How Can We Bridge the Gender Gap in Tech Education?
The Ethafa Project will conduct an event today at the Dubai Expo to rethink how to bridge the gender gap in tech education and engage more Arabic girls in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) and technology disciplines. Let’s also take a broader look at the universal gender gap in education.
Digital education remains a distant dream for many girls, especially in developing countries. While this has been the case for the longest time now, the pandemic intensified these disparities a little more. According to a UNICEF survey, girls lack access to digital education, either due to disparity in digital usage in urban and rural areas or income disparity between men and women, causing women to spend comparatively less on technology and the internet. The inherent fear among girls that using the Internet is unsafe is another reason for the lack of digital education among them.
Current Internet Usage In India
According to Nielsen, Internet and Mobile Association of India, the Internet estimates that only 18 per cent of the girls aged between 18-21 years have mobile phones whereas 64 per cent of their male counterparts enjoy mobile usage. In addition to this, only 29 per cent of India’s Internet users are females. Even among these, females are 56 per cent less likely to use mobile Internet than males.
The World Bank seems to have just the right solution to bridge the digital gap. The official website of the global financial institution is full of such examples from all over the world. Let’s learn about them.
In order for knowledge to reach all parts of the world, it should be made affordable for everyone. Countries such as Jamaica, South Africa and Argentina provide zero-priced websites that allow children to access a variety of knowledge in just a few clicks. Argentina, for example, partners with Internet service providers and distributes learning kits to students free of cost. Such steps guarantee the availability of knowledge virtually.
Free And Fair
To ensure that education is available to everyone without discrimination, the governments of the countries such as Bhutan and Kenya have waived off education fees. Yes, you read that right! The Kenyan government is planning to provide its young learners with Google’s loon balloons that carry 4G database stations and allow learners to catch signals by extending the antenna that is provided for 80 kilometres. It is an effective step in eliminating the socio-economic barriers that stand in the way of achieving 100 per cent literacy.
TV Programmes And More To Educate
As we know, Television is the fastest and most-effective mode of communication. The governments of Croatia and Egypt have roped in telecom companies to provide educational content on Television for those children who have limited to no access to other technology. Similarly, the Dominican Republic also gives its youngsters free WiFi hotspots for an uninterrupted learning experience.
Personal Learning Devices
In California, students are given personal devices to be used along with accessible hotspots. They are provided with iPads from schools for learning. School buses equipped with Wifi routers are parked around the residential areas of students. This ensures that all students receive the best quality education, irrespective of their socio-economic differences. With a device connected to the Internet, a child will not be left behind in the learning process.
There are many such ways of bridging the gender-related tech education gap. All we need to do is to implement them. Let’s do our bit.