Big takeaways from Bridge the Gap 2022 – Girls’ Inclusivity in Education
The big takeaways of the Experts Panel can be summarized as follows:
- To see change, we need to tackle the gender social norms of communities and the gender based violence in and around schools. This way we will ensure that we change the dynamics in local communities allowing girls to make decisions about their futures and to have more opportunities in their future working lives.
- To reduce the problem, we need to understand the complexity of the problem. We need to gather better qualitative and quantitative data and to use it in order to effectively communicate.
- We need to make sure that girls and women are more involved in science and technology development. It is interesting to note that when we bring more women into the workspace they tend to bring other neglected groups in workspace with them. We need to think more inclusively how we bring computer science skilling into the hands of every single student.
During the Teachers’ and Students’ Voice Roundtable, the participants pointed out that:
- It is very difficult to change mindsets regarding the value of girls’ education in certain communities. A way to approach the problem is to involve girls and women who have succeeded and can become role models of what access to education can do for a girl.
- The only way to change mindsets on a government level is ensure public pressure.
- Teachers qualifications and professional development opportunities need to help educators develop a gender or feminist lens in order to re-learn what wrong ideas they themselves have learnt growing up.
- Sometimes we need to create all-girls spaces in order for girls to feel safe.
- We need to acknowledge the good work done by teachers when they try to change the system above them.
- The voices of the students have to be heard in order to make school experiences relevant to them.
- It is always helpful for teachers to reach out to local authorities (mayors, municipality councils etc) in order to find support in the effort to make their schools more inclusive.
- It is essential to build personal relationships with parents and involve them in the learning and teaching process.
- Violence on campus is one of the major factors why girls don’t enroll in schools. Despite the fact that it is a sensitive topic, we need to open up conversations about the topic ensuring that we create safe spaces for victims to share their experiences without being blamed.