September 6, 2016: Trainings on reorienting and revitalizing the role and contribution of gender focal points in promoting girlsâ€™ education have recently been organized by UNESCO and the Department of Education(DOE), Gender and Equity Development Section.
The two- day training programmes were held in Chitwan and Pokhara on August 26 and 27; and 29 and 30 respectively, gathering gender focal points from over 50 district education offices across Nepal.
Raghav Pratap Thakur from UNESCO facilitated the interactive sessions on the status of Adolescent Girlsâ€™ Education in Nepal.
The programmes delivered through case studies, character-oriented video stories, infographics and discussions on the challenges ahead, inspired the participants to make a meaningful change in their respective communities.
Talking about how despite the scenario of girlsâ€™ education looks brighter, Thakur said, â€œcooperation and commitment from families and society at large is occurring at a slow pace; the role of teachers can be vital in this regard.â€
Manuja Baral from the Department of Education highlighted how the Consolidated Equity Strategy, 2014 has helped Nepal making giant leaps in terms of girlsâ€™ education. She encouraged the participants to work in groups to address the various dimensions influencing girlsâ€™ education and equity, including gender discrimination, socio-economic status, health and nutrition, ethnicity, vulnerability and geography.
Gender focal points highlighted their recent successes and challenges in terms of girlsâ€™ education in their respective districts.
Basanta Prasad Koirala from the Department of Education facilitated a session on Nepalâ€™s Amended Education Act through a gender perspective. He further encouraged participants to study different sections of the Act and present their findings. He briefed participants on the concept of â€˜Suggestion Boxâ€™ and how to strengthen its effectiveness in schools.
Similarly, Nora Wegner from UNESCO made a presentation on Gender Sensitive Education in Nepalâ€™s post-disaster context, highlighting the need to integrate gender sensitivity into theÂ Disaster Risk ReductionÂ Strategy.
Amidst the programme, Khadga Kamal, District Education Officer, Syangja, shared the positive impacts of the trainings on women head teacher leadership as well as accounting system held in the district with the support of UNESCO in 2015 and 2016 respectively.
Findings showed that when female teachers are empowered, their performance becomes exemplary and consequently contributes in promoting girlsâ€™ education.
On the second day of the training, participants played Margolis Circle- an interactive group game based on a peer-to-peer model. Every participant noted a problem concerning girlsâ€™ education and later asked for solutions to fellow trainees. Â This allowed for a wide array of viewpoints to be shared. Additionally, participants worked inÂ groups representing family, community and school tackling the theme â€˜Breaking the challenges of educating girlsâ€™.