METEOROLOGY CURRICULUM NOW GENDER SENSITIVE
It is widely acknowledged that science disciplines have been portrayed as masculine, a fact that makes most females shy away from attempting to study them. Consequently, there has been a need for activities, strategies and methodological practices to promote gender awareness in meteorology.
Dr. Agnes Rwashana Semwanga, the gender component leader on the WIMEA-ICT project has worked closely with Dr. Kabonesa and Dr. Peace Musiimenta from the School of Gender in ensuring that aspects of gender are adopted in the PGD, Bsc and Msc. programmes.
In December 2014, various academic staff and Heads of Departments attended a gender based workshop whose main aim was to ensure that gender aspects are integrated in the design, implementation and evaluation of the curricula.
The workshop was specifically prepared so that aspects of gender would be incorporated in the mode of delivery, learning outcomes and admission requirements of the BSc Meteorology, PGD Meteorology and MSc in Applied Meteorology curricula.
BSC METEOROLOGY CURRICULUM In ensuring that the BSC Meteorology curriculum is engendered the following have been incorporated in the curriculum outline:Two courses namely;
1. UNV 1002 Introduction to gender and ENV 2110 Gender and Environment will be taught as core courses of the programme
2. Gender considerations have been built-in several courses as highlighted below :
- CSK 1102 Communication Skills course Issues of communication to women, considering information needs of women and men and how that information is communicated have been included in the course. Theories of communication plus communication means such as radio, posters should take into account gender issues during the course.
MET 1202 Climatology course Aspects of gender related to the causes, and consequences of climatology will be discussed.
- MET 2101 Research Methodology course Aspects of qualitative research methods that take care of women’s voices regarding climate changes and their effects and indigenous knowledge on conservation have been incorporated in the course.
- Gender component is integrated inENV 2111 Soil conservation and environment, MET 2206 Renewable Energy Resources, MET 3102 Meteorology and Human Environment , MET 3201 Climate Change, adaptation and mitigation, MET 3203 Elements of Environmental Pollution and Control and ENV 3112 Water Resource Management.
- MET 3105 Agro-meteorology course incorporated gender aspects since women form the majority of population in agriculture.
POSTGRADUATE DIPLOMA IN METEOROLOGY: The PGD programme was designed to introduce the field of meteorology to science graduates who are joining the field of meteorology from different science fields. It runs for one year and yet there was a lot to be covered making it difficult to incorporate standalone courses in gender.
ECONOMIC IMPLICATIONS MASTERS OF SCIENCE IN APPLIED METEOROLOGY: As far as engendering the MSC in Applied Meteorology is concerned, two courses namely MET 7102 – Research Methods and Data Analysis and MET 7301 – Graduate Seminar were revised and gender aspects have been incorporated. Gender aspects will be extensively discussed in the graduate seminars as well as in the proposal writing and considerations while addressing ethical issues.
Other gender activities that have been done include visits to institutions with female role models to encourage the younger ones to take up science courses and to apply during the university admissions.
Ms. LukiyaTazalika, the Ag. Commissioner, Forecasting in the National Meteorological Authority and Dr. Agnes Rwashana Semwanga from Makerere University, College of Computing and Informatics Technology visited the National Meteorological Training School on September 23, 2014 and encouraged students to read about the course.
THE FOLLOWING CONSIDERATIONS WERE RECOMMENDED TOWARDS ENCOURAGING FEMALES IN ENROLLING IN METEOROLOGY PROGRAMMES
i). Efforts in the call for applications will be made to encourage female applicants and visits to the lower levels of education. Targeting secondary school will be done to make the meteorology career more attractive to females.
ii). Uganda National Meteorological Authority has a duty to publicise and create awareness to the public about the field of meteorology. They promised to take part in incorporating gender in their training.
iii). Guest lectures like seminars for all post graduate programmes will be set up to enable students understand gender from a broader perspective.
iv.) Re-tooling workshops for staff will be organized to enable them appreciate the importance of gender, thereby enabling them to incorporate gender aspects in their training.