Class 12 Society, Law and Ethics Gender and Disability Issues

Gender and Disability issues while Teaching and Using Computers

Gender issues

It has been commonly observed that girls are under represented in Computer Science Studies be it computer science major subject at high school or at college level. There are far less girls than boys in computer science section.

The factors behind this are

Preconceived notions

Notions like boys are better at technical things, girls are good at humanities, arts etc.; girls must take up a career keeping in mind that they have to raise a family; Teaching is the best option for girls as it gives you half day off and ample number of holidays so that you can take care of your family; have their impact on decision making of girls while taking up subjects. Also parents play a major role while deciding the subjects.

Lack of interest

During primitive years children often play games on the computers and smart phones. Most of the games are boys centric that increase the interest of boys in computers.

Lack of motivation

Girls are pressurized to choose a career option which will give them work life balance because they have to play an important family role in future. This theory discourages girls from taking up technical subjects like computer science.

Lack of role models

Girls these days see less role models in the field of computer science. In every field such as movies, advertisements, scientists etc we see more men than women. All these things influence girls sub-psychology and they infer that computer science is for boys and not to take that subject.

Lack of encouragement in class

As there are lesser number of girls in a class , the teachers for most work – assignments end choosing more boys. Also some teachers pin point on their roles in the society. All this may play as hindrance and girls do not develop interest in Computer Science.

Disability Issues

Various disability issues faced in the teaching/learning computers with regard to the disability are

Unavailability of teaching material / aids

Students with different disabilities need different types of teaching aids/ material. For instance visually challenged students would want that there screen readers that could read the digital content to them, hearing impaired students would want lore of viual input than oratory, low vision students may need Braille keyboards, braille monitors and printers along with screen readers for working on computers. Unavailability of such supportive programming aids and software are a big issue that must be handled by the school and the management.

Lack of special needs teachers

For different types of special needs, students require special needs teachers. For example : a hearing impaired student needs a teacher who is able to converse in sign language and would be able to convey and explain study material. There should be teachers who know what type of hardware and software tool can be used for the differently able students as per their specific needs. For example braille keyboards, monitors and printers, synthetic speech generators etc, software assistants like Google assistant, Microsoft Narrator and Cortana, specialized editors for visually impaired students for typing programs etc.

Lack of supporting curriculum

Curriculum should be designed while keeping focus on inclusive education. Sofwares and programs should be so used so that disabled students can easily work on that. For example office software based curriculum can be easily implemented as it provides accessibility features and all types of students an easily work on it.