Gender-responsive Education in the Context of COVID19: Framework and Progressive Standards for South Asia
The audience for Gender and Education in the Context of COVID19: Progressive Framework and Standards for South Asia is the region’s Ministry of Education officials and UNICEF Country Office practitioners and implementing partners; especially those working with education clusters, school leaders, women’s organisations., and youth organisations. These colleagues are playing key roles in ensuring marginalized, vulnerable, and excluded girls and boys are identified and access continuous learning in the context of COVID19. Based on a child-centered, cross-sectoral framework, this document sets forth evidence-informed progressive standards to support gender-responsive actions that address the unique needs of girls and boys at risk of not engaging in education, training or employment.
The progressive standards can and should be contextualized for local-level realities and needs; specifically, responding to the differential barriers that impact South Asia’s girls’ and boys’ ability to access and complete safe schooling and transition to meaningful employment. When and where progressive standards cannot be achieved, it is expected that Ministries of Education, district-level authorities, and school leaders will incorporate them into sector plans as longer-term strategic objectives.
Before the progressive framework and standards for gender-responsive education are introduced, South Asia’s educational context is outlined. Drawing on comprehensive research and guidance from humanitarian partners, the areas of evidence provide an overview of the important progress achieved over the past decade, the gender oriented educational challenges that COVID19 has compounded, and the priorities needing sustained investment in the weeks and months ahead. For the progressive standards in chapter 3, the areas of evidence are used as an organizing schema; highlighting why these areas of evidence need urgent attention and how corresponding gender-responsive strategies and actions can be carried out at school and in alternative education centres, in the community, and at home.