Jamaican News

Girls to Take Part In ICT Conference

More than 300 students from 30 schools will participate in a Girls in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Day conference at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel on April 27.

The event, which is being hosted by the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology in collaboration with the Office of Utilities Regulations (OUR), will feature many speakers, including the Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley; Cybercrimes Consultant at the Ministry, Dr. Moniphia Hewling, and Senior Lecturer and Head of Gender Studies at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Dr. Leith Dunn.

Dr. Hewling told JIS News that other females in the ICT industry will make motivational presentations to the girls in attendance, with the main objective of encouraging them to become creators of technology, and not just users.

“As females, we tend to be the users of the technology, entering data, but we do not usually create the software, so we want to expose them to different aspects of IT, and let them know that women can do this,” she noted.

Other activities at the conference will include interactive workshops on animation; computer network set-up and cybersecurity as well as panel discussions.

Dr. Hewling noted that the Ministry will also be showing, at its booth, ‘Girls in ICT Day’ activities taking place in other parts of the world.

Other booths at the event will include Flow, Digicel, the University of Technology (UTech) and the UWI.

Meanwhile, Minister Wheatley will also attend a Girls in ICT Day Hackathon, another event being held in observance of the Day at The Spanish Court Hotel, from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. This exercise will be held simultaneously in Barbados, Trinidad and Jamaica.

Dr. Hewling said that the event is designed to create a dynamic environment where girls can engage in hands-on activities throughout the day, and is opened to interested schools.

Some of the speakers at the hackathon will be Tech Entrepreneur from Silicon Caribe, Ingrid Riley; Senior Advisor at the UWI, Minna Israel; and Executive Chairperson of Phase Three Productions, Dr. Marcia Forbes.

Girls in ICT Day is an initiative of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), aimed at raising awareness of ICT technologies, empowering and encouraging girls and young women globally to consider studies and careers in the field.

Article by: Tomeica Gunn
Photo from: www.jis.gov.jm

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