Regional Meeting on Gender Assessment in Teacher Education in Asia

Regional Meeting on Gender Assessment in Teacher Education in Asia

From the Dakar Framework for Action to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), the emphasis on the importance of gender equality has been consistent. SDG5 is the specific goal that promotes gender equality and empowers all women and girls. SDG4 – Education 2030 also directs one of its targets to eliminate gender disparities in education and ensure equal access to all levels of education and vocational training for the vulnerable, including persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples and children in vulnerable situations by 2030 (target 4.5).

A coherent approach to gender mainstreaming is necessary, where all components and processes of the education sector mutually advance gender equality goals. Gender-responsive curricula are an important channel to build knowledge and skills that support learners to examine dominant power structures, question gender stereotypes, promote positive gender relations, and advance gender equality. For gender equality to be a ‘lived’ reality in classrooms, teachers themselves must practice gender-responsive teaching, underpinned by knowledge of gender-sensitive pedagogy. Both prospective and current teachers must be provided with appropriate gender-sensitive teacher education and training. The potential impact of gender-responsive pedagogy in the classroom would not be fully realized if teaching and learning materials are laden with gender bias content. The 2015 Education for All Global Monitoring Report found that gender bias in textbooks remains pervasive in many countries. This is despite the Dakar Framework for Action making a strong case for learning content and materials to encourage and support gender equality and inclusion fifteen years ago in 2000. Gender biases and stereotypes embedded in teaching and learning materials undesirably reinforces gender bias mindsets in children and adults alike.

In 2015, UNESCO Bangkok Office launched an initiative to promote gender equality in the Asia-Pacific region, under the UNESCO-HNA Partnership for Girls’ and Women’s Education. This five-year project “Enhancing Girls’ and Women’s Right to Quality Education through Gender Sensitive Policy Making, Teacher Development and Pedagogy in South, Southeast and Central Asia”, involves five countries, namely Cambodia, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Uzbekistan. The first component of the project supports a gender assessment of teacher education in both content and perception in the participating countries. A regional expert meeting held in November 2015 took stock of the gender issues in the five countries and discussed the scope of gender assessment in pre-service and in-service teacher education. This was followed by a regional training workshop in May 2016 to introduce the overall conceptual and methodological approach of the gender assessment in teacher education, including a set of six gender assessment tools, to the country teams. Subsequently, national workshops were held to train data collectors on using the tools systematically, with technical support from UNESCO Bangkok Office and the respective UNESCO Field Offices. During February and April 2017, data collection, collation and analysis were carried out in the five countries.

Objectives

The objectives of this Regional Meeting are to:

  • Share and review preliminary findings of the five national gender assessment in teacher education;
  • Share experience and lessons learned from the project implementation among the participating countries;
  • Discuss and formulate the conceptual framework of the situation and training needs analysis of gender-responsive teacher policymaking and planning;
  • Prepare action plans for conducting a situation and training needs analysis at the country level.

Expected outputs

The expected outputs of the meeting include:

  1. Summary of preliminary findings and analysis of the national gender assessment of teacher education;
  2. Documented lessons learned from project implementation in the participating countries;
  3. Draft framework of situation and training needs analysis of gender-responsive teacher policymaking and planning;
  4. National action plans for conducting a situation and training needs analysis.

Participants

The meeting will bring together approximately 35-40 participants, comprising members of the five country teams from Cambodia, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Uzbekistan, resource persons and UNESCO staff. The country teams should include those who have been involved in the planning, coordination and/or implementation of the national gender assessment exercises, teacher educator(s) and official(s) from the Ministry of Education.

Delegates from Ghana and Ethiopia who have been involved in the implementation of the UNESCO-HNA supported gender project in Africa, titled “Enhancing the quality and relevance of education for adolescent girls in Africa and Asia through gender-responsive teaching and learning”, managed by UNESCO Headquarters, will also attend the meeting to exchange experiences and lessons learned.

Resources

Presentations

  • Opening Remarks (Jun Tang, Director of the Division of Teachers’ Income and Social Security, Department of Teacher Affairs, Ministry of Education |  Representative from the National Commission of the People’s Republic of China for UNESCO) - pdf, 382kb

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