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Laos, Australia Prompt Females’ Access to Digital Education

Source: Vientiane Times

The governments of Laos and Australia are partnering to encourage women to access digital education about gender equality and women’s empowerment.
To celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8, the Ministry of Education and Sports and the Australian government provided gender equality training for the E-learning and information and media center teams.

The theme of International Women’s Day this year is “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality”. The objective of the training was to explore ways to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment through the education ministry’s digital and video productions.

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Deputy Minister of Education and Sports Dr. Sisouk Vongvichit said “The ministry and the Australian government have a strong partnership supporting the education sector, including the production of a wide range of digital, video, and media materials.”

“It is important to ensure that the producers of digital and media resources also have the knowledge and skills to promote gender equality and avoid gender stereotypes in the content and imagery they create,” Dr. Sisouk said.

Australia handed over equipment to the E-learning team to produce more teacher development videos.
The Australian government provides technical and financial support to produce teacher development videos for the E-Learning team at the Research Institute of Educational Sciences (RIES).

The videos aim to assist teachers and trainers to use the new curriculum and provide ways to solve teaching challenges and encourage greater student participation.

The videos have had nearly 2.6 million views on YouTube since the channel was launched in 2019.

Twenty-two teacher development videos are already available covering a range of topics.

Australian Ambassador to Laos, Mr. Paul Kelly, said the videos and digital resources can play a vital role in ensuring equitable access to information by students and teachers.

Digital resources can also promote the concept of ‘no one left behind’. One aspect of Australia’s support for teacher professional development in Laos is equipment and training to create and produce digital learning resources.

Australia will focus on ensuring gender and disability-inclusive education approaches.

I heard there are already many discussions on how to avoid gender, disability, and ethnicity stereotypes and promote inclusion within the teams at each stage of the production, especially script writing and casting, Ambassador Kelly said.

Director General of RIES, Dr. Onekeo Nuannavong, said the training was very interactive, with many hands-on activities. Participants enjoyed the drawing session in particular, which helped them to understand more about gender biases and stereotypes.