Macedonia joined the international observing of “Girls in ICT Day” on the 8th of May. 120 girls studying in 10 high schools, accompanied by their teachers, took part of this years’ celebration. Girls were chosen by professors, based on their results, performances and interests in subjects such as informatics, programming, design, and math’s and similar.
As last year, the groups gathered on a conference at the Faculty of Computer Science and Engineering in Skopje, where girls were given the taste of being a university student.
Hosted by Executive Director of Macedonian ICT Chamber, Mrs. Anita Nikova, the session began with a warm welcome from Faculty’s Dean, PhD Dimitar Trajanov. He pointed out an interesting fact: girls students enrolled on Faculty of Computer Science and Engineering in Skopje have higher average grades, compared to their male colleagues.
With the purpose to spread to wider public the encouraging aim of challenging the way girls and young women can choose a career, and expand their range of career options, this year’s video message from ITU Secretary General, Dr. Hamadoun Tourè was synchronized in Macedonian language.
Inspired by how information and telecommunication technologies enrich our lives, make them more comfortable, and connect people around the world anywhere, anytime, in her addressing on the event, Deputy Minister for Information Society and Administration, Mrs. Marta Arsovska Tomovska, emphasized that IT profession is not male reserved only. As main initiator of the “Tech need girls” campaign in Macedonia, and with great managerial experience in private IT sector, Arsovska Tomovska approached the fascinating field of ICT to the girls.
She assured that a profession in the ICT can be the leading path to make positive impact on the society.
ICT industry is based on intellectual projects with high level of innovation and researching processes. Form ICT pioneers who became revolutionaries, through “code.org” video, girls learned that they do not have to be a genius to code.
Different activities within the campaign were not concentrated to this one day only. Irena Popovic, member of Girls in ICT Board, and creative department manager in “Nextsense”, explained how 9 girls, from several high schools, worked on real projects. In two teams, they were engaged in building a web site for a client – dental clinic, and promoting the campaign via social media Facebook and Tweeter. Their effort was noticed and awarded by Education Centre Alexandria. It is definitely worthy to invest in education, especially in information technologies.
But not only high school girls were awarded. The Faculty of Computer Science and Engineering in Skopje and its Dean, based on their commitments, success, high grades and involvement in science activities, choose three students for specialized trainings in Datalab.
Also, the Ministry of Information Society and Administration decided to award certificates of appreciation to all participants who supported the First Girls in ICT 2012 in Macedonia. We hope this will contribute to future success and motivation. Furthermore, the more involved, the greater the effects.
The conference session ended with lottery for which the award fund was provided by Macedonian Telekom and T-Mobile Macedonia.
Afterwards, animated and moderated by PhD Sonja Filiposka, girls visited the Faculty’s smart classroom of the 21st century where they enjoyed Xbox Kinect dance competition. Top scored girl also won a prize which enabled her training in the field of ICT.
We sincerely hope that most of the girls gained an insight today in a very interesting new world, as it is, but in the same time very challenging and exciting.
ICT, as rapidly developing and dynamic technology, stimulates all of us to learn all the time, but to learn with joy.
Organizing a “Girls in ICT” day is one of the steps governments, industry and civil society can take to empower girls and young women to ride the technology wave to a brighter future.