An International Girls in ICT Day celebration was held on 2 May 2012, at the COMEX Exhibition, with cooperation with the Ministry of Education. The celebration hosted 210 girls, gathered from various schools from Muscat, Dhakiliya, and South Al Batinah, who have explored the various ICT technologies exhibited in COMEX, had an ICT information competition and a workshop about the Information Security.
International Girls’ in ICT Day is an initiative backed by ITU Member States in Plenipotentiary Resolution 70 (Guadalajara, 2010) to create an environment that empowers and encourages girls and young women to consider careers in the growing field of information and communication technologies (ICTs). International Girls in ICT Day is celebrated annually every year.
Reem Al Hosni, who is in Grade 8, at Faidh Al Marifah School, Muscat, says “The ICT Girls’ in ICT celebration is a very enriching experience for me, because I saw and learned things I do not see in school, like the robot Titan which was an amazing creation of technology.
There are many technologies in COMEX that I wish to see in my school soon. The workshop was informative and helped us know more about
ways to protect our information online. I now have more interest in ICT and I might take ICT as a career option.”
The Ministry of Education is represented by Mona Abdullah Al Siyabi, Programs Developer, Department of Education Technologies. Mona says that education technologies are now in high demand and we are responsible to connect students with platforms that allow them to interact and learn from the practical world. International ICT Girls day is a significant opportunity for the girls to be motivated to learn and research more about ICT and see the various applications and technologies all in one place.
The celebration agenda started with the opening ceremony, which was a gathering at the stage area at the exhibition. The girls later had a time to explore the exhibition. Then, they had a workshop conducted by Oman’s National Computer Emergency Readiness Team (OCERT) presented by OCERT’s Rahma Nasser Al Barashdi, Administrative Specialist and Amal Said Al Mashaeikhi, Training and Awareness Specialist.
Amal Al Mahsaeikhi says, “Most of the internet users are youth and it is very important for girls to be aware of information security and be able to protect their information online. The workshop aims to build equip the girls with knowledge on the importance of information
security and the implications of hacking, spams and other information threats.”
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is the body of the United Nations in charge of information and communication technologies. Their mandate is encourage the world to use technology, set unified standards globally and address issues that are raised with the development of technology. The International Girls in ICT Day is celebrated worldwide, and Oman is proud to be a part of the initiative.