Odisha Government to introduce gender equality curriculum soon

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Odisha government to integrate gender equality curriculum into the syllabus for students across state government schools to transform their attitudes, aspirations and behaviour.

According to the reports, the School Education Department has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-Pal), South Asia, and women rights organisation Breakthrough in Bhubaneswar.

The curriculum uses interactive classroom discussions to encourage adolescent boys and girls to reflect on the culturally-embedded gender norms, roles and discriminatory practices. The gender equality curriculum is to integrate into the social studies syllabus for boys and girls between six to 10 grades in over 18,000 elementary and 5,000 secondary schools by August.

The report further added that the J-Pal will conduct independent monitoring activities to ensure that the programme is achieving its objectives to generate insights for sustained, high-quality government implementation of the syllabus. Breakthrough will work with the department to contextualise and integrate the curriculum into the syllabus, train teachers, receive feedback, conduct workshops and engage parents in the process as well.

The expected outcomes of the programme include positive gender attitudes, parents investing in education for daughters, improved sex ratio and more labour force participation by women.

The project aims to ensure that girls have choices for their education and work participation, retention of girls in schools for more number of years and reduction in dropouts and increase in age of marriage and first childbirth, Breakthrough chief executive officer Sohini Bhattacharya underlined that gender perceptions get formed at a young age.