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On air with Francisca: The Ghanaian radio engineer

In Ghana, it’s not very often that you see a young female leader in technology. Girls’ participation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in secondary schools is still lower than that of boys. There are a lot of root causes to this inequality, like bias and gender stereotypes.

But Francisca is bucking the trend. She’s a studio engineer working on a Plan International satellite education program in Accra. And she believes that technology is revolutionary — that it will create a huge difference the lives of in Ghanaians.

“The nature of this job is such that I have the opportunity to learn new things every day and come up with creative ideas to solve technical problems,” Francisca says. “The fact that my work improves the learning for over 12,000 school children and schoolteachers keeps me going.”

The Plan radio program is part of Ghana’s first interactive distance-learning project, harnessing technology to bring quality teaching to schools. The program broadcasts catch-up radio lessons to children who have fallen behind with their studies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Live lessons are broadcast to more than 72 schools that are supported by Plan, and each school is provided with technical support and classroom facilitators so that students can access the radio lessons.

With Francisca’s leadership, she’s helping to advance the role of women in Ghana. Because when women can access the same opportunities as men, they can play an indispensable part in creating advancements in technology.

“As a female engineer working in a highly technical and male-dominated field, one of the main challenges of my role is keeping pace with technological change,” Francisca says. And as a young woman in STEM, Francisca is motivated to keep going — because she knows her legacy will leave a lasting impact in girls’ lives in Ghana.

“I want to encourage all girls to aspire to be whoever they want to be in the future, with a positive mindset of: ‘Yes I can.’”

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