Forum for African Women Educationalists - Uganda Chapter

"21 Years of Enhancing Girls' and Women's Education for Development" FAWE Uganda 1997-2018

95 HEAD TEACHERS AND TEACHERS IN THE RWENZORI SUB REGION TRAINED ON GENDER RESPONSIVE TEACHING APPROACHES

Mr. Henry Mugisha, the Senior Education Officer at the Ministry of Education and Sports conducting the Training in Fort portal recently

On 30th January - 2nd February, 2018 FAWE Uganda held a four day Gender Responsive Pedagogy training for 95 head teachers and teachers from the 30 schools covering the three districts of Kasese, Bundibudyo and Ntoroko, the Rwenzori sub region. The training equipped head teachers and teachers with skills and knowledge on the four pillars of gender responsive pedagogy including; lesson planning, teaching methodologies, learning materials and language used in schools.

To ensure active engagement and participation of members, the training was steered in form of holding group work discussions, plenary sessions, gallery walks, experience sharing and storytelling. As a result, participants opened-up and confessed to having witnessed or sometimes unknowingly orchestrated gender discrimination or violence in schools through their actions including; nicknaming students, using abusive language, discriminating learners, indecent dressing among teachers and corporal punishment without knowing that such acts expose learners to emotional violence and as result affect performance.

During the sessions, it was evident that, a high percentage of teachers do not have knowledge on the legal and policy framework that guide their profession and children wellbeing i.e. the Education Act and the Children Amendment Act 2016. A majority of schools were also not child friendly as the environment does not allow both male and female students to be comfortable and excel in their studies. This was reinforced by the lack of changing rooms for girls and adequate water points which inconvenience and stresses them during the menstrual cycle. School administrators were also seen to be a big obstacle to the realization of the gender responsive school.

One of the participants was quoted saying, “We need to integrate the knowledge we have acquired here today into the school systems, though its most likely to face resistance from the school administrators who are rigid and conservative hence making it very hard to realize a gender responsive environment in schools.”

Ms. Lynn Nakabugo, the Program Officer, Violence against Children at FAWE Uganda expressed that, “We need to put more effort to achieve gender responsive learning environment in schools. This involves rallying the school management committees like the Parents and Teachers Association, School Administrators, all teachers and support staff and community members to appreciate the components of gender responsive pedagogy, apply it to make learning environment child friendly to enable both girls and boys flourish and improve on their performance.”

At the closure, participants made commitments and developed action plans on how to transform their schools and make them gender responsive. The training took place at Fort View Resort Hotel, in Fort portal district.

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