Statistical evidence suggests that in most African countries, women’s use and knowledge of ICT (to store, share, organize and process information) is lower than men’s, denying them income-generating opportunities and the chance to network with others.
The W.TEC team seeks to develop Nigerian women's financial independence through training them for ICT-specific jobs such as computer engineering, programming, system analysis, hardware and network specializations, and design. The program also assists women in developing technology skills that are needed for other ICT-reliant jobs or self-employment. In addition, the program seeks to encourage women to develop the skills and confidence to use ICTs for activism, learning, awareness-raising, and advocacy for a better quality of life.
W.TEC works in partnership with local and international NGOs, educational and research organizations. W.TEC programs have been supported by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology, Fahamu, Laureates College, Omatek Computers, and Rutgers University’s Women in Computer Science Group.
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CEI approaches in action
Tuition, accommodation, learning materials, and meals.
Several scholarships are made available to ensure that high-potential but economically disadvantaged girls can access the program.
Since the inception of the program in 2008, at least one technology camp has been held per year. The first 2 camps were free of charge, but subsequent camps charged a fee to cover tuition, accommodation, and meals.
W.TEC has increased its camps from one to two cohorts per year. In 2013, the first camp was held in April with 10 girls in attendance. The second camp will take place in August 2013 with 30 participants in attendance. Workshops will include Graphic Design, Movie-Making, Web Design, and Introduction to Programming. This year, a new technology club will be launched at the end of the second camp, enabling girls from schools nationwide to access ICT training and development.
Monitoring & Evaluation
The monitoring strategy incolves pre and post-camp tests to determine what participants have learnt and have been able to assimilate during their time at the camp.
6 months after each camp, interviews are conducted with participants to determine if they have been using the skills acquired during the program, and if not, what the challenges are and how they can be addressed.
Most of the previous camp participants have indicated interest either in careers in ICT or in integrating ICT into their career of choice. Feedback from the last 5 years reveals that 6 months after each camp, 80% of each cohort are still using and developing ICT knowledge and skills acquired during the program.