A study of to what extant The National Early Childhood Development Strategy and kindergarten in public school in regard to gender sensitivity in West Bank

Discussion Committee: 
Dr.Saida Affouneh/suprvisor
Dr. Nafez Ali Ahmad/external examiner
Dr. Abdel Kareem Ayoub/internal examiner
Dr.Saida Affouneh/suprvisor
Nesreen Salih Mohamed Jarrar
The purpose of this study is to identify the extent that The National Early Childhood Development Strategy and Preliminary Grade have regarding Gender in the West Bank public schools. This study uses descriptive-analytic approach to qualitative research. Two study instruments, which were developed to meet the goal of the study, were used for data collection: analysis the early childhood development from Gender perspective, and both structured and semi-structured interviews. These two instruments were applied on the study population, all female workers in the West Bank public schools’ kindergarten; The head of kindergarten department at the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, preliminary teachers (33 female teachers), preliminary supervisors from all the directorates in the West Bank (16 female supervisors). The results of this analysis show that the Ministry of Education and Higher Education strategy regarding early childhood development issued in 2013, although its main contents, aims and vision are in line with the Ministry’s policy regarding Gender, is still a draft and has room for improvement. The results also show that there's a weak inter-ministerial coordination between Ministry of Woman Affairs and both Social Gender Unit and Kindergarten Department in the Ministry of Education and Higher Education. Workers at early childhood sector have no Gender-based training, which affects how Gender is considered inside preliminary public classes. However, it was noted that the head of kindergarten department at the Ministry of Education and Higher Education is aware of Gender issues, and there is a possibility of taking it into consideration in the future. The results show that there is lack of awareness about Gender and the importance of taking it into consideration. The Macho culture as well as sex-role stereotypes in our society hinder the application of Gender at preliminary classes. That affected the way teachers think and behave around children, the way they treat them, how they assign roles in games, or the way they limit and distribute them based on gender and even the stories they chose for each child. In some ways they spontaneously achieve "gender" justice, and in others such treatment doesn't exist. The study came up with several recommendations mainly to work on bridging the gap between theory and practice regarding Gender in all stages of education , which can be done by increasing the Ministry of Education and Higher Education interest in the subject, applying the policies, organizing gender-based training, raising awareness of the issue and including it in the Curriculum.
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