Gender and Inclusion: all partners have committed to implementing MEC Gender Guidelines. In Kachin, Nyein led workshops on gender and disability for teachers, principals, education officers and parents. Over the operating period, Nyein conducted a gender inclusion audit, and through Metta’s ‘Regeneration Spring Strategy’, both agencies have committed to incorporate gender mainstreaming as a programmatic theme. Across the year, the need for an enhanced focus on gender aspects of MEC’s programming was observed, which will form a key component of the 2019-2020 operating plan.
Child Safeguarding: In line with priorities identified through the first year of the program, MEC sought to place a stronger emphasis on Child Safeguarding across both ethnic and monastic systems. In monastic education, MEC’s Child Safeguarding Specialist worked with MEDG to improve the safety of children in schools and strengthen safeguarding in the organization.
Activities aimed to improve safety in schools
In consultation with MEDG trainers, three training manuals were developed, two of which were integrated into the teacher training package:
(i) ‘Child Rights in School’ (linking with Buddhist teaching),
(ii) ‘Safe (violence free) School’
(iii) ‘School-based Child Safeguarding Policies’
Here, MEC trained, mentored and coached 3 (3M) child protection trainers and the national advisor to provide training for 28 (14M/14F) teacher trainers and two trainings for 15 (2M/13F) administration trainers. Subsequently, between October and December 2018, MEDG trainers provided training for 136 monastic teachers and principals. Meanwhile, the child protection trainers visited and trained schools, which resulted in 26 schools having drafted Child Safeguarding policies by mid-Q3. Following the recommendations and guidance of MEC’s CSS, the MEDG team developed training materials to enhance the quality of training and improve acceptance of child protection by monks, including a video that included an inspirational speech by a Buddhist monk and two cartoon booklets for students and teachers.
Across the 2018-2019 period, safeguarding systems have been strengthened internally at MEC to support staff to integrate CSS principles and action into all aspects of programming.