How to bring gender-responsive pedagogy into course redesign in higher education

Aloysius Tenywa Malagala represented Gulu University, Uganda in a recent meeting about ensuring gender-responsive pedagogy in course redesign within the TESCEA project. In this blog post, he shares some of his reflections about gender issues in course redesign and how they fit with wider gender mainstreaming work within his university.

The Transforming Employability for Social Change in East Africa (TESCEA) project is helping higher education in Uganda and Tanzania to better align with the needs of employers and wider society through building up students’ critical thinking and problem-solving skills. An important component of this is ensuring that gender issues are considered throughout the process of redesigning courses, transforming teaching and engaging with employers and other external actors.

At Gulu University, where I work, this emphasis on gender issues aligns with what we have been doing as a university. As a university we are trying to mainstream gender issues everywhere. We created a university gender policy in March 2017 and have been also saying, “How can we have gender issues mainstreamed in all aspects of university life?” This includes key areas such as   leadership (both at student and staff levels), teaching and learning, research, community outreach, student and staff welfare, curriculum, admission and student retention,  infrastructure and organizational culture (values being promoted, norms, practices).

Putting gender ideas into practice

Doing course redesign within TESCEA is giving us an opportunity to see how we can translate our university policy and other work into action and how we can operationalize the policy into the courses that we’re designing.

I recently participated in a TESCEA learning and adaptation meeting held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on gender-responsiveness in course redesign. In this workshop we considered a definition for gender responsive pedagogy and a teaching and learning approach that takes into account the various needs of men and women to enhance their individual learning. We also discussed gender integration in the next round of the course redesign and considered issues such as the content, method of delivery in class, and the composition of the participant learners and teachers.

We reflected on various activities to be done in line with this, before the course design, during and after. Such activities included analysis of courses to identify gaps and where courses do not reflect a gender responsive pedagogy, course alignment, innovative assessment during the redesign and after the redesign, training and sensitization for both staff and students on gender issues.

As a result of these discussions, as a group we developed a gender strategy/vision and our recommendations for gender responsive pedagogy and course redesign in TESCEA.

In Gulu University we are now seeing how we can operationalize all these issues – from our existing gender mainstreaming policy and work and from the strategy and reflections from the recent meeting – into the course redesign work within TESCEA and in the mainstreaming of all the gender activities in the university.

Our hope is that, with the vision and strategy in place alongside our existing policy, gender responsiveness will become one of our university core values. We intend to ensure that such values are taken up and appreciated by the members of our TESCEA joint advisory group (JAG, a group made up of external actors from business and the wider community who are advising us on this project). Some JAG members will participate in course redesign and so will be able to contribute to the desired change in gender responsive pedagogy. This will be important for TESCEA in terms of scale up and adaptation of activities and programmes and – in the long run – for enhancing the employability of our graduates.

Aloysius Tenywa Malagala is a senior lecturer in the Institute of Peace and Strategic Studies at Gulu University. He is the monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) lead for Gulu in the TESCEA project and is also involved in curriculum redesign.


Transforming Employability for Social Change in East Africa (TESCEA) is helping young people in Tanzania and Uganda to use their skills and ideas to tackle social and economic problems. With partners in Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya, TESCEA supports universities, industries, communities and government to work together to create an improved learning experience for students – both women and men. This improved learning experience fosters the development of critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and allows for practical learning beyond the classroom that improves a graduate’s employability.

The TESCEA partnership is led by INASP (UK), working with Mzumbe University (Tanzania), University of Dodoma (Tanzania), Gulu University (Uganda), Uganda Martyrs University (Uganda), Association for Faculty Enrichment in Learning and Teaching (Kenya), LIWA Programme Trust (Kenya) and Ashoka Africa (Kenya).

TESCEA is funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) as part of DFID’s SPHEIR (Strategic Partnerships for Higher Education Innovation and Reform) programme to support higher education transformation in focus countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

To learn more about TESCEA, click here. To learn more about INASP’s Gender Responsive Pedagogy in Higher Education Framework, click here.

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One Response to “How to bring gender-responsive pedagogy into course redesign in higher education

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