Girl power shines in robotics competition in Seychelles
The ‘International Girls in ICT’ Day was celebrated on Thursday, April 26. (Seychelles Nation)
(Seychelles News Agency) - School girls from the three main islands of Seychelles – Mahe, Praslin and La Digue – benefitted from a three-day long robotics orientated competition, to celebrate ‘International Girls in ICT’ Day.
To mark the day, the SIDS Youth Aims Hub (SYAH)-Seychelles in partnership with the Mauritius Commercial Bank hosted a ‘Robot Building and Programming’ competition conducted from April 26-28.
An initiative of the International Telecommunications Union, the ‘International Girls in ICT (Information Communication and Technology)’ Day, is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in April every year. It is a global effort to encourage and empower girls and young women to pursue studies and careers in ICT.
The facilitator of the event, Beryl Payet, said that statistics show that ICT is a field where we mostly see men.
“To meet the Sustainable Development Goal Five, we are encouraging girls to also participate in ICT, and the event today is to more or less give them an overview of what robotics entails and what they can learn through it,” said Payet.
The Sustainable Development Goal Five is a target set for 2030 to end gender inequality.
“In Seychelles, we are fortunate enough that all girls and boys have the chance to do computer science. If they meet up with the required marks, they can pursue their studies in computer science, so they can do it,” said Payet.
|The facilitator of the event, Beryl Payet, said that statistics show that ICT is a field where we mostly see men. (Seychelles Nation) Photo License: CC-BY|
Four representatives were selected from 13 secondary schools of Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, to take part in the competitions. The girls, coming from secondary three to five classes, had to build a robot and then programme it to carry out the task that has been allocated.
“I think that we all have a passion for IT (information technology), I personally do. Programming is interesting and maybe, later on, I might pursue my studies in the field,” said Kelvina Cupidon, a student of secondary five of Pointe Larue Secondary School.
Her schoolmate, Elisha Belize, said that the competition is a good and educational initiative. “It is exciting to learn new things and I am really happy to have participated,” she added.
Participants were timed and the first to finish each task scored the highest point. The competitions were held at the Mont Fleuri, Beau Vallon and Praslin secondary school.
Winners of Day 1 was the team from the Independent School, Day 2 -- the International School and Day 3 -- the Vijay International School on Praslin.
|The three schools that came out first on each day of the competition. (Beryl Payet) Photo License: CC-BY|
‘International Girls in ICT’ Day was celebrated for the first time in Seychelles on May 27, 2016. The event was led by SYAH-Seychelles in collaboration with the University of Seychelles (UniSey), the Department of Information Communications Technology (DICT) and the Seychelles National Youth Council (SNYC). The focus was on 'girls inspire girls' where young women in the field were encouraged to inspire other girls.“We weren't able to bring all the schools together because we did not have enough kits - we had only six as we didn't receive enough funding to buy more,” said Payet.
“This year we wanted the activity to be more interactive and wanted to introduce robotics to the young girls,” said the facilitator.
Talking about the event to be held next year, she said that there are plans “to bring something even more innovative, get the help of other partners so that we can build upon what we have already done.”