Hyderabad: Wells Fargo India & Philippines, technology extension of Wells Fargo bank, is taking several initiatives to contribute to the education of girl children to build their foundation to a successful technology career. In that direction, the Wells Fargo-Nirmaan Coding initiative is aiming to introduce coding to 8,000 students in the next three years, spread over Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Chennai.
As part of the pilot, last year, 100 girls were selected from four Government schools in Hyderabad and Bengaluru and attended a virtual valediction ceremony, in the middle of the pandemic. They had successfully completed a six -month programme in coding taught by Wells Fargo volunteers.
“What started as a pilot volunteering initiative with 100 girls across government schools between the ages of 10 and 16, has today transformed into a full-fledged project, introducing coding to 5,000 students by 2022 and sparking their interest in STEM education and careers at an early age. The programme has touched over 1,500 students to date and is growing, across three government high schools in Hyderabad,” Lina Nair, lead, Office of the Head of Technology, Wells Fargo India & Philippines, told Telangana Today.
The Wells Fargo-Nirmaan Coding Initiative is designed to motivate students to consider a career in technology, through classes in basic computer and coding skills. Today, students are attending the coding classes at seven government schools in Hyderabad, Chennai, and Bengaluru, and about 4,000 are expected to register by the end of this month. The students will be awarded the certification at the end of the programme.
The pilot batch rolled out last year saw around 25 Wells Fargo Technology employees volunteering more than 260 hours to virtually teach topics such as the basics of computers, online/cyber safety, logical problem solving, and Scratch and Python programming. This year, 50 of them have contributed 150 volunteering hours to date.
Bandana Jha, VP, Social Impact and Sustainability, Wells Fargo India & Philippines, said, “We are primarily offering a 100-module programme for students in sixth to ninth standard. The world is evolving technologically with the emergence of artificial intelligence and machine learning and we want to offer technology as a career option for girls. We need to have equal opportunities for girls, particularly those who are underserved.”
“We have introduced aspects such as cyber security into the programme, and we look forward to including other key domains of technology and expanding the content in future. We also plan to take the programme as a flagship initiative pan-India to include semi-urban locations going forward,” added Jha.
Women in Technology
Lina Nair added, “Wells Fargo has an internal network, a self-driven community of “Women in Technology” that aims to attract, advance, enrich and retain female technical talent within Wells Fargo. It is a global programme with local chapters, including India. The company is investing on devices needed for the programme so that more students can come onboard, backed by the CSR budget. The State governments have also been proactive in ensuring active participation of the government schools.”
Wells Fargo’s India chapter of Women in Technology (WiT) was instrumental in pioneering the pilot programme of this coding initiative.
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