MoES teams brainstormed ideas to produce a video for teachers to raise awareness of how to ensure gender equality in the classroom
The Ministry of Education and Sports of Lao PDR (MoES) and Australia, through the Basic Education Quality and Access in Lao PDR (BEQUAL) Program, held a one-day training and brainstorming workshop on “Production of a Gender Video” in late January 2024. 20 representatives from across the Information Media Center (IMC), the Electronic Learning Materials and Distance Learning Division (E-Learning), the Division for the Advancement of Women, Mothers and Children, and the Australian Embassy joined the workshop.
The meeting was chaired by Ms. Rebecca McHugh, BEQUAL Team Leader and Mr. Oudom Sengdara, Deputy Director of IMC. Ms. McHugh noted that “last year at an event to celebrate International Women’s Day, BEQUAL organized with Australia’s support, a workshop to deepen our shared understanding of gender biases and stereotypes. During the final session, event participants reflected on their practice and discussed how they could apply the new knowledge in future productions. This is how the idea to produce a video promoting gender equality was born”.
Mr. Oudom added that “we are proud that this workshop enables us to continue our discussions from last year on the production of a gender equality promotional video. We have already had many discussions on how to avoid gender, disability and ethnicity stereotypes and promote inclusion within the IMC and E-learning teams at each stage of video production, especially script writing and casting. I am pleased to say that all the videos produced with Australian Government and USAID support through BEQUAL, such as Teacher Development Videos, Role Model Docuseries, Textbook Care TV Spots, already progressively promote gender equality and inclusion and have been dubbed in sign language since 2021”.
In the education sector, teachers play a critical role in preventing gender stereotypes and gender bias in the classroom. In early and primary education in particular, children’s young brains are forming and imbibing every message. Therefore, the media and digital production teams of MoES have a key role to play in building a more progressive and inclusive society. Videos and digital media can promote progressive gender and inclusive education and make a difference for the most disadvantaged children.
The workshop was very active with many hands-on activities. The participants watched and reflected on two example videos on gender role assumptions and how to eliminate gender bias in the classroom. They enjoyed the role play and interactive sessions to identify gender biases in Lao classrooms and what advice they would give to teachers to help eliminate it. The teams brainstormed together to write a brief for a video promoting gender. The brief is a key step in the production of the video. In the brief, the team decided who will be the audience, what will be the objective and what will be the core message and call for action of the future video. The brief will fully guide the script writing process that will lead to the future gender promotion video, which is expected to be released this year.