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Vodafone Ghana Foundation award scholarships to UEW students


 Vodafone reps

As part of efforts to empower women to become successful in the science and technology fields, Vodafone foundation has awarded scholarships to 10 science and technology students at the University of Education Winneba (UEW).

The project which is managed by British Council on behalf of Vodafone saw 10 new level 200 female students of the UEW enrolled on to provide technical and financial support.

At the scholarship award ceremony at the UEW campus in Winneba, the Deputy Registrar, UEW, Mr William Agyei-Bieni thanked Vodafone Foundation for the UEW Education Fund for future women leaders in science and technology.

“On behalf of the University management, I wish to welcome Vodafone Ghana and British Council Ghana.

“We very much appreciate your commitments and dedication to support the education of female students in the science and technology.

“This gesture from you falls in line with the tenets of the 2010 sustainable development goals and UEW’s commitment to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women.

“We are hopeful this investment would go a long way to increase the representation of female students in the science and technology programmes by ensuring that they remain and successfully complete their programmes of pursuit.”

Mr Agyei-Bieni used the occasion to appeal to Vodafone Foundation to increase the number of beneficiaries to help more needy girls to get the chance to also fulfil their dreams in the science fields.

Mrs Rhodaline Dzade, Specialist, Vodafone Ghana Foundation, speaking in an interview with GNA said Vodafone believes that the Vodafone scholars would help bridge the gender gap in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

“The idea from Vodafone Ghana Foundation scheme is to feed the pipeline for STEM careers which is currently lopsided male to females.

“We are currently on our second year and we are yet to see our students pass out, however the academics performances have been good.

“We chose UEW because we want to put teaching women in front of the girls, teaching women do a better job because when they become passionate about something they do it well.

“This is also to show the girls in the classrooms that someone has done it and they could also do same.

“These women will also serve as role models to the young ones coming up,” she added.

Mr Samuel Gyedu-Brefo, Project Manager, British Council, said there was the need to bridge the gap in the STEM field, thus, the partnership with Vodafone Ghana.

“The scholarship is sponsored by Vodafone Ghana Foundation…is in two tranches, one for Junior High students and the one for UEW.

“Tertiary education in the UEW is four years but the scholarship is for three years, so we start from level 200.

“It covers their fees and other study materials as well as their uniforms so they could concentrate only on their education.

Gyedu-Brefo urged other corporate bodies to emulate the gesture from Vodafone Foundation saying there are a countless number of needy yet brilliant students out there that need support.

“Corporate bodies should come on board so that we can expand the number of scholarships given to young girls.

“I look forward to an organization coming out and say I want to sponsor for boys.

“There are also some boys who are also going through difficult situations…it might not necessary be for the STEM space but outside that.”

Acting Head, Gender Mainstreaming Directorate, UEW, Obaapanin Adu Oforiwaa, in an interview that the scholarship scheme has been very incredible.

“The impact has been very tremendous…we did a study in 2005 to access the male and female ratio in terms of students pursuing science related programmes.

“The figures were very appalling…we had one female to about 10 males and since the introduction of the scheme we have had the numbers encouraging.

“These girls will also serve as role models to girls in the higher schools since we organize educational talk programmes in some of the schools.”

The event which also included a mentoring session saw some staffs of Vodafone Ghana engaging the beneficiaries in educational talks.

Research has shown that the disinterest of studying STEM is due to lack of financial and technical support for students who may want to consider a career in STEM.

It is therefore crucial to smoothen the path for female students who are passionate about science and technology in order to decrease the high attrition rate of women in this area.

Vodafone scholars project seeks to increase women’s engagement in science and technology in Ghana by providing technical and financial support to 100 young girls at the senior high school level annually.

Additionally, the Foundation offers scholarship to 10 brilliant but financially challenged female students in the UEW studying science and mathematics related courses.

Vodafone scholars would help bridge the gender gap in STEM.

GNA


Published by GWS Online GH : 2016-10-11

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