A Gender-Sensitive ICT Strategy for Open Schooling

Burman, Koyali
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One of the major challenges in many commonwealth countries is gender disparity in the access and completion of education. Perhaps the most important question here is: Why has so little been done in the area of gender in broadening ICT-based education system in Open Schools of commonwealth countries? // In 2011, Commonwealth of Learning commissioned a gender audit for 15 Open Schools in South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, Caribbean region and North America. This presentation will give an overview of emerging gender-related issues in Open Schools and how Gender-Sensitive ICT Strategy can help address those issues, as well as build organizational and learner’s capacity leading to gender equality and women empowerment. The key areas, identified and examined using gender inclusive lens focusing on ICT as a priority, were within the context of organizational policy, curriculum design and development, human resource and development, partnerships, research/ innovation, as well as monitoring and evaluation. // The study was conducted in two phases: I) Survey questionnaires and phone interviews; II) Participatory workshop.The data interpreted and the recommendations provided are not intended to provide blanket generalizations but rather, they should be adapted and prioritized according to the national circumstances of specific countries. This is because the selected Open Schools have different governance models, wide range of areas served, long drawn experiences in dealing with gender related issues and ICT compared to those with newly established open schools, wide range of annual enrollment, wide range of infrastructures, etc. // The study concludes with a clear Gender-Sensitive ICT Strategy that offers insights and guidelines for further actions at the institutional level. The strategy should be viewed as a flexible tool that can be adapted based on the need of the region. // Paper ID: 56

Women and Girls' Education,Gender,ICT in Education