In 2020, the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) partnered with Commonwealth Association of Technical Universities and Polytechnics in Africa (CAPA-ATUPA) to increase the number of girls and women pursuing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) programmes in Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) for national sustainable economic growth and for promoting an active and socially cohesive society.

The initiative is being implemented through Women in Technical Education and Development (WITED) chapters within CAPA-ATUPA networks. WITED chapters represent a body of qualified and experienced TVET trainers who are active and working in their institutions, communities, and industries. The aim of this project is to strengthen the capacity of WITED Chapters and Individual Champions in TVET institutions to assess, deliver and monitor activity with the aim of increasing girls and women’s participation in STEM-TVET, and reducing the complex influences of societal, cultural, and economic reasons that impede girls and women participation in STEM-TVET.

An advisory group was established to oversee implementation of the COL-ATUPA WITED STEM-TVET project (CAWS). A practical guide to support WITED Chapters and TVET institutions to better understand their current practice has been developed. An online Community of Practice (CoP) will also be set up, where WITED Chapters and Individual Champions will share challenges, opportunities, resources and work together to plan, deliver, and evaluate activities.

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