Sixty female students from twelve secondary schools across the country have been trained in basic computer skills, photography, digital media, programming, and research methods.
The seven-day training that kicked off last week at the Northern Province’s Groupe Scolaire Janja in Gakenke District was dubbed Camp TechKobwa, to reflect its focus on women as Kobwa means female in Kinyarwanda.
The course was sponsored by American Peace Corps, Michigan State University, and IBM with the support and technological expertise of local partners ELE Rwanda, Girls in ICT and K-lab.
Elizabeth Turner, the course Director, said that the girls acquired skills on how to solve problems in their communities using Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
“They had the chance to experience building and utilising robotics. We also encouraged them in regards to self-confidence, goal setting, and self-expression so that they can be role models and leaders in their communities,” Turner explained.
ICT Teachers from selected schools underwent a four-day training of trainer’s course.
“The teachers that attained the training will be able to pass on skills to more students in their respective schools thus we are able to reach more students that were not able to come for the camp,” Turner said.
Organisers of TechKobwa Camp said its aim was to expose Rwandan girls to technology that encourages them to explore, engage, and consider future careers in ICT.
Giselle Izerimana, 16, a senior- four student at Ecole Secondaire Mulindi in Northern Province’s Gicumbi District said that she attained skills in internet security.
“My dream career is to become an Astronaut. It has been my dream from when I was 12 years old. And as a future Astronaut, this training was important. This training has equipped me with various skills and ICT became more and more interesting. Besides learning about internet security, I was able to get skills in public speaking,” Izerimana said.
Just like Izerimana, the 19-year-old Marceline Maniraguha who is a senior six student at Groupe Scolaire Murunda, enjoyed the course.
“Although I was able to learn about some ICT applications that can help in solving problems in our community, I learnt that if I have goals and dreams, I need to note them down, set objectives on how to achieve them and then I can work towards achieving them,” Maniraguha said.