YOUTH SKILLS & EDUCATION FOR EMPOWERMENT
A UNFPA-PCE Partnership Centre for Knowledge, Advocacy and Dialogues
The UNFPA-PCE partnership began in 2009 with the introduction and promotion of Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) through the Life Skills Education (LSE) Programme in Bhutanese schools. As part of the programme, schoolteachers were trained annually. With support from UNFPA, Paro College of Education has also provided this programme to its final year students each year since then. Further, the College has provided professional development training to faculty members, Heads of departments, Programme Leaders, Deans, Provosts, Student Leaders and College Presidents. The partnership also implemented a number of capacity building initiatives including research methodology workshops, national and international seminars, and research studies.
The College has also successfully published several books on CSE (e.g. Facilitator Manual 2010; CSE Handbook 2014; CSE Dzongkha Translation 2017; CSE Handbook 2019; Connecting Youth, Connecting Stories 2020; and Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy 2021). Beginning March 2020, as part of PCE’s strategic response to the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of initiatives were taken to enhance emotional and psychological resilience among the youth. Accordingly, the College successfully conducted online activities such as stories related to the pandemic, workshops for final year students and psychological outreach programmes to the community.
In order to consolidate and sustain the partnership programmes and initiatives of the past twelve years and to provide future direction for youth skills and education for empowerment, a Centre has been established and launched on 25 November 2021. Inaugurated by Her Majesty Gyalyum Sangay Choden Wangchuck, the UNFPA-PCE Partnership Centre for Knowledge, Advocacy and Dialogues will anchor all UNFPA supported activities on UNFPA’s and RUB’s developmental goals and priorities so that these efforts continue to have positive impact on Bhutanese society. Accordingly, the Centre will reach out to schools, youth population in Bhutan and the wider community to support them through knowledge, advocacy and dialogues related to mental health, sexual and reproductive health rights, gender based violence, and other developmental issues.
To generate knowledge, advocacy and dialogues on mental health, sexual and reproductive health rights, gender based violence, and other developmental issues in society.
The UNFPA-PCE Partnership Centre shall strive to:
- Support all UNFPA activities that focus on Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR), Gender Based Violence (GBV) and Mental Health issues.
- Strengthen the delivery of Comprehensive Sexuality Education within the College and the wider community.
- Provide a repository of knowledge and information on SRHR, GBV, and other health and social development concerns in society.
- Support UNFPA and the RUB in their organisational roles and efforts to create a safer, more compassionate and happier place in society.
- Conduct research and other investigative studies in partnership with UNFPA, RENEW, NCWC, and other relevant organisations, and generate knowledge of value to Bhutanese society.
- Organise professional development programmes for students, teachers, and members of the community.
- Serve as the nodal institution for UNFPA activities for the Royal University of Bhutan.