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UUM ONLINE: The world celebrated the ITU international ‘Girls in ICT Day’ on 26 April 2012. In Malaysia, Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM), chosen as the host to celebrate the occasion, held ITU’s ‘Girls in ICT Day’ programme under the auspices of the International Telecommunication Union-Universiti Utara Malaysia Asia Pacific Centre of Excellence for Rural ICT Development (ITU-UUM ASP CoE).

The event, which is celebrated every year on the fourth Thursday in April, honours girls’ interests and strengths, and encourages them to choose a career in information and communication technologies.

The one-day programme was replete with various activities for the edification of the participants comprising over 300 students from UUM and several secondary schools from around the Kubang Pasu district in Kedah. Among the activities were a talk on ICT awareness by James L. Sinclair, Manager of the Broadcast Engineering Programme at the Asia Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD); a talk on Soft Skills Development by Huraizah Abdul Rahman, Manager of the Desa Balik Pulau Internet Centre, Penang; a talk on Careers in ICT by Dr. Azizah Ahmad, a lecturer at UUM; a quiz on ICT; and a creative video contest.

The Deputy Secretary-General (Communication), Ministry of Information, Communication, and Culture, Che Azemi Haron, when officiating the opening of the event at the Seminar Hall of the School of Computing, UUM, said that ICT was fast becoming integral to every aspect of the world of work, practically paralleling the pivotal importance of the economic factor in the advancement of a developing nation.

He said that many countries around the world were now facing a dearth of suitably qualified personnel in the fields of mathematics, science, engineering, and computing. In consequence, he said, to meet the increasing demand for such personnel in the workforce, big corporations were vying with each other in the recruitment of qualified women in this sector.

"This fortuitous phenomenon has presented highly qualified women in the technical field the golden opportunity to carve for themselves a place in the sun in terms of their career development and prospects. At present, at the global level, there is a need for an estimated two million ICT professionals. This huge imbalance in the supply-demand dynamic of this field is largely due to the glaring want of awareness among students, teachers, and parents concerning career prospects in this area,” he averred.

In light of this, he hoped that ITU’s ‘Girls in ICT Day’ programme would be duly appreciated as another invaluable contribution by ITU-UUM to the nation by way of raising consciousness among the people concerning the importance of ICT to national development, cautioning them against ICT abuses, and educating them about the rapid advancements and career prospects in this field.



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