The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has conducted an awareness training for Senior Secondary School female students in Abuja on how to mitigate against cyber threats, other challenges bedeviling the Information, Communication Technology ecosystem.
This was the essence of the one-day awareness event held at the Government Science Technical College (GSTC), Area 3, Garki, on Thursday, Abuja in commemoration of Girls in ICT Day.
In her remarks during the training, the Deputy Director, New Media and Information Security Department, NCC, Mrs Tokunbo Oyeleye said that the event is aimed to encourage girls to pursue careers in Science, Techology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
Oyeleye said that this year’s theme was meant to create discussions on access and safety barriers girls faced when they pursued STEM studies and careers.
According to her, “There is a need to promote opportunities for girls in STEM and educate them on the benefits they can gain from it.
“There is a need to make classes and materials in STEM more inclusive and easily understandable for people with disabilities, especially women.
“These stereotypes increase a sense to girls that they are not capable of pursuing ICT careers and are not supposed to be in it.
“To ensure girls are safe online, they need to be educated and empowered with the appropriate knowledge and tools to be used online,” she said.
Also speaking, Mr Ebuka Nkoro, an Early Career Fellowship facilitator of Internet Society (ISOC) and partner to the Commission on Child Online Protection, warned participates on the negative effect of digital footprints.
Nkoro gave student somes tips for online safety namely; the use of very strong passwords, eight to 10 digits password, use of password managers and installation of good antivirus accordingly.
He also asked the participate to avoid online bullies, phishing and online gaming attacks and online swindlers.
“Do not share or post unnecessary things, especially nude pictures of yourself.
“These are social engineering attacks generated by a hacker to gain access to your personal data,” he said.
On her part, the Matron, ICT Club, GSTC, Mrs Nusirat Atoyebi, while applauding NCC for the gesture, called on the government to strengthen efforts aimed at equipping the girl-child in IT.
Atoyebi said that this was an eye-opener to greater opportunities in the ICT sector and the Students were ready to learn, unlearn and relearn at all costs.
She said that as one of the technical trades in the school was computer craft the infrastructure was not enough.
“As government school the population is high and the infrastructure is not enough, we will be happy if NCC will help us with computers as one of the technical trades is computer craft.
“We have students that have been thought computer programming, computer electronics, computer repairs as their core subjects; so to be able to do more, we need more equipment,” she said.
One of the participates, Ms Emmanuella Freshman, told NewsDirect that she has been hugely impacted by the event.
Freshman said that she is nursing an online Application called, “Things Vibe”, which deals with teenagers that have no time to express themselves.
“I made this app in such a way that teenagers can express themselves.
“There is entertainment, learning, talent, quotes and mentors that can encourage and motivate you, using the App.
“My ICT teachers have been helpful in the success of this project,” she said.
Nigeria NewsDirect gathered that Girls in ICT is an initiative of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the global body responsible for setting telecommunications standard, a yearly event with the theme: “Access and Safety”.