United States Mission to UNESCO Announces the launch of TeachHer Central America

TeachHer Central America Begins

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On Monday, November 14 at the University for Peace in San Jose, Costa Rica, a group of 100 educators from all seven Central American countries and the Dominican Republic came together to attend TeachHer, a one-week regional teacher training course on how to train and inspire adolescent girls to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art/Design, and Mathematics (STEAM).

The TeachHer global public-private partnership (PPP) is creating a Master Corps of Educators equipped to deliver innovative, hands-on instruction for adolescent girls between the ages of 13 – 16, opening the door to career opportunities in fields that are in high demand, and where women are greatly underrepresented.

The educators were welcomed by Costa Rican First Lady Mercedes Peñas Domingo, the First Lady of Honduras, Ana Garcia de Hernandez, the University for Peace Rector (an UNGAchartered institution, and training venue), the U.S. Ambassador to Costa Rica S. Fitzgerald Haney, UNESCO’s Gender Division Director, the U.S. Mission to UNESCO’s Deputy Chief of Mission, and numerous other dignitaries and supporters.

TeachHer was launched at UNESCO headquarters in Paris on June 14, 2016 by the Second Lady of the United States, Dr. Jill Biden, Director General of UNESCO Irina Bokova, the First Lady of Costa Rica, Mercedes Peñas Domingo and the U.S. Ambassador to UNESCO, Crystal Nix-Hines. TeachHer partners and donors include Microsoft, Fitbit, the Akbaraly Foundation, and numerous individual donors. TeachHer is an initiative of the U.S. Mission to UNESCO in Paris, and the U.S. Department of State, in close collaboration with UNESCO and its network of regional, sub-regional, and field offices. The Institute for International Education, a U.S. based nonprofit organization, coordinates, and administers the partnership.

TeachHer Central America is the second training during the 2016 pilot phase, following upon a similar regional training in August in East Africa for educators from six African countries. Educators from the Central America region (including teachers, school administrators, and central government policy officials) participating in TeachHer are from Belize, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama. Countries, with the help of the TeachHer partnership, will determine how to apply the concepts of TeachHer into their own national and local education policies, and will benefit from the regional contacts that they are making as a result of this partnership and training. TeachHer will work with participants to develop follow-up actions, including after school programs that will provide girls with mentoring and opportunities to continue hands-on learning and exposure to career opportunities in STEAM fields. TeachHer will seek to monitor progress and report results, sharing ideas and successes from the participants in this initiative.

For additional information and background on TeachHer, please see the U.S. Mission to
UNESCO’s website.