The Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology (DIT) in Tanzania has developed an initiative to motivate girls in secondary school girls to pursue science and tech subjects in efforts to bridge the gender gap in STEM professions in the country.
The project, dubbed, ‘Regional Flagship ICT Centre’ (RAFIC) and funded by the World Bank (WB), is expected to create benefits for Tanzania and other East African community countries as the DIT hosts the project at its Dar es Salaam campus. Part of the institute’s intent is to enable more girls to benefit from the science-related courses that it offers.
The Institute’s Head of Industrial Liaison Department and career guidance, Dr. John Msumba, disclosed during a training tour that the initiative is to encourage girls to pursue careers in science.
“We have brought secondary school female students here to witness how female students at the institute perform well in terms of doing scientific innovations, which can also encourage them to pursue science subjects and thus going against the perception that science courses are for boys,” he said.
He further argued that for some time now girls have been lagging in pursuing science courses in technical colleges, but through this initiative, more girls would be motivated to study science subjects and compete in the job market. According to him, the DIT has been allowed to become the Regional Information Technology Center for East Africa (Regional Flagship Center of Excellence in ICT), and the institute is looking to capitalize on that.