Story by Linford Molaodi
PHUTI RAGOPHALA TECHNOLOGY GRANNY
Many females, mostly teachers have phobia and doubt towards using technology. They regard technological tools as children games that have no educational implications. The incorporation of digital tools in teaching and learning using very same tools they despise can make them raise their eyebrows and hide behind their hands with ears closed.
My contribution towards enhancing female participation is very revolutionary in a sense that I engage children in my community from home to start using technology for learning purposes. We use #Codewiseguys and #Africacodeweek, in which community children mostly girls are competing with each other on coding. They also learn how to research, arrange their PowerPoint slides and project their ideas.
In addition, I introduced #Codewizegoldengirls where I engage female teachers from the age of 50 to learn how to code and encourage them to join global educators through Microsoft Educator Community programmes.
I also take part in global and national conferences to present my papers; with the aim of inspiring other female teachers to emulate what I am doing; more especially the elderly teachers who already crossed 60. So it is not about age but passion and positive attitude.
I already have a long list of invitations from schools; municipality, community libraries and national conferences to present my project “Classroom in the sky.” Through these I think I am going to touch and inspire many females both young and old that traditional way of teaching and learning has no room in this era. Besides, my home will always be dedicated and opened to community members mostly children; to learn more so that we produce better future young leaders. I am inspired by these words, “Before you are a leader; success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.
Previously I trained my peers on how to integrate ICT in the classroom as well as engaging community members; especially young girls and youth on computer literacy I have also incorporated indigenous knowledge in my teaching by engaging members of the community to assist with own scientific knowledge. I am busy building online content on Sepedi home language.
NOMUSA KENINDA TECHNOLOGY QUEEN
Some reasons for low rates of women and girls participating in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics are lack of encouragement; active discouragement, peer pressure and lack of role models.
I host DigiGirlz events with the aim of empowering grade 9 girls into IT careers and coding. My main goal is to see all schools empowered to host DigiGirlz events and establishing Girls Coding and Robotics club.
The technological excellence and remarkable contribution depicted by the aforementioned pedagogical practitioners is an inevitable proof that women are as capable as their male counterparts in science and technology. Their investment and commitment towards empowering female youth is essential in rectifying imbalances of the past; the myths and prejudices inculcated by elderly predecessors against women.
A lot of male students including teachers specialize in STEM subjects than female teachers. Female students have misconceptions that Science, Technology, Engineering and Math are difficult to teach and learn. They also discouraged by old students and teachers. When you look at the statistics of how many students drop the subjects at university level; you would understand that the poor souls mostly misled by peers, lecturers and relatives.
I never had good Math teachers in high school and university. Over 50 percent of students (including myself) dropped the Master’s course in Mathematics at varsity because the lecture was always absent in class. STEM subjects need consistency on teaching and learning.
It is a build-up of information, no short-cuts. Female teachers are the best people to teach the subjects as they have love for kids, passion about work they do and are very consistent in class.
I support programs that enhance female participation in STEM.
As I continue to advance programs on women empowerment.