Gender Responsive Life Skills-Based Education: A Tool For Gender Empowerment Through NIOS Material
“Education does not mean teaching people to know what they do not know; it means teaching them to behave as they do not behave”. ~ John Ruskin // Women’s concerns are today on top of the agenda of all empowerment debates. Awareness and understanding of the women’s issues to all is the pre-requisite for women empowerment. It also aims at developing responsible action in all concerned areas like education, health, law, media and politics for empowerment. Women constitute approximately 50% of our population and no developmental goal can be achieved without their inclusion and participation especially EFA (Education for All). Since women constitute 32% of the learners population NIOS thought of a novel strategy of educating the learners that would go beyond numeracy and literacy and would advocate a world free from domination or subordination. // India is largely a patriarchal society. Almost all patriarchal societies are affected by gender inequality. Researches have shown that the gender stereotypic conditioning starts with the childhood socialization within the family and is continuously reinforced by education, literature and religion. National Institute of Open Schooling under its Adolescence Education Programme supported by UNFPA proposed a kind of education that reinforces equal valuing by society of the similarities and difference of men and women and the roles they play. In this context, Life Skills based education which results in positive behaviour change through a balance of knowledge, attitude and skills and also equips the learners with ability of critical thinking, taking correct decisions, making informed choices and promotes learning through exploration, curiosity and discussion would go a long way ahead. // This paper talks about the methodology and results on revision of curriculum with the objective of weaving the hidden curricula of life skills and gender in the five subjects at secondary level. The lessons were rewritten with the innovative gender responsive life skills based education approach. The new material gives the learners enough opportunity to challenge gender stereotypes. The paper will detail upon the changes occurred after the integration process in the text, visuals, exercises and activities. // Paper ID: 314
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