Minority Front Leader, Mrs. S. Thakur-Rajbansi, addressed the Educators of Acacia Primary School on their role and responsibilities in empowering girls and boys, stressing the importance of Educators’ being catalysts for human development.
On Educators empowering girls, Mrs. Rajbansi mentioned that educating girls does not result in empowering women completely, but that they must be skilled and active promoters of gender equality. This entails being part of a girl’s social, cultural and economic development to transmit social values and nurture their creativity, talent and interests. Building a positive self-image must be woven into the fabric of education, empowering girls to be bold for change. The Minority Front Leader pointed out that, exposing girls to accomplished female role models such as successful women in public and the political arena will serve as a great inspiration to girl students. Mrs. Rajbansi added that female educators have a role to play in raising the gender awareness and sensitivity of male teachers so that they are better able to understand attitudes and behaviours to foster greater respect of women as equals. She also added that as academic accomplishment is vital, schools have a role to play to mould students into well-rounded and compassionate individuals by fostering leadership programmes.
Boy students need to become more involved in day-to-day decision-making about school rules and procedures, said Mrs. Rajbansi. This would contribute to better attendance and general academic progress. She also highlighted the importance of helping support boys to confront their challenges: talking to them candidly about drugs, tobacco and alcohol abuse. “Encouraging boys to help, rather than bully each other, providing them with positive, supervised ways to spend their time when they are not in school, and finding solutions to boy challenges must be advocated,” said Mrs. Rajbansi. She reiterated the need to develop boys’ capabilities to reach their potential and transition successfully into adulthood.
Mrs. Rajbansi touched on the SDG5 which ensures that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and primary education, and, importantly the elimination of gender disparities in education to promote gender equality.