Even as global gender parity in access to pre-primary education is claimed to be achieved across several economies, girls and boys continue to have different classroom experiences, a UNICEF report reveled. The report states that gender biases and stereotypes are frequently reproduced in teacher student interactions, play, pre-primary education curricula, and teaching and learning materials.
Titled ‘Tackling Gender Inequality From the Early Years’, the report addresses the issue of gender inequalities from the early years of education and suggests the need to incorporate gender-responsive and gender-transformative strategies into the pre-primary education systems.
The report suggests that policies should be in line with the five core components of quality pre-primary education systems. These include “planning and budgeting, curriculum development and implementation, workforce development, family and community engagement, and quality assurance,” as mentioned in the report.
It further suggests that teachers play a crucial role in building gender-transformative pre-primary education systems and influencing caregiving practices in homes. “Practitioners should bring gender awareness to their classroom practices by reflecting on any gender stereotypical attitudes they may have, especially towards children, and by being critical on how the teaching and learning materials they select could perpetuate gender biases,” the report said.