Gender and social inclusion policies are poorly implemented in Nepal's vocational schools
The perception about gender and gender roles evolve with time and vary according to cultural and social differences. Nevertheless, gender inequality and other types of social exclusion are seen in every society. The issues of Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) and its implementation have been some of the major challenges in recent times. A qualitative research study titled Gender Equality and Social Inclusion in Technical and Vocational Education and Training, published in The Journal of Training and Development (JTD), highlights poorly implemented gender and social inclusion policies in vocational schools in Nepal.
Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) is a widely discussed topic in all sectors of Nepal. The country’s new constitution has given high importance to GESI with provisions of proportional representation. The recently concluded Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) also gave high importance to gender equality and the promotion of excluded groups. The principle is carried forward in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, the implementation of the laws and regulations has been challenging.
The research found that there is no safe accommodation for female students in Nepal’s vocational schools and toilet facilities are not good. Likewise, there are no ramps for wheelchair users. GESI policies have failed to deliver particularly in cases requiring the establishment of physical infrastructure, reported the article.
The study also highlighted how poor and marginalized students do not have enough money for their education. Although scholarships are provided to some students, they are not provided to all needy students. The curriculum is not gender friendly and the discriminatory decisions, policies, plans, acts, rules and regulations also hinder gender and social inclusion in these vocational schools in Nepal, found the study.
The ethnographic study was done by conducting in-depth interviews with participants (three female and one male) who are instructors in the technical schools of the Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training (CTEVT) and work as GESI focal people in the schools. The article published in the Journal of Training and Development said that the participants were aware of the information about gender and social inclusion and about maintaining a GESI friendly environment but that they saw challenges in the implementation.
Men and women get equal opportunities for employment in technical schools and are paid the same salary for the same kind of work. However, there is still some discrimination on the types of jobs they do and the engagement of females in traditional occupations. For example, a technical school would only look for a female candidate for the job of a maid, and only a male candidate for the job of a security guard.
In recent years, several structural and organizational changes have been made throughout Nepal to address issues related to gender and social inclusion. "Several positive changes are seen in the schools, such as the establishment of GESI units and appointment of GESI officers in most of the schools to look into the issues of discrimination and harassment," said Shiba Bagale, author of the research article and trainer at Community Development Programme of Training Institute for Technical Education (TITI), Bhaktapur.
The author has made recommendations such as increasing the role of teachers and principals to adopt pro-active measures to make the school environments more GESI friendly.
The article "Gender Equality and Social Inclusion in Technical and Vocational Education and Training", appears in the latest issue (Vol. 2, 2016) of the Journal of Training and Development, pages 25-32. The article is made available online via Nepal Journals Online (NepJOL) platform, which is part of the JOL Project supported by INASP.
About the Journal
The Journal of Training and Development (JTD) is an annual peer-reviewed international print and online English language journal published by the Research and Development Department, Training Institute for Technical Instruction, Nepal. It aims to publish research and review articles covering the latest outstanding developments in the field of technical education and vocational training for the benefit of researchers, research scholars, academicians, industrialists and consultancies, among others.
NepJOL hosts over 110 journals published from Nepal, covering the full range of academic disciplines. The objective of NepJOL is to give greater visibility to participating journals and to the research they convey. NepJOL was initiated in June 2006 and officially launched in September 2007. It is a project supported by the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publication (INASP) and locally managed by Tribhuvan University Central Library. It aims to promote the awareness and use of Nepal-published journals in all disciplines by providing access to tables of contents (TOCs), abstracts and full text on the Internet.
INASP is an international development charity working with a global network of partners to improve production, sharing and use of research information and knowledge, so that countries are equipped to solve their development challenges. In particular, INASP works to strengthen the availability, access and use of international research information by researchers in developing countries and the production, quality, dissemination and access of research outputs from researchers in those same countries.
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