Beijing seminar will launch new projects to boost education for girls and women in Africa and Asia

An international seminar in Beijing from 1 to 5 September will launch two new projects to boost progress on gender equality in girls’ and women’s education in Africa and Asia.

The International Seminar on Girls’ and Women’s Education is the first activity implemented as part of the UNESCO-HNA Group Partnership for Girls’ and Women’s Education which was formed in February 2014. The event marks the official launch of the two complementary projects established under the UNESCO-HNA Funds-in-Trust (HFIT). The partnership was formed in support of UNESCO’s Global Partnership for Girls’ and Women’s Education: Better Life, Better Future.

The projects will support African and Asian countries in accelerating progress in achieving gender equality in education, with particular focus on gender-responsive teacher training and professional development. They will be implemented over five years with a budget of USD 5 million funded under the HFIT.

The first project will strengthen global and regional advocacy, networking and communication to ensure girls’ right to education, and develop national capacities for gender-responsive education in Ethiopia and Ghana. It will be coordinated by UNESCO Headquarters.

The second project will develop national capacities for gender-sensitive teacher policy formulation, as well as build the capacities of teacher trainers and trainees, school leaders and teachers to promote gender-sensitive teaching and learning environments and practices, in Cambodia, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Uzbekistan. It will be coordinated by UNESCO Regional Bureau in Bangkok.

Principal partners and beneficiaries of the projects will be national ministries of education, teacher training institutes and secondary schools and relevant education centres in the project countries. 

The seminar is organized concurrently with the study tour of the UNESCO-China Funds-in-Trust (CFIT) Project “Harnessing Technology for Quality Teacher Training in Africa”, which aims at allowing countries to learn from China and one another’s experience in ICT integration in education. In order to create synergy between the CFIT project and the two new HFIT projects, representatives from 8 CFIT project countries: Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Namibia, Tanzania and Uganda, will be invited to take part in the seminar and share experiences with counterparts in HFIT project countries, followed by a 2-day visit to academic institutions in Beijing with a focus on ICT in education.

The seminar will gather approximately 45 participants from 14 countries in Africa and Asia, where projects under the HFIT and CFIT have been or will be implemented, namely, Cambodia, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Liberia, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Uganda and Uzbekistan.

The participants are representatives of ministries of education or teacher training institutions. They will be joined by representatives of the Chinese government and teacher training institutions in China. UNESCO personnel from Headquarters, as well as regional and country offices or institutes will also take part in the discussions.