Govt Schoolgirls’ Day Out with Tech

DUBAI - Public schoolgirls, who attended the first ‘DigiGirlz Day’ on Thursday, said it was important for students their age to be well-versed with computers and the Internet, albeit with parental supervision.

By Preeti Kannan

Published: Sat 25 Apr 2009, 11:43 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 9:17 AM

Over 200 public schoolgirls, aged between 12 and 16 years, were urged to use computers and the Internet event aimed at inspiring more women to take up IT careers.

The event is in line with the Education Ministry’s efforts to ensure Internet connectivity in the nearly 780 public schools in the UAE so that government school students are at par with their counterparts in private and international schools. Schools also stressed the need for monitoring and controlling Internet usage at homes.

“Computers and the Internet are very important to learn a lot of things. I use computers to do my homework, class presentations and reading.

“However, most teenage girls use computers only for chatting, which is not healthy. Parents should ensure children do not use the Internet to chat for too long,” Shamsa Yousef, a 14-year old pupil from Nad Al Hamer Primary School for Girls.

The event, hosted by Microsoft Gulf and Dubai Women’s College (DWC) in partnership with the Education Ministry and Center for Women and Technology for the Arab Region (CWTAR), hopes to encourage more young women to pursue degrees in computer science and computer engineering, so the gender gap in the industry can be bridged.

“I use the computer extensively, at least three hours a day, to prepare power point presentations, email and (browse) the Internet.

“The event at Dubai Women’s College has inspired me to explore a career in computers. There are students who don’t use computers and they should be encouraged to do so,” said Afra Al Majid, a 13-year old student at Al Alfia Primary School for Girls, who is also on the school’sdotcom team.

“The rapid technological and communication revolution encouraged lots of countries to review its IT systems and curriculums. In addition, educational and technological institutes enabled students to develop their skills that coincide with the world’s progress.

“The DigiGirlz conference today emphasises this idea and prepares students for the labour market and real life,” said Dr Hanif Hassan, Ministerof Education.

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