On the 31st of October, 2019, TechHer commenced on an ambitious tour to train 700 selected students from 10 schools across 4 of the 6 area councils in Abuja.
The tour is in line with two of TechHer’s main pillars which focus on digital literacy and digital security. The main objectives of the tour are to open the students, all of whom lived in underserved communities around the FCT, to career opportunities within Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) fields. We also want to show the students the safe and acceptable ways they can navigate and use ever-evolving technologies.
Our modules, Basics of Online Security (BOSE) and Career Opportunities in Tech (COT) are delivered in 90-minute fun, interactive sessions with games, and questions and answers.
So far, we have visited 6 of the 10 selected schools; JSS Idu-koro, JSS Karmo-Tsoho, JSS Jiwa, JDSS Jiwa, JSS Yimi and JSS DeiDei. The tour has been a very exciting and eye-opening experience for us at TechHer. It has been quite a thrill to see the children go from knowing almost nothing about technology and online safety and engagement to being able to speak confidently on the fundamentals of these subjects!
At every school, one of the first things we ask the children is what they wanted to be when they grow up. Normal responses range from doctors to lawyers and a few other careers in between. To our surprise, out of over 379 students, only two have indicated interest in careers in STEM fields! Our COT module was designed to show them the opportunities that exist in these fields and we were very happy to see that a majority of them (59%) said they were now interested in studying careers in STEM fields after we had delivered the module!
Another point of interest for us is the children’s access and use of technology and the Internet. There was very little access to technology and even less online access among the students, many did not even know what the term ‘online’ meant! We found this a bit surprising because most of the schools had a computer club or some version of it. Although some of the terms in our BOSE module were completely new to them, we were very excited that the students were equipped with the basics of how to stay safe and protect their information online before the time came.
The school tour resumes next year with 4 more schools left to visit. We are really looking forward to interacting with the children!
You can see more pictures from the tour here.