The current trend in SA is that boys outperform girls in Maths and Science. According to the Report on the National Senior Certificate Examinations Results 2010, in Mathematics 52% of boys passed as opposed to 44% of girls. In Physical Science, 50% of boys passed while only 46% of girls were successful. This is despite the fact that more girls than boys enrolled for both Mathematics and Physical Science. Consequently, young girls leave school and higher institutions without the competencies required to occupy technical careers in Maths, Science and Technology.

The gender analysis and Evaluation of Girls’ Education study also revealed that girls perform poorly compared to boys in Maths, Science and Technology. It is noted that fewer students especially girls, study Maths, Science and Technology at tertiary levels. This has major implications later in the girls’ lives, as they have fewer career opportunities, and get relatively lower paying jobs.

Techno Girl is one of the South African government’s responses to these challenges. Championed by the Ministry for Women, Children and People with Disabilities, in partnership with the Department of Basic Education, UNICEF and Uweso Cosulting, the programme aims to empower young girls to take up careers in the Maths, Science and Technical fields. The programme was recently showcased at the 55th UN Commission on the Status of Women in New York.

Programme Highlights
  • 3952 girls had benefited from the programme by the end of the 2010
  • The Ministry for Women, Children and People with Disabilities adopted Techno Girl as a key government programme in terms of the Ministry’s mandate to drive government’s gender equity, equality and empowerment agenda
  • The Ministry for Women, Children and People with Disabilities in the Presidency will now drive the programme
  • The Minister for Women, Children and People with Disabilities has called for the expansion of the programme to all nine provinces in 2011
  • Techno Girl was selected to be part of the government delegation to the UN 55th Commission on the Status of Women in New York
  • At a South African embassy function in New York, one of the programme beneficiaries, 17-year old Khanyisile Mokele was given a platform to share her experience in the Techno Girl programme with local and global leaders and representatives
  • 94% of beneficiaries reported increasing the understanding of the world of work and an increase in knowledge of the skill requirements of the various careers they were exposed to
  • 87% of beneficiaries reported receiving information on the further study and other entry requirements for the careers they are interested in
  • 92% of beneficiaries credited the programme for improving their understanding of careers with high employability prospects
  • 90% of beneficiaries had increased awareness of the job duties associated with the various careers they were exposed to during the programme
  • Career guidance booklets, detailing qualifications in the economic growth sectors of various provinces, were developed and will in future be distributed among girls