Thursday, July 8, 2010

Ist time in MP Mata Gujri Girls College,Jabalpur is organising a WORKSHOP for Senstivity/Awareness/Motivation (SAM) workshop from 20th To 24th July



Sensitizing / Awareness/ Motivation (SAM) Workshop
20th to 24th July 2010

It is common knowledge that there are not as many women as men at decision making levels in any field, though they have shown that they are equally gifted talented and competent in scholarship, leadership, management and policy making. Although women constitute almost a half of the population, there is inequity as seen in their representation at these higher levels. The tertiary sector in education is no exception to this disparity in spite of the increasing enrolment of girls as well as women teachers in higher education, with the woefully small numbers of women at levels where they could formulate or influence policy. The position, today, unlike a couple of decades ago, is that there are many qualified women who can take up positions in the higher echelons of governance of universities and education institutions. Trained women managers in higher educational institutions could well complement the efforts of men for a qualitative development of the system and ensure gender equity. Having experienced a gender sensitivity prgramme, they could catalyze the system to move towards a gender-just system, by bringing their perspectives into decision-making.

Stating in the year 2002-2003, workshops (with about 30 participants each) are being held for five days in different universities and colleges of the country Sensitising, creating Awareness and building Motivation (SAM), for women teachers in higher education. The participants constitute middle and senior level women administrative positions or who have the potential to occupy such positions in the near future. Being a woman administrator does not mean that she is gender sensitive as she is also the product, like her male counterpart, of out patriarchal culture and mindset.

The content for these SAM Workshop is provided by a set of Manuals, which have been fully contextualized and rewritten from an earlier exercise done by the Commonwealth Secretariat, London, for the Commonwealth higher educational institutions, which also face a similar glass ceiling. The substantive manuals include Women’s Perspectives, Women and Governance, Women and Academic Leadership, Women and Personal and Professional Roles and Women and Research. There are four facilitative manuals for developing skills for the training of adult learners and method of organizing workshops. There is also an on-going effort to collect evidence of the number of women who occupy high-level positions such as Vice Chancellor, Registrar, Finance officer and other such policy making levels so as to substantiate and justify the need for a programme of this kind.

From among the participants of the SAM Workshops, some of them are selected as ‘potential’ trainers. They undergo a programme of Training of Trainers (ToTs) on the participative methodology in transacting the above manuals to be applied by them when they themselves have to conduct the Workshops. Training an increasing number of women to become Trainers and Local Coordinators for the SAM Workshops ensures that the baton is passed on from the Manual Authors, who were also the first set of Trainers and Coordinators, to another set of Trainers and Coordinators. As this continues, the programme has a ripple or multiplier effect. It is a cycle of SAM and TOTs covering all parts of the country on a regional basis, a movement of women, for women by women. So far, around 2000 women teachers have been trained in more than 79 SAM workshops and around 100 Trainers up to end of November 2007.

In the near future, these workshops would be followed by workshops containing management modules on working in teams, dealing with time and stress management, financial management, gender budgeting, and so on. These workshops would follow on first raising the gender sensitivity of the participants and motivating them to take managerial roles, and then providing management related knowledge and skills, so that, they become gender sensitive women managers with the necessary capacities for the qualitative management of the system.

At he UGC level, there is a National Consultative Committee to oversee the programme and ensure uniform qualitative standards in all the regions of the country. For better management and monitoring, the country is divided into 9 regions, each headed by a Core Group Resource Person who is experienced in the area of women’s studies/women’s issues, either a manual author or the Key Trainer. Each region has a senior woman academician who has experience in conducting the capacity building workshops. Each workshops has a Local Coordinator who organizes the workshop and four Trainer Associates who, beside her, also take up one or more modules from one manual for transaction in a span of about four hours. This consists of the training team at he regional level. Since a majority of the Members of the National Consultative Committee are the Core Group Resource Persons and Regional Coordinators, there is constant feedback, monitoring and required modifications in the programme, which is both holistic and integrated in structure and functions.

For the time being, the programme concentrates on women only, as many have to come to terms with themselves and their feelings/attitudes as well as their personal circumstances to see themselves as managers of the large higher education system; they have to equip themselves with the necessary skills and knowledge about the higher education system and have to feel motivated to take on tasks demanding courage and risk- taking, and shed their fears of working with power and authority.

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