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Inclusive education in a fragile context: redesigning the Agricultural High School curriculum in Afghanistan with gender in mind

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This paper examines attempts by a joint Dutch-Afghan capacity development project to bring more gender-responsive elements into the Agricultural High School (AHS) curriculum in the fragile context of Afghanistan. It reviews the gender-specific results of semester-long piloting (including classroom observation and interviews) of the redesigned textbooks and accompanying teachers’ instructions at ten AHSs. It also examines experiences of teaching on gender themes. The findings show that it is possible to introduce more gender-responsiveness in the Afghan curriculum, but because it is used nationwide, great limitations on terminology and the kinds of female representation are imposed determined by the most conservative regions where schools are also located. These limitations and how to get around them are analysed in the article, through concrete examples showing the complex interactions with different layers involved when initiating change in such a ‘fragile context’. This article can be useful to those designing and teaching courses with elements of gender, illustrating how particular contexts demand a flexible and creative approach when delving into inclusivity issues.
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Keywords: Afghanistan; Agriculture; education; fragile context; gender-responsive

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: ICRA, Wageningen, The Netherlands 2: National Agricultural Education College, Kabul, Afghanistan

Publication date: July 3, 2020

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