In Africa girls are traditionally not represented in Mathematics, Science and technology. The degree to which girls are represented in Science and Mathematics is directly linked to a wide spectrum of opportunities and a better future.
It is within this backdrop that Educate a Child in Africa (ECA) trained three interns from the University of Buea (UB) Cameroon to carry out a sensitization campaign on the importance of Science education to the girl child. The interns were trained on project writing, project management, startup techniques and challenged to conceive a project and implement it in any community of their choice in Fako Division the South West Region of Cameroon.
They wrote a project titled “Science education and greater opportunities for the Girl Child” which is geared towards sensitizing parents and guardians on the importance of Sciences to girls. The interns implemented the project in the Dogyard community of Limbe where parents and guardians were sensitized on the importance of education to the girl child and ways by which the girl child could be motivated to be science inclined.
Amongst other ideas, the seventy five parents/guardians that were contacted by the Educate a Child in Africa team were challenged to encourage their daughters to take note of their surroundings and to consider things such as how bridges are built and what makes plants flourish. The parents and guardians were also advised to find a mentor that will inspire their daughters and provide future opportunities in sciences. Introducing their daughters to a family friend or a community member who can show her around a chemical laboratory or an architecture firm, was one of the ways that was recommended by the interns to lure the girls into the science field. The parents and guardians were also made to understand that they could design a birthday party with a scientific theme or hold a stargazing party at night.
The interns realized that about 60% of the parents/guardians that were contacted do not send their children to school. This made the task of the interns challenging considering the fact that they had to first of all sensitize the parents/guardians on the importance of education stressing on the need and the techniques by which the girls could be science inclined. However, the families that had girls of school going age already enrolled in school became the direct beneficiaries of the campaign.