Center for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) and Actionaid Nigeria have organised a mentorship training for key stakeholders in the Federal Capital Territory ((FCT) as part of efforts in ensuring that the Girl-Child have access to quality education. CITAD is a non-governmental and non-profit organization that is committed to the use of information and communication technologies for development and promotion of good governance. With support from Actionaid Nigeria, the mentoring session which held at the premises if the LEA Primary School in Tunga-Ashere in Jiwa Chiefdom, Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) and Leleyi Gwari community, Kwali Area Council from Tuesday-Thursday, focused on ‘the role of ICT in Improving Access to Girl Child Education in FCT Rural Communities.’ TitanicMedia which covered the event, reports that the session aimed at acquainting stakeholders on the importance of Information Communication Technology in the education of the girl child. The programme was attended by young girls, their parents and other members of the communities. Participants also included representatives from the ministries of information and education in Nigeria, AMAC, the head master and other teaching staff of LEA Primary School in the beneficiary communities. Speaking with journalists after the event, CITAD’s Sponsorship Officer, Mubarak Ekute said the training was put together to interact with stakeholders and sensitize them on how to leverage on ICT to improve learning and empowerment of the girl-child. “The world has become a global village through ICT, so the idea behind this programme is to interact with and hold a mentoring session with stakeholders that are concerned with education to enable them empower the girl child through ICT so that they can be useful to themselves and the society and achieve education,” Ekute said. On the relevance of ICT to the beneficiaries, he said with ICT, the girl-child can leverage on so many opportunities. For instance, in terms of the classroom, she can use it enhance her learning, use ICT to acquire knowledge and information to carryout her assignments. “The teachers can also use it to improve educational system generally,” he added. Ekute further explained that girls who are not priviledged to be in school could also, carve a niche for themselves with ICT skills acquired. He said CITAD had mapped out programmes to sensitize the girl child on their rights and encourage them to speak for themselves. “We also sensitize their parents to allow their girls access to education. We have been embarking on advocacy in communities to make this possible,” Ekute said. Earlier in a welcome address, the programme coordinator, Salma Abdulwaheed said in line with the Sustainable Development Goal agenda which emphasized that no one should be left behind, CITAD considered it a priority to take digital skills acquisition programmes to some remote communities in the FCT to empower beneficiaries. According to her, CITAD has trained over 100 youths in the beneficiary communities on digital skills in the last two years. She said the organisation has established ICT centres in communities in five area council’s of the FCT, one of which is located in Tunga-Ashere. “It is better to catch them young, so it is important to teach the youths and elders digital skills” to be at par with their counterparts in the city, she said, adding, women and girls have also benefited from the trainings. The Special Adviser to the Chairman of AMAC on ICT/Donor Agencies and Civil Societies, Abiodun Essiet who made a cash donations of N50,000 for development of the school in the community, commended CITAD and Actionaid Nigeria for granting beneficiaries in the communities access to ICT. While also appreciating the communities for allowing their girls to be part of the trainings, she urged that them to utilize the skills acquired in a meaningful way to better their lives. A representative of the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education at the event, Dr. Efi Anam said the ministry is happy that women and girls child in the rural communities are being carried along in a world where women are now occupying important positions.She stressed the importance of empowering the girl child with education to face the many responsibilities she is saddled with in the society. “We are also interested in making progress in our small communities. We can only achieve this by making sure everybody, including girls, go to school. The women need to be empowered, trained to have skills to enable them assist their homes and be useful in the society,” said Dr Anam. While also assuring CITAD of the support of the ministry, she said: “We are impressed by this effort and will support CITAD and other efforts that seek to develop and empower Tunga-Ashere.” In her presentation on the Importance of ICT to Girl-Child Education, Mrs Opeyemi Oliha of the Ministry of Communication, noted that with the knowledge of ICT, beneficiaries can acquire knowledge and skills without formal education, through the use of internet. “Our women and girls can be employed through ICT, they can sell their farm produce by utilizing ICT and acquire any kind of information that will be useful for their farming business,” she said. Also speaking, the LEA Tunga-Ashere Head Master, Martins Zanyi commended CITAD for assisting the communities to improve their access to education.He ceased the opportunity to appeal to government to construct more classrooms for pupils in the community and provide more furnitures to aid better learning. The village Chief, Sani Yakubu, who said he is one of the beneficiary of the ICT training programmes, also thanked Actionaid Nigeria and CITAD for improving the lives of members of his community.Yakubu thanked the AMAC authourities for establishing the school in the community two years ago to address the problem of lack of access to education. He however, appealed for expansion of the school to accommodate the teeming population of pupils. The village head identified lack of hospital facility and electricity as some of the urgent need of the community. On her part, the Women Leader, Asabe Yakubu also thanked the two organisations for the initiative. She lamented that they were at the level they were today because they had no such previlege, assured that with the sensitization and Kno enlightenment, women in her community were willing to encourage and allow their Girl-Child access opportunities to learn and become better in the society.