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Progress report presented on UN-backed gender equity training scheme for teenagers

Staff Reporter:

An event has been held in the capital to evaluate the outcome of Plan International Bangladesh’s UN-backed Gender Equity Movement in School (GEMS) programme.

The Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education Bangladesh (DSHE) hosted the event with Plan International at CIRDAP Auditorium.

DSHE Director General Professor Nehal Ahmed, National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB) Chairman Professor Md Moshiuzzaman, DSHE Director for College and Admin Professor ABM Rezaul Karim, DSHE Director for Training Dr Prabir Kumar Bhattacharjee and Plan International Country Director Kabita Bose were present at the event.

Officials from organisations like UNFPA, World Bank, UNICEF, CARE Bangladesh, Save the Children, Sajida Foundation, Radda, and RDF were also present.

The assessment results showcased during the event, outlined there are some areas where more collaboration can be done for ensuring the greater well-being of the adolescents of Bangladesh, particularly in enhancing their skills related to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).

Currently, Plan International has been implementing GEMS curriculum package under five projects in 25 upazilas of seven districts in three divisions of Bangladesh: Rangpur, Barisal and Dhaka.

About 651 secondary schools and 353 madrasahs have been covered under the five projects. In total, 1,003 adolescent corners have been set up, and 3,969 teachers have been trained to roll out GEMS at the educational institutions.

Since 2013, Plan International Bangladesh and the Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education (DSHE) have been working closely to carry forward the Generation Breakthrough project. GEMS curriculum has been adopted and contextualised by Plan International Bangladesh under a project of UNFPA since 2013.

DSHE Director General Professor Nehal Ahmed said, “We need to raise concerns and voices to make significant positive changes in adolescent’s life from the very early stage of their cognitive development. We have to take a strong stand and work together to apply the gender equity and violence prevention curriculum in schools efficiently. This intervention should advance more in line with Plan’s goal and initiatives”.

NCTB Chairman Professor Md Moshiuzzaman said, “In the past 10 years we have seen this intervention flourish bit by bit. Over the years, Plan International Bangladesh dedicatedly took the initiative to implement the GEMS curriculum package through different projects, and now we can witness the promising results with its impactful achievements”.

Plan International Country Director Kabita Bose said, “The success of the GEMS curriculum is not only ours. Government officials and partner organizations played an impeccable role in mobilizing young people regarding their SRHR rights. Plan is always dedicated to contribute and wants to work side by side with the government to facilitate and achieve the collective target and goals”.

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