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UNICEF to Bring 11,000 Lower-Income South Africa High School Girls in Tech Industries

Women are woefully underrepresented in technology, science, engineering and mathematics jobs in South Africa

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UNICEF
Women are woefully underrepresented in technology, science, engineering and mathematics jobs in South Africa. But for the last decade, a homegrown, UNICEF-supported program has worked to bring 11,000 lower-income high school girls into these industries. VOA

Women are woefully underrepresented in technology, science, engineering and mathematics jobs in South Africa. But for the last decade, a homegrown, UNICEF-supported program has worked to bring 11,000 lower-income high school girls into these industries.

Among those students was Raquel Sorota. Sorota has come a long way from her humble upbringing in Johannesburg’s Tembisa township. She now works as a risk engineer at a top South African insurance company.

She was those one of those South African high school girls who went through the UNICEF-supported TechnoGirls program, which started in 2005. She was selected for the program in 2009. Now 24, she says it changed her life.

“My life has literally never been the same again,” she said. “So, before the program, I wanted to be a doctor and today I’m an engineer, through that program. So I think a lot of what I think I took from that program was how it exposed me to the world of engineering. I think for the longest time I never knew how broad that world was and that I could have a place in that world, most importantly.”

Bright, disadvantaged girls

The program selects bright high school girls from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, gives them exposure to professions in science, technology, engineering and math, pairs them with mentors, and follows them through their university studies.

The program’s founder, Staff Sithole, says this is about much more than creating a new crop of workers. This, she says, is about changing the world — and who runs it.

“It is more an instrument, or a program, which is contributing towards gender equality. So rather than just running advocacy programs, let’s come with something that can change the circumstances, can be a purposeful targeted intervention of contributing towards gender equality,” she said.

Challenging obstacles

For high school students Gugulethu Zungu and Queen Makaile, the obstacles are more than just lack of opportunity. Both are physically challenged; they were both born with different, rare genetic defects that have affected their appearance and their health. Both were chosen to participate in the program this year for their high grades in math and science.

Zungu says the program led her to identify her dream career — forensics — but also to expand her horizons.

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“I like investigating and solving mysteries. And it actually makes me believe that, indeed, nothing is impossible. You just have to think out of the box,” she said.

Makaile, who has struggled with hearing and vision problems as a result of her rare defect that has also given her asymmetrical facial features, says she now wants to be come a journalist, to show the world that her thoughts matter more than her looks. For these girls, nothing, they say, will stand in their way. (VOA)

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Xiaomi Show Off its First 64MP Smartphone Imaging Technology

Powered by Samsung's GW1 64MP sensor, the 64MP smartphone technology will first come with a Redmi smartphone in India in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2019

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Xiaomi, Smartphone, Technology
The technology was showcased in the presence of Bin Lin, President and Co-founder of Xiaomi and Jesuk Lee, Vice President, Head of Sensor Design for Samsung Electronics. Wikimedia Commons

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi on Wednesday showed off its first 64MP smartphone imaging technology at a global event here, thus making it the first handset player to exhibit the technology.

The technology was showcased in the presence of Bin Lin, President and Co-founder of Xiaomi and Jesuk Lee, Vice President, Head of Sensor Design for Samsung Electronics.

Powered by Samsung’s GW1 64MP sensor, the 64MP smartphone technology will first come with a Redmi smartphone in India in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2019.

“The GW1 features smart ISO supported by Dual Conversion Gain (DCG) technology which intelligently adjusts the ISO sensitivity based on ambient light intensity.

Xiaomi, Smartphone, Technology
Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi on Wednesday showed off its first 64MP smartphone imaging technology at a global event here, thus making it the first handset player to exhibit the technology. Wikimedia Commons

“It uses low ISO in high-brightness environments, and high ISO in dark-light environments to achieve the best signal-to-noise ratio for the entire scene,” the company said in a statement.

According to the company, the GW1 sensor uses ISOCELL Plus technology to create a pixel-to-pixel barrier to reduce light interference between pixels and consequently improve colour reproduction.

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The GW1 outputs 64MP photos with a resolution of 9248×6936 pixels and comes with support for real-time hardware-supported high dynamic range (HDR) of up to 100-decibels (dB) that provides richer hues. (IANS)