» Better life for girls: addressing the missing element for teachers in Ethiopia
01.02.2017 - Education Sector

Better life for girls: addressing the missing element for teachers in Ethiopia


A promising future for girls’ education in Ethiopia: three higher learning institutions have mainstreamed gender-responsive pedagogy in six teacher-training courses through the UNESCO-HNA Partnership for Girls’ and Women’s Education.

A major part of a girl’s future plays out in school – and teachers are in a unique position to ensure that girls feel as confident as boys do to pursue their dreams.

A project in Ethiopia targets teacher-training institutions, in an effort to ensure girls receive enough attention and participate actively in the classroom and wider school environment. Three higher learning institutions have taken major steps to train teachers in gender-responsive pedagogy for an inclusive, gender-responsive and conducive learning environment for boys and girls.

The project is part of the UNESCO-HNA Partnership for Girls’ and Women’s Education, which aims to improve the quality and relevance of girls’ learning. One of Ethiopia’s project components focuses on mainstreaming gender-responsive pedagogy into the teacher-training curriculum, in order to equip young teachers with the necessary knowledge, skills and teaching practices.

In 2016, three higher learning institutions Bahir Dar University, Kotobe University College and Hawassa College of Teachers’ Education, have initiated systematic mainstreaming of gender-responsive pedagogy into core teacher-training courses. After identifying six courses, they critically assessed them with a gender lens and ensured that they address gender-responsiveness in lesson planning, in the learning process and in learners’ assessment.

Partner institutions praised the significance of the project: “The Education Faculty under Bahir Dar University graduates thousands of young secondary school teachers. Through the UNESCO initiative, we recognized the missing links in equipping these young teachers and the benefits of incorporating elements of gender-responsive pedagogy into the cross-cutting courses. This approach bridges the existing teacher-training gaps on gender-responsiveness without incurring additional resources on the institutions”, said Mr. Temesgen Melaku, Lecturer at Bahir Dar University.

As part of the project, young teachers will develop key competencies in gender-responsive pedagogy and be able to contribute to a better learning environment for girls. This in turn will lead to improved results in keeping girls in schools and ensuring that they successfully complete their education cycle. Next steps will include generating evidence on the positive outcomes of the project and scaling up these efforts, for example, by collaborating with the relevant directorates at the Federal Ministry of Education in Ethiopia.

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