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Viet Nam educators enhance their capacity in gender mainstreaming in curriculum and textbook development

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IMG 20151210_091557Photo: Participants share their findings during the training in Ho Chi Minh City.Ha Noi, 16 December 2015 – Educators enhanced their capacity in mainstreaming gender in textbooks and curriculums during joint workshops on gender mainstreaming in curriculum and textbook development and validation.

As part of the Gender Equality and Girls' Education Initiative in Viet Nam: Empowering girls and women for a more equal society, the Standing Unit for Textbooks and Curriculum Renovation, Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) organised two training workshops on gender mainstreaming in curriculum and textbook development and validation with the technical support of national experts and UNESCO.

The workshops were attended by 100 participants from MOET, different Provincial Departments of Education and Training (DOET) and other universities and colleges from northern, central and southern Viet Nam. A total of 27 male and 63 female participants of whom are textbook and curriculum developers and validators as well as young aspiring educators actively partook in the trainings.

Ms. Nguyen Thi Hong, a sociology lecturer at the Vietnam National University in Ho Chi Minh City expressed that "although she had been trained before on gender mainstreaming and is herself a trainer on this topic, this was [her first time] to work on current textbooks with other participants from varied backgrounds". Ms. Hong, like many others present, actively led group discussions and challenged stereotypes raised by others, contributing to the very dynamic and thought-provoking dialogues.

IMG 20151207_090828Photo: Hanoi training session in action.

Participants shared personal experiences and concerns about gender mainstreaming not only within the educational sector but its far-reaching impact on working environments both in the employment sector and even at home.

Ms. Maki Hayashikawa, Chief, Section of Learning and Teachers, Division of Teaching, Learning and Content from UNESCO, highlighted the importance of enabling environments for men and women to be capable of meeting their highest capacities at work and beyond. Through Ms. Maki's technical assistance and facilitation she emphasized that "gender is not about women solely but rather about recognising differences between men and women and finding the means to enable their potential and capacity..." This is a key element in the mainstreaming of gender equality in the workplace and in life in general.

Following many more relevant and eye-opening discussions, the confidence among the educators to think beyond the conventional representation of gender roles was evident. Participants evaluated the textbooks and curriculums with open minds and critical eyes, demonstrating their enhanced knowledge and understanding of gender concepts and gender issues in education and acquired skills to critically review textbooks and guidelines on gender stereotypes while presenting alternative solutions.

As key beneficiaries of this training, the Director of the Standing Unit stated that he and his colleagues now have a more extensive understanding of gender equality and gender mainstreaming. A document setting gender equality as one of the criteria for all curriculum and textbooks developers and validators in the assessment of textbooks and curriculums has been drafted. This document is to be finalized, approved and issued by MOET.

 

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