Efforts to have extra girls in STEM topics is paying off

Round this time of the 12 months, six years in the past, Rabina Shrestha obtained her HSEB (Greater Secondary Examination Board) outcomes, now referred to as NEB (Nationwide Examination Board). She was in a dilemma as to which stream to decide on for her Bachelor’s diploma since her selection would decide her future plan of action.

Shrestha determined to do a BSc in Pc Engineering from Kathmandu College (KU) College of Science in Dhulikhel. She was among the many ten feminine college students in a category of 55 that tutorial 12 months.

“Feminine college students taking further arithmetic programs in grades 11-12 have been fairly restricted. Once I joined Bachelors in Pc Science at KU, the variety of feminine college students was disappointingly low,” mentioned 25-year-old Shrestha.

Girls pursuing a profession in STEM (Science, Expertise, Engineering and Arithmetic) have at all times been an anomaly. Their desire for STEM schooling has additionally been nominal. This truth is rooted in how society views girls and STEM topics, with most terming the STEM subject as a person’s area. However the efforts to extend girls’s participation in STEM by academic establishments have been evident lately.

Shrestha recollects experiencing social bias throughout her four-year-long diploma course. “I nonetheless keep in mind how considered one of my academics mentioned girls have been amateurish in coding. I took that message as his notion of girls in coding. It made me query my selection and doubt my talents.”

Nonetheless, girls have been breaking the glass ceiling by pursuing schooling in STEM.

“Within the final tutorial 12 months, we had a complete of 23 girls enrolled in Data Expertise. However this 12 months, the quantity has elevated to 36,” mentioned Amar Deep Mandal, head of promoting of The British School. “We anticipate the quantity to extend additional.”

Bachelor’s levels in STEM topics are often three to 4 years lengthy, relying on their nationwide and worldwide college affiliations. And most of them additionally present job placements.

The British School offering graduates with a paid job placement quickly after finishing the diploma course has additionally been a draw for many feminine college students, says Mandal.

Pankaj Jalan, chairman of Lord Buddha Training Basis (LBEF), which is among the first IT schools in Nepal, reckons the identical, contemplating the statistics over the previous twenty years. “Girls taking technology-related levels make up almost 40 p.c of the category now. Earlier, there would hardly be three to 5 girls in a classroom,” mentioned Jalan.

However this enhance in quantity isn’t mere luck. Numerous effort and technique has been put into eradicating the predominant social biases that diminish girls’s curiosity on this subject.

“For the final 4 years, our faculty, in collaboration with the Federation of Pc Associations Nepal, has been offering full scholarships to feminine college students from every province. So there are such alternatives accessible for feminine college students eager about STEM,” mentioned Jalan.

There are additionally rising job alternatives that particularly ask for girls, and these jobs pay fairly properly, says Shrestha, along with her expertise looking for a job after commencement.

Shrestha, who as soon as doubted her abilities in coding, now works as a software program developer at Cedar Gate Applied sciences. “Simply because we don’t see sufficient girls in STEM doesn’t imply the topic isn’t for you. Girls should not let social biases hinder their profession progress.”

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