Promising Future! Gender-Positive Curriculum To Be Introduced In Odisha Government Schools

Image Credit: Indian Express

The Logical Indian Crew

Promising Future! Gender-Positive Curriculum To Be Introduced In Odisha Government Schools

Odisha government is all set to introduce a gender equity syllabus for government school students and help them transform their attitudes and behaviours toward gender structures.

The Odisha government's Education Department has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-Pal), South Asia, and women rights organisation, Breakthrough to introduce a gender equity syllabus for the students of government schools.

The changes would reflect on the curriculum of the students from classes 6 to 10.

The New-Age Teaching

The curriculum would incorporate interactive learning sessions, encouraging healthy discussions among adolescent boys, girls, and other genders, on the subject of cultural gender norms, roles and discriminatory practices.

As reported by the Indian Express, the new syllabus would be integrated into the social studies subject for students across classes 6-10 in over 18,000 elementary and 5,000 secondary schools. It is to be implemented by August and would be a positive step towards achieving sustainable development goals (SDG) of quality education and gender equality.

The switch to a classroom experience that is aware of gender equity is expected to bring about positive gender attitudes, improved sex ratio, increased interest in educating the girl-child, and more female labour force participation. The project aims to bridge the gap that bars girls from choosing their education and work options.

All the culturally learnt gender perceptions would be reformed starting from the young age of 10-15 years so that the child has a platform where they can receive the correct information and decide based on the same. The syllabus's major objective revolves around making information related to gender equality, legal rights, and healthy gender behaviours available to the students.

Optimistic Towards A Gender-Positive Tomorrow

Regarding the syllabus change, the executive director of J-Pal South Asia commented that "Adolescence presents a crucial window of opportunity to change even deeply-rooted norms and instil more progressive gender attitudes".

The organisation would ensure the plan is implemented effectively by conducting independent school monitoring activities. The organisation, Breakthrough, will be collaborating with them and the school departments on the curriculum. They would closely work with the departments to contextualise the curriculum, accommodate it within the existing syllabus, train the teachers, conduct workshops and engage with the parents regarding the initiative and its progress.

There will be a wide range of topics covered under the programme and consistent efforts made by the responsible organisations and departments "to build a gender-equal world", assured the principal secretary, school education secretary department, Bishnupada Sethi.

The School Education Minister Samir Dash supported this further by saying that the teams are working actively on the matter as gender equality is very important.

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