Skills for the Future: Girls Tech

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The Girls Tech program is TuaRes’ ICT program for all girls during their post-primary education. As part of the Skills for the Future umbrella program, the intention of Girls Tech is to teach not only the basic of computer manipulation, but also build competencies around conducting online research, developing critical thinking skills when evaluating news sources, personal data management, while encouraging creativity through introducing computer science.

In 2020, Le Monde reported that only 21% of Burkinabés have access to the Internet, and this is almost entirely concentrated in urban areas.1 Despite efforts of the government, ICT curricula is not widely available for students. UNICEF wrote in 2018 that the challenges to ICT education in Burkina Faso are weak infrastructure, low maintenance capacity and insufficient means to acquire the necessary devices.2 The government recognizes the need and is enthusiastic about the possibilities offered by digital solutions, but thus far the majority of student are being left behind.3

As smartphones and tablets become more readily available, the digital world is becoming more accessible to people across the world. Today, billions of people are connected through social media or online banking even on feature phones (or so-called “dumb” phones) with solutions such as Facebook Zero or Orange Money. The risks remain, however, for both new and experienced users to fall victim to cyber-crimes, bullying and intimidation, or misleading news campaigns. As more people are connected and more digital natives are matriculating through schools, current education systems and training must be adapted to fit the new normal.

This fact has led to numerous leading tech companies, governments, and entities such as the European Union, to build competency frameworks for citizens. These frameworks are aimed at protecting the safety of users (particularly young people) and supporting them to participate safely, effectively, critically, and responsibly in the digital world.4

The Girls Tech classes draw from numerous international competency frameworks to create fun, interactive classes with activities that range from document management to fundamentals of coding and web design. Using platforms such as Code.org and the W3 Academy, the advanced Girls Tech courses are internationally aligned and adapted for both online and offline learning.

The intention of Girls Tech is to teach not only the basic of computer manipulation, but also build competencies around conducting online research, developing critical thinking skills when evaluating news sources, personal data management, while encouraging creativity through introducing computer science.

Last updated August, 2021

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