The TAFEA Provincial Women in Education Leadership Network has formally established a new coordinating committee, marking a significant milestone in promoting gender-inclusive education leadership.

The committee was established at a workshop last month in TAFEA Province hosted by the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) in partnership with Australia.

Fifty-seven school leaders from TAFEA Province joined the workshop on 10 and 11 April to make connections across schools, build their skills and boost their confidence.

Attendees included school principals, teachers, school chairs, and deputy school principals. The workshop gave participants a better understanding of the importance of the collaboration between schools, parents and communities to advocate for early childhood support, improve access to quality education and create a positive change in education in Vanuatu.

Participants also discussed MoET initiatives to support families and communities engage with their children’s education, like the Parent Support Program (PSP).

Initially piloted in PENAMA Province in 2017, the PSP fosters collaboration between early childhood teachers and parents to meet children’s needs and community goals.

Participants also discussed a recent MoET survey of gender roles and expectations in Vanuatu primary schools, which found significant levels of damaging stereotyping among community members and educators.

Participants agreed that implementing responses to address these issues could enhance school environments and student outcomes, including activities to raise awareness of gender equality and collaborating with communities to address customary practices.

They were enthusiastic about implementing their learning in their schools and communities, especially integrating the PSP and initiatives for improving gender equality.

The workshop was part of MoET’s ongoing commitment to empowering women’s leadership in education and promoting the creation of more inclusive, effective schools.