Basic education and gender equality

Technical and policy documents

Joint Publications
Creating an Environment for Emotional and Social Well-being: An Important Responsibility of a Health-Promoting and Child-Friendly School, WHO, Geneva, 2003
This joint WHO/UNESCO/UNICEF/EDC/World Bank/PCD/Education International focuses on the psycho-social environment of the school. It is complemented by the document “The Physical Environment: An Essential Component of a Health-Promoting School” [PDF]. Together, these documents can help schools provide an environment that is consistent with the World Health Organization’s definition of health, “… a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

UNICEF Working Papers and Conference Reports

Rapid Assessment of Learning Spaces in Southern Sudan, 2006
Report of the Rapid Assessment of Learning Spaces (RALS) in Southern Sudan, done in collaboration between the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST) of the Government of Southern Sudan and UNICEF. The RALS exercise was designed to evaluate needs in order to plan effectively for educational reconstruction in the post-war environment. It is the first exercise of its kind to provide an overview of educational opportunities across the whole region of Southern Sudan.

Taking action: gender-based violence in and around schools in Swaziland and Zimbabwe. Nairobi, UNICEF Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office, 2004
this report focuses on taking action against gender-based violence in and around schools. It explores how the development of training materials, community dialogue, reporting mechanisms and other outputs can contribute to child-friendly schools that are rights-based and therefore protective to both girls and boys. The Child Friendly School framework is used to draw on the success of other processes such as the Girls’ Education Movement (GEM) that facilitate child participation in the development of strategies to fight gender–based violence. A number of action points are recommended, including teacher development and parent and community participation. 

Finding Our Voices: Gendered & Sexual Identities and HIV/AIDS and Education, UNICEF 2003.
The book demonstrates the need to design HIV/AIDS and life skills education within a human rights framework in which young people are empowered, not only to claim their rights, but also to take charge of their lives. Young peoples' perceptions and experiences of Gender, Sexuality, and HIV/AIDS in Education were collected from seven countries: Botswana, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.  The life skills education programme emerging from this study aims at effective prevention and mitigation of  the impact of HIV/AIDS in education systems.

Partnerships in Practice: From AGEI to UNGEI, 2003
This summary report of a workshop on girls' education that took place in Mali from 17-20 November 2003 gives an account of the discussions that took place around making the transition from the African Girls' Education Initiative (AGEI) to the United Nations Girls' Education Initiative (UNGEI).

Women Teachers Empowered in India, 2002
The paper analyzes the early days of the Teacher Empowerment Programme in India. To begin with, UNICEF followed a "gender blind" approach to the training programme. However, as the evidence presented in the paper shows, there was a necessary and notable shift towards an explicit focus on exposing and addressing gender-biased attitudes, roles and behaviours. Without this additional focus, equality between men and women in the programme would not have been achievable.

Curriculum Report Card, 2000
For this 2000 study, UNICEF Education Program Officers (EPOs) from nearly 60 countries answered questions about life skills, peace education, gender, reading and writing skills and learning outcomes in national curricula.  The responses consisted of official government information, information on UNICEF-related curriculum projects and EPOs' interpretations and impressions.

Defining Quality in Education, 2000
In reviewing the research literature related to Quality in Education, UNICEF takes a broader perspective and demonstrates by this analysis that programmes must encompass a broader definition involving what learners bring, content, processes, environments and outcomes. Gender is a key issue is defining quality in Education.

Peace Education in UNICEF, 1999
Peace education is an essential component of quality basic education. This paper defines peace education as the process of promoting the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values needed to bring about behaviour changes that will enable children, youth and adults to prevent conflict and violence, both overt and structural; to resolve conflict peacefully: and to create the conditions conducive to peace.

Managing Teacher Costs for Access and Quality, 1998
Written in 1998 by Santosh Mehrotra and Peter Buckland, this paper addresses the need for four million additional teachers to reach a net enrolment rate of 100.  South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa present the most significant challenges in achieving this goal.

Discussion Papers and Guidance

Making Quality Education Affordable: What Have We Learned?, 2003
After a brief overview of the issue of rights to "free" education, the paper examines a number of key issues in the financing of education, including public financing, private financing, the increasing blurring between the public and private sectors and the issue of equity in financing of education, particularly with regard to gender.


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