Shifting Paradigms: Chanan Rishman's Revolutionizing Impact on Gender Education in Punjab : The Tribune India

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Shifting Paradigms: Chanan Rishman's Revolutionizing Impact on Gender Education in Punjab

Chanan Rishman is pioneering replicable model for promoting gender equality and inclusivity in its schools

Shifting Paradigms: Chanan Rishman's Revolutionizing Impact on Gender Education in Punjab


An innovative gender transformative education program, Chanan Rishman, is reshaping the state’s educational landscape. What sets this program apart is its bold approach to challenge stereotypes, question biases, and foster a culture of equality within the school system. Implemented across all state-run government schools in Punjab, in collaboration with Breakthrough, Chanan Rishman is creating a more equitable and inclusive learning environment for all. Over the years, the program has helped the teachers as much as it has helped students in fostering better gender perspectives. Such innovative interventions have helped in systematising processes to ensure schools are free from violence and discrimination, and provide a gender-sensitive, quality education in line with the New Education Policy 2020.

Currently, the Chanan Rishman program is being implemented in 6,250 schools across the state. The integration of the gender curriculum in the education system will help in shifting gender norms and behaviours of students, who will grow up to become powerful agents of positive change in the state. 

Anmol, an English and Social Studies teacher at Government Senior Secondary School Ferozpur, highlights a significant personal transformation he experienced after participating in Chanan Rishman's training program. He shared that gender roles in the form of stereotypes and societal norms are deeply ingrained in our lives and are reinforced by popular media, including songs and movies. After identifying its inherent nature, he made a promise to himself that he would educate his parents, students and teachers about gender stereotypes and gender inequality. He emphasizes the importance of women and girls carving out their own identities, rather than being confined to narrow comparisons with men. According to Anmol,  at the block level, the instructors have begun to take gender equality seriously, and they have come up with inspiring examples of how girls are shattering stereotypes and improving the lives of other girls who live in far-off areas. 

“Our efforts at Breakthrough are singularly focused on integrating gender-sensitive behaviours into the school education system. We believe that a gender-transformative program will not only equip students with academic knowledge but also empower them with a profound understanding of equality, respect, and empathy. We encourage positive conversations that challenge stereotypes, discussions that unveil hidden biases, and lessons that promote inclusivity. The Department of Education, Government of Punjab with the leadership of its principals and teachers, supported by Breakthrough, is establishing a replicable model for promoting gender transformative education system,” believes Sunita Menon, Senior Director, Strategic Partnerships and Scale Up, Breakthrough.

 

Iqbal Singh from Rajpura, Patiala who teaches in Government Middle School, says that he had the opportunity to work on the Chanan Rishman project during his three years as a block mentor. He says, “We are in the process of changing regressive gender and social norms where boys can be proud of themselves when they learn to cook, and women and girls can play cricket, drive, and pilot combat jets. The road to achieving a social revolution through gender equality is far from over, and it is up to us educators to keep raising awareness among our pupils.” He further adds, “I have had a significant personal transformation since completing Chanan Rishman's training program.   I now wash the dishes and do laundry alongside my wife, because it is as much my responsibility. In addition, I have begun to ask my wife for guidance on a variety of topics, such as building a house or buying a new car.” 

Arvinder Kaur who is a Social Studies Teacher in Gurdaspur (Government Girls Senior Secondary School) has similar experiences to share. She mentions that she has been able to provide students a better understanding of gender realities in today’s society. She says,” My ability to make decisions has grown as a female, I'm giving the youngsters the confidence that they, too, can tell their parents what they want to do with their lives when they grow up. I impart knowledge to educators and students on gender equality and the ability to see the world through a gender perspective”. 

The journey towards gender sensitization and behavioural transformation among teachers in Punjab has been remarkable and inspiring. Through initiatives like the Chanan Rishman gender transformative education program, educators have not only acknowledged the existence of gender stereotypes but have actively worked towards challenging and dismantling them. Their transformations reflect a deeper understanding of gender equality and a commitment to fostering equitable environments in schools and beyond. This will ultimately pave the way for a gender-equal world in Punjab and the rest of India in times to come.

 

 

 

Disclaimer: This article is part of sponsored content programme. The Tribune is not responsible for the content including the data in the text and has no role in its selection.


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