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How to get girls into coding: Lessons from the Czech Republic and Bulgaria

Girls participating in a coding workshop

In Europe, four times more men than women study ICT-related subjects.

Grassroot initiatives like CoderDojo and Rail Girls aim to shift the balance through workshops that introduce programming to girls as young as seven. Can these types of citizen movements be popularised in the Global South?

At last year’s European Development Days in Brussels, Capacity4dev spoke to Dita Prykrylova from the Czech Republic and Martina Koleva from Bulgaria, who launched programming workshops in their countries.

“It starts with building a community of volunteers enthusiastic about teaching girls coding. Then you need to find sponsors – companies that see the value of investing in young people as potential, future employees,” said Prykryklova, who founded Czechitas in 2014. “It’s not magic, it’s not rocket science.”

Koleva, who founded the Bulgarian chapters of CoderDojo and Rail Girls, suggested to start small. “Organise a workshop for 10, maybe 15 girls and see how it goes,” she told us, adding that even a couple of workshops a year can go a long way in boosting the girls’ enthusiasm for coding.

Watch our interviews with Prykrylova and Koleva here:

 

 

Photo © Rainer Stropek via Creative Commons licence 2.0

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Capacity4dev Team
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23 May 2019

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