FAWEZI conducted zoom dialogues on the 30th and 31st of July with adolescent girls in Chitungwiza and Shamva to schools to discuss topics around menstrual hygiene management, Violence Against Women Girls (VAWG) and Sexual Reproduction Health Reproductive (SRHR) issues in light of the current COVID 19 lockdown. The girls outlined challenges they were facing which include, teenage pregnancies even among examination candidates, child marriages, lack of water and economic hardships which is combined with rising prices of sanitary pads. Most adolescent girls yearned on how they are facing economic hardships as they are no longer able to perform their income generating activities due to the imposed COVID 19 strict regulations like vending. Subsequently FAWEZI took up the conversation to national radio platform Issues Panenyaya . The aim was to engage more stakeholders whilst also targeting decision makers in the discussion on the issues affecting the girls.
The Chairperson for the Forum for African Women Educationalists-Zimbabwe Chapter Irene Mkondo attended an Education Leadership workshop at Troutbeck Inn, Nyanga from June 23 to 25.
The workshop was organised by VVOB Zimbabwe, which entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with FAWE in 2014. FAWEZI and VVOB country offices collaborate on areas of common interest in line with Article 7 of the MOU.
The workshop was aimed at equipping the participants with coaching skills for leadership development along with other motives. Mrs Mkondo gave a presentation on “The role of Gender Responsive Pedagogy (GRP) and its Implications to Teacher Education”.
Mrs Mkondo said GRP should be made a key feature in the learning process.
She emphasised on the need for a learning approach which calls teachers in all levels of the education system, be it formal or informal, to be gender sensitive in their planning, implementation and management of the teaching and learning process.
“GRP has thus become one of the necessary factors which improve the learning process for the benefit of the learners,” she said.
“The main thrust of the GRP model in teaching is to encourage teachers to be sensitive to the learning needs of learners particularly from a gender perspective.”
The 14 college principals present managed to appreciate the need for GRP and the need for all lecturers to be sensitised on issues of sexual maturation and its impact on both male and female learners through their Teacher Education curriculum.
College Principals also requested for the training of all lecturers on GRP and HIVAIDS as examinable areas and also cited the issue of learning environments in classrooms as a critical issue which is being overlooked in teacher education. Proposals were also made on the need to change the name Forum for African Women Educationalist (FAWEZI) to Forum for African Educationalists (FAEZI).
On this point Mrs Mkondo explained that it is an issue which women must spearhead and also highlighted that the organisations’ constitution says men are welcome as associate members.
The presentation inspired college principals to realise the need to ensure that their colleges participate in FAWEZI activities and that student teachers should be aware of FAWEZI and GRP.