The field of technology in Cambodia is male-dominated and only a few female students study in this field. Often you can hear such an opinion: “Only boys have enough capability to study computer science, as this field requires access to technology for generations”. Such views underestimate women's abilities, as they expect that women are not qualified enough to study information technology compared to men.
In order to support female students in Cambodia to study or to work in any field related to technology, in 2019 IT Academy STEP Cambodia established a special program: Sisters of Code. The main goal of the program is to welcome girls and women, ages 10 - 20 years old, to learn to code for free. Mrs. Natalja Rodionova, a Latvian citizen and the founder of Sisters of Code, who is also a Managing Director at IT Academy STEP Cambodia said: “Sisters of Code exist to empower and support female students through education to discover their full potential and grow a new generation of digital creators. As we can see now female participation in the digital economy is still low.” She also mentions that even some female students choose to study technology as their major in the Universities, many of the graduates, would not even start working in the field, which is a significant problem that needs to be addressed. An Apsara dance movement, which means growth, is symbolically chosen for the Sisters of Code logo, as the organization wants to encourage more female students to participate in the digital field to contribute to the economic growth of Cambodia.
To reach its goal, Sisters of Code educational program consists of 3 modules: basic coding with international code.org website; also creating their own game with Scratch and learn creative coding, and finally, students learn to build their own websites through WiS and HTML. At the end of each module students need to present to their peers created websites or apps.
Mrs. Natalja also mentioned that Sisters of Code just created a new program “ Sisters of Code Ambassadors Club” for female students from 20 y.o., who want to become a mentor in coding. Those students will receive training in pedagogy principles and ethics and in project management, so they can request funds to run their own coding club with Sisters of Code. The program includes presentation skills and training in computer science teaching, using Sisters of Code curriculum.
Finally, Mrs. Natalja wants to inspire more Cambodian girls and women to study digital skills, as information technology can open more opportunities than we may think. You can find Sisters of Code on Facebook Social media or Website: www.sistersofcode.org.
The original post in Khmer: https://bit.ly/396X0wc