The Importance of ICT in Eradicating Poverty and Gender Inequality in Education

Posted: April 23, 2019 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

By Bol Elijah Bul, Rumbek, South Sudan

Bol Elijah Bul

Tuesday, April 23, 2019 (PW) — For every country to have a successful Educational System, they must have a good Information Communication Technology (ICT) background, hence, for South Sudan to achieve successive female participation in education. Therefore, the government should firstemploy some strategies that can boost the use of ICT among the females, because girls considered themselves inferior in the use of ICT, by considering it as a job isolated for males.  South Sudan should initiate girls education strategies that involve the use of ICT, and also plan of launching an innovation lab in the states, which can provide a space for UN agencies, International Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs).

They can come together to develop creative solutions to enhances women and girls education problems in specific and systematic areas including ICT literacy in TVET schools. It is a fact that South Sudan has been, and is working hard to eliminate barrier on women and girls’ education, which were imposed on them by long cultured practices among South Sudanese Communities which rated girls and women as inferior and unable people in the world of education. Poverty is one of the problems which prevented women and girl from participating equally in education, because the cost of the school learning materials, made some parents opt to leave girls at home or marry them off at their early age to get wealth.

The integration of the Information Communication Technology (ICT) can help in mediating, teaching and learning in the country, and can contribute quality deliverance in education. The use of ICT appears only in TVET centers in South Sudan because technology is not advanced in the country, there is relative lack of capacity to manage ICT skills’ training institutions, the computers which are there are either in bad condition or totally damage without taking them for repair, but this is where the computers used.

Modern technology can make it easy for women and girls to learn through practice by possessing the computers to apply the knowledge, for their daily bread. There is a need for the infusion of modern technology in the country because South Sudan needs auto mechanics and well-qualified technicians to develop high ICTs skill centers around the country.

There has been increasing for development initiative in the developing countries on ICT according to, “ the study for the International Development Research Center of Canada (IDRC)  on ICT for poverty reduction strategies, reported the trends showing that ICT has applied for systematic improvements for poverty reduction, health, and social services delivery.’’ These can be initiated across the country by the governments with support from international partners to help female citizens in South Sudan to forms and build social organizations on rights and gender equality. Females empowerment mean increasing their power to take control over their decisions which can make their lives look better, this includes access to resources, participation in deciding for themselves or the whole community and control over the distribution if any benefits to share.

ICT offer potential to women and girls who can access information on computers, especially in the way of reducing poverty and isolation always given to them by men, and gender discrimination in the labor market. There is evidence showing the benefits of the ICT for women and girls empowerments through the increment in their access to health, education and many other human opportunities for development like political participation and other trading opportunities.

The creation of the secured online space that protects them from harassment, therefore, women now are enjoying the freedom of speech and expression that promoted women and girls right only on Social Media (Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram, Cell phones calls, the list is long), which lead to the promotion of females’ rights. Experiences throughout the third world counties in Africa, South America, and South Asia, find it out that the creative solutions to provide access to the use of ICT as a tool for participation in contributing to women empowerment.

It is a fact in South Sudan that there is limited access to roads and transport, and ICT can potentially deliver some useful information about prices for women with small ICT business enterprises such as computer centers and tailoring shops. UN (2005). The report that females are getting employment now in the new era because of the ICT development, internationally, jobs like medical transcription have made a considerable difference to women works opportunities.

Because it is easy for the women to use the software, also women made up some small percentage in managerial positions in the companies and maintenance and design personnel in the ICT.

Empowering of the rural women, according to the UN General Assembly resolution No. 58/146 stressed the rural women empowerment and their participation to the ICT. The use of ICT can improve the life and the leadership of the rural women, to participate in the village economic and development activities.  The participation of the village women and girls in ICT is achieved if the infrastructures are made to reach the rural centers to provide secure transport, and supervision of educational training centers, economic activities and the development of media and communication technologies such as cell phone network setup in the rural areas across South Sudan.

ICT is a powerful tool to improve governance and development of democracy because it helps in fostering more transparent governance by enhancing interaction between the government and the citizens on social media; it also helps in the revitalization of the civic institutions and public debates on empowering women and girls in every country. Currently, technology has become a priority in the world governments, resulting in the implementation of the people’s programs that apply technology in government delivering the services and promote accountability.

The e-government focus on new technologies can strengthen the public voice to revitalized democratic processes and refocus on management and structure of the government to better serve the public interest. ICT help the governments to empower women and involved them in the ruling system and advocate for gender-responsive government and active participation of women in all levels of the decision making and ensure greater accountability in the government.

Lastly, Women empowerment through ICT in the developed world has shown positive progress, and what about in South Sudan, a country where women and girls account for 60% of the population, according to the Sudanese 5th General Population and Housing Census results in 2008, and with their illiteracy at 93% Charity, G. (2016). Therefore with this high illiteracy rate among the females, the national Ministry of Health in collaboration with the international Health Partners under World Health Organization (WHO), should be sensitizing the community on radios or campaigns in the countries to disseminate information related to women health. ICT also can be used for delivering local news, pertaining to health information like vaccination of children against measles, Polio and other preventable diseases, to women through community accessing points.

ICT can help South Sudanese women to protect themselves from contracting STIs especially HIV/AIDS, AIDS in South Sudan is a significant problem to the women and girls because women and girls are often bear the brunt of the pandemic. They are always venerable to HIV/AIDS infection, because they lack knowledge on how to control the disease, since the majority of the women and girls who are living in the villages, are still not aware of the use of the condom, and all other means used to prevent HIV/ADS.

ICT is very important in fighting poverty not only among the females but also an integration of knowledge and technology, because educated without ICT applications is equivalent to nothing in 21st century.

The author, Bol Elijah Bul, is a Teaching Assistant at Rumbek University of Science and Technology, South Sudan and can be reached on his e-mail h2bulbul@gmail.com

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made is the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël Media (PW) website. If you want to submit an opinion article, commentary or news analysis, please email it to paanluel2011@gmail.com. PaanLuel Wël Media (PW) website do reserve the right to edit or reject material before publication. Please include your full name, a short biography, email address, city and the country you are writing from.

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