Promise and performance of gender mainstreaming at a Zimbabwean agricultural training college
Keywords:Gender equality, gender-sensitive curriculum, agricultural education and training, gender mainstreaming, learning support materials
Gender equality in education and training can be achieved only if curricula at every level of the system become gender-sensitive. The present study examines the extent to which the milieu at one agricultural training college in Zimbabwe promotes the implementation of gender-sensitive training. The main investigative question posed was as follows: To what extent is the agricultural education and training curriculum used at the college gender-sensitive? By responding to this question, the study provided some response to the performance, challenges and prospects for gender mainstreaming in the college’s agricultural education curriculum. Data for this study were generated by document analysis of policy, curricular and instructional documents, interviews with 12 college lecturers, four college administrators and selected final year students, and by lesson observations. The study revealed that while government, and to a lesser extent college policies, articulate the need for gender equality, little attention is paid to these invocations in practice. Likewise, agricultural education and training curricula, training techniques, learning-support materials and out-of-class activities reflect minimal attention to issues of gender equality. The article concludes by discussing possible interventions that correspond to these findings.