NUC, UNESCO partner on introduction of gender course in varsities
The National Universities Commission (NUC) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), and other stakeholders are in the final stages of the introduction of a new course, Gender and Transformative Leadership, into the university curriculum.
The new course is designed to bridge the gap created by gender inequality as well as provide solutions to some gender-based problems in the society such as sexual harassment among others.
Expected to be a general study course, it is being worked on by 40 experts according to the Regional Director of UNESCO, Dr. Benoir Sossou.
Stakeholders who are working on the final document were on Monday, hosted to a workshop by the NUC, UNESCO and the Afe Babalola University. The workshop was titled, “Development of Benchmark Minimum Academic Standards (BMAS) for Gender and Transformative Leadership (GTL) as General Studies (GST) Course for Nigerian Universities.”
At the end of the five-day workshop, which ends tomorrow, stakeholders are expected to present the content of the new course, which will promote men and women’s rights.
The academic programme is also expected to prepare youths, men and women, for a society that is gender sensitive, as well as one that addresses gender related problems.
Deputy Executive Secretary of the NUC, Professor Chiedu Mafiana, who spoke at the occasion, cautioned that the document formulation exercise should not be viewed as an NUC thing, but as a result of input from various stakeholders, which have been constituted to develop it.
According to him, the course will underscore the role of youths in decision-making in governance and politics and also eliminate gender barriers in the society.
Sossou, who informed the workshop that the exercise began in 2014 with 40 experts working on the document, noted that the course was aimed at supporting African universities for transformative leadership.
According to him, other universities that are partnering with UNESCO on the project include New York University; University of Gambia; University of Ghana and Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU).
“We are taking this giant step in this nation, which is the giant of Africa and has 142 universities. This partnership is yielding enormous cooperation in Nigeria. Forty experts are working on the model. UNESCO, which is committed to quality education worldwide is responding to gender issues through education.” he said.
A principal officer from UN Women, Nigeria, Kemi Ndieli, who also spoke at the event, noted that it was important for men and women to have equal opportunities to develop the country. This opportunity, according to her, will be provided by the course.
Ndieli explained that the “UN is happy that this is happening. We see leaders that will address the gaps that have existed over the years. We look forward to a document that will promote men and women’s rights.”