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STEM workshop held in Malaysia with a focus on gender



The International Bureau of Education (IBE), Ministry of Education (MOE) Malaysia and SEAMEO-RECSAM* co-organised a five day capacity development workshop on gender sensitive Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education (26-30 September 2016, Penang, Malaysia).  STEM is an interdisciplinary approach to scientific literacy, promoting inquiry-based learning and the active participation of learners.
Within the framework of Malaysia-UNESCO Cooperation Programme 'Strengthening STEM Curricula for Girls in Africa and Asia and the Pacific- Phase I'  funded by Malaysia Funds-in-Trust, a workshop was one of the key activities, gathering over 50 curriculum and gender experts from partner countries: Cambodia, Kenya, Nigeria and Viet Nam, MOE Malaysia, SEAMEO-RECSAM and UNESCO-Bangkok.
The need to develop a training tool was identified during the first activity, with a needs assessment workshop held in January 2016. As a result, the resource pack, ‘Training Tools for Curriculum Development' – a resource pack for 'Gender Transformative STEM education’ was developed to strengthen the MOE's capacities to design and implement STEM education at large.
The expected outcomes of the workshop were:
1.     To introduce, pilot and validate a resource pack, with inputs (questionnaires, surveys, etc.) provided by national teams and experts. The resource pack can evolve into a worldwide training tool, packaged in a tutorial guidance that can be available to all UNESCO member states;
2.      To develop a roadmap with tangible strategies to use the resource pack in each country’s settings - Cambodia, Kenya, Nigeria and Vietnam - to mainstream inclusive gender responsive STEM education giving effect to its policy, curriculum framework, learning and teaching resources, pedagogical strategies and teacher education and professional development;
3.      To strengthen and share the Malaysian experience regarding gender sensitive STEM education across the key areas through presentations, discussions and school visits to further support the implementation of the STEM curricula; and
4.      For gender experts to share a comprehensive gender perspective for country teams to contextualise it.
The resource pack will be available in November 2016 English and is planned to be translated into Spanish and French.
The IBE will continue to provide support in sustaining and promoting gender transformative STEM education in partnering countries and other member states.

*Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organisation Regional Centre for Education in Science and Mathematics.