SAFER Training Programme (English)

GSP & CSE Theoretical Background – Why is GSP necessary?

School teachers play a fundamental role in influencing children’s attitudes, behaviors and understanding of gender roles.  Nonetheless, gender responsiveness in schools is not always practiced. In fact, a lack of gender sensitivity and a lack of skills prevails among teachers (Raghavendra, 2014). Many times, teachers are not even aware of situations that are discriminatory on the basis of gender. They may use learning materials that depict only one gender performing certain types of activities or they may make disparaging remarks about the capability or characteristics of either gender. This discourages the students from participating effectively in the teaching and learning process.

Teachers are often not aware of their stereotypical behaviors in relation to preference, role assignments, language, textbook use, lesson planning, how girls should be taught in the classroom and gender expectations. These seemingly school-related behaviors may seem harmless, but it actually entails long-lasting detrimental effects and consequences in the professional world (Nabbuye, 2018).  Teachers are not always aware of their bias behaviors as they lack the proper training. Without proper training in gender-sensitive pedagogy, teachers lack the confidence to implement this type of pedagogy in the classroom. Gender-sensitive pedagogy is not meant to discriminate against boys, nor is it meant to focus on one gender. It involves using different learning methods while giving equal opportunities for both girls and boys to participate (Nabbuye, 2018).

Therefore, bridging the gap between genders means increasing teacher’s sensibility on gender issues and changing their attitudes, as a starting point. This way, teachers respond to students’ different specific needs to ensure equality in the learning process of children.