Purpose: To find out why there are gender disparities in access to Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), in some schools in Cameroon, and explore the ways in which the pedagogical integration of ICTs can build the capacity of girls for their socio-economic development, and how girls’ access to ICTs can be improved.
Design methodology /approach: Qualitative data from five PanAf schools in Cameroon from the methodological guide of the Pan African research agenda on the pedagogical integration of ICTs, collected through questionnaires, visits to the schools, interviews, and observation was used. Second hand data was collected from documents and scientific researches in this domain. We used tables and graphs to illustrate data
Findings: Gender differences in access to ICTs are due to the perception of the girls; socio-cultural beliefs; insufficient computers and female role models. ICTs will impact positively on the socio-economic development of girls. Training more female teachers on ICTs, and increasing the number of computers will improve access.
Research limitations/implications: The study could not cover all the relevant areas of interest. A comparative study could be carried out in urban and rural areas to tackle the problem of infrastructure which is one of the causes of unequal access.
Practical and Policy implications: The study will contribute to current thinking and encourage the Cameroonian government to implement National ICT strategies to tackle gender disparities, unequal access and set specific targets for enhancing opportunities for women. Lessons inferred could be used in other African countries to empower women, leading to gender equality which is one of the millennium development goals.
Originality/value: If girls are to be equipped for living and learning, the barriers which prevent them from participating in ICT need to be identified and creative solutions developed to encourage them to study ICT.
Keywords: ICT and Gender, ICT Education, Cameroon
Yeba J.S.E.M.M. (2010) ICTs and Gender Development in Cameroonian Secondary Schools, Anthology of Abstracts of the 3rd International Conference on ICT for Africa, March 25-27, Yaoundé, Cameroon. Baton Rouge, LA: International Center for IT and Development.