower teen pregnancy rates, lower maternal mortality rates, lower infant mortality rates, lower rates of HIV/AIDs, and better child nutrition, much more needs to be done to break down barriers to female education in Ghana and around the world.
Through a 24-hour hackathon, the Let Girls Learn Hackathon will gather teams from different regions of Ghana to brainstorm, collaborate, and develop innovative solutions to barriers to girls’ education. Each team will be formed by a diverse group of participants, including female SHS (secondary school) students, Peace Corps Volunteers, university students in STEM fields, and software developers. During the hackathon, the SHS students will also receive leadership and technical training, so that they can continue to effect change in their respective schools and work to overcome barriers to their education.
Global Shapers Community is an initiative of the World Economic Forum with a network of more than 400 city-based hubs developed and led by promising young leaders, with a mission to make positive impacts in our communities. The Global Shapers of Kumasi hub comprises of dynamic individuals committed to positively contributing to community, country, and global development.
Peace Corps Ghana traces its roots and mission to 1961, when President John F. Kennedy sent the very first 52 Peace Corps volunteers to serve their country in the cause of peace by living and working in Ghana. Those volunteers were received warmly by Ghana’s first President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah on August 30, 1961. Five decades later, Peace Corps Ghana is more vital than ever, working in critical areas of health, education and agriculture. Additionally, Peace Corps Ghana equip volunteers to help implement critical initiatives like the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and Feed The Future (FTF) Food Security Initiative. Peace Corps Ghana Volunteers continue to help countless individuals who want to build better lives for themselves, their children, and their communities.
Peace Corps Ghana ICT Committee works to leverage technologies to support the works of Peace Corps Volunteers and communities in Ghana. The ICT Committee investigates how to incorporate various technologies in the daily lives of Ghanaians to improve development and quality of life, provides technical support to Peace Corps Ghana staff and volunteers, helps establish ICT labs at JHS and SHS schools, and organizes activities like the Let Girls Learn Hackathon to help promote Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D) in Ghana.