DBE-E3 Programme: Preparing Girls And Women For 21st Century Success

Equal opportunity and equal treatment in the labour market are at the core of decent work. Unfortunately, women in South Africa and around the world still face additional challenges that hinder them from accessing employment. Once they are in employment, appointments to decision-making positions and jobs in certain sectors, or of certain characteristics, remain elusive.

According to Statistics South Africa, a woman is more likely to be without a job than a man. In the third quarter of 2021 the unemployment rate among women was 37.3%, compared to a total unemployment rate of 32.9%.

Girls continue to be socially isolated with little autonomy or economic opportunities, and experience limited access to information and technology. All of these are barriers that can impede girls’ education and successful transition to adulthood. Meanwhile, adult women in the workforce also confront obstacles to their career advancement, including unequal access to technical resources, training options, and professional networks.

It is therefore imperative to prepare the world’s youth who are growing at an unprecedented rate, to learn, lead, and succeed in a 21st century global economy. That means equipping the next generation with critical-thinking and problem-solving skills, a collaborative nature, and digital literacy essential qualifications for operating in an increasingly connected world

The Department of Basic Education’s E³ (DBE- E³) programme seeks to end South Africa’s youth unemployment crisis by preparing all learners for a changing world.

The DBE- E³ programme, encourages a more hands-on approach, builds an enabling learning environment that requires teachers to know their learners’ interests and learning abilities.  This kind of interaction also helped break the power imbalances between teachers and learners, which is important for all learners, but particularly for empowering girls.

In many cultures, girls are taught to do as they are told and to not speak up or question authority. But when teachers usually viewed as unapproachable authority figures allow space for learners to interact with them and perceive them as mentors, girls are more likely to participate in discussions, ask questions, and feel that they are important to the learning process.

Studies show that in many cases, boys and girls learn differently. In general, girls often have high performance standards and can be self-critical. As teachers interact with learners and pick up on these subtle differences, they can tailor their teaching methods to better reach their learners.

Learners learn more when they can connect topics to their everyday lives. The DBE- E³ programme provide this opportunity through practical applications of classroom lessons and learner-centered projects. Therefore the knowledge and confidence girls acquire through the project based learning better position them to seek new professional development and learning opportunities.

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