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Why Don’t Female Students Sign Up For Computing Courses?

Across the world, there is a gender gap in the participation of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects. This has led to the low representation of women in science-related occupations.

A number of reasons holding women back have been discovered as structural and cultural barriers,  the education system, lack of women mentors in STEM careers, to mention but a few.

Statistics compiled by UNESCO reveal that, globally, women make up less than 30% of the people working in STEM careers.

In a study carried out by the International Journal of Gender, Science, and Technology in 2011, two-thirds of women who were interviewed revealed that “society discouraged them by claiming that computer science is a ‘hard’ and ‘difficult’ subject”. 10% of the men who were interviewed said the same. The study also revealed that the gender gap in science education is because of lack of scholarships and female mentors in STEM subjects.

Therefore, the education system in Africa needs massive improvement when it comes to teaching maths and science so that they become attractive to children.

The UTAMU News team has interviewed a number of people in the computing field on their views towards the above topic:

 

Isaac Mukonyezi,

Lecturer, SCE

A cultural perception that computing courses are difficult to study because of the Mathematics, Physics involved is one of the reasons girls opt out. Therefore, girls need to be encouraged right from primary level to study sciences.

 

Mary Komunte,

Lecturer, SCE

Many girls fear the computer programming language. But, the Government of Uganda is already working changing the poor perception. Today children start learning ICT right from primary level. Others, believe computing courses are more demanding and yet they do not have time to concentrate.

 

Simon Kamya,

Graphic Designer Instructor

Naturally, girls or women are born to do simply things but the boys are adventurous, innovative which is why they are more interested in computing courses. To change this mindset, there is need to promote success stories of women who have made it big in the computing or technology industry.

 

Elvis Muyanja,

Web Administrator

There is a perception that Computing is technical and most women have a niche for theoretical courses. They prefer courses which require one to read and memorize things than the hands-on ones.

 

Claire Babirye

Lecturer UTAMU

In our societies, girls from an early stage of learning are perceived to be inferior and as a result, majority don’t bear the aggressive or confidence character. So because of that, most shy away from computing courses (since they are paraded to be hard and complex). Therefore career guidance has to be remodeled to drive females to do STEM subjects.

 

Irene Nanduttu

Lecturer IUIU

What makes women lag behind is the stigma and fear that they would not be able to make it that field. This is something that has to be worked upon together. Girls should get role models they look up to and work towards being  like them or even better.

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