Safe Schools

School Related Gender Based Violence (SRGBV) and a lack of gender-equitable teaching practices is a major problem in the school system in Tanzania. Student Friendly Schools (SFS) is a program designed to give Tanzanian teachers and Volunteers the tools they need to bring awareness about school violence and SRGBV to their staff and school communities. The Students Friendly Schools training brings Volunteers and local teachers together for several days to discuss the topics of gender stereotypes, gender-based violence, corporal punishment, positive punishment techniques, and equitable teaching practices. The most recent SFS training was held in December 2016 and was funded by PEPFAR and Let Girls Learn.

The Student-Friendly Schools Maua Mazuri/Mazingira Mazuri Expanded Training is aimed at bringing together Volunteers and Counterparts to share information and experiences to define their roles as educators in bringing positive teaching practices to their schools to improve learning environments. Volunteers and Counterparts will work towards the three main objectives of Let Girls Learn listed below by implementing Student-Friendly Schools at their sites through clubs.

Training Objectives

By the end of the training, participants were required to:

  • Distinguish between gender and sex
  • Define causes and influences of gender-based violence (GBV)
  • Identify educators’ roles in promoting positive learning environments
  • Review the Tanzania Teachers’ Code of Conduct
  • Discuss behavior change strategies and implementation
  • Identify the three objectives of Let Girls Learn
      1. Increased access to educational opportunities of girls
      2. Increased leadership opportunities for girls
      3. Increase community support of gender-equitable outcomes and norms
  • Identify the rationale of establishing clubs as methods of SFS implementation
  • Actively participate in Maua Mazuri and Mazingira Mazuri practical sessions
  • Create action plans for SFS and MM implementation at site

The rationale for the expanded SFS/MM training came from the recent Let Girls Learn Summit in Madagascar. Volunteers in Tanzania were reporting difficulties with implementing SFS at their sites because corporal punishment is legal in Tanzania. With few training deliverables beyond informational sessions, Volunteers were reporting dissatisfaction with the training and the inability to complete their Action Plans with their Counterparts. Because SFS and Clubs are two Anchoring Activities for Let Girls Learn, post decided to expand the training in order to meet the goals of both LGL and PEPFAR, as it has been proven that repeated interventions on gender norms, youth sexual reproductive health, life skills, and other issues increases the impact and sustainability.

With this feedback, post worked to create a new training design that would encompass both Anchoring Activities while incorporating the concerns of past participants to create a dynamic, new training event. With additional consultations from regional LGL Advisor Meghan Donohue, the post updated the curricula for Maua Mazuri and Mazingira Mazuri (fine arts and environmental empowerment programs, respectively). Following this review, the post adapted existing SFS sessions and created an additional set of sessions to fill 5 days with relevant, useful content.

Topics

Training topics included:

  • Definitions of sex, gender, and GBV
  • Causes and Influences of GBV
  • Roles and Responsibilities of Educators to eliminate GBV
  • Ways to develop Student-Friendly schools
  • Alternatives to corporal punishment
  • LGL Introduction and Anchoring Activities Overview
  • Teach Like a Champion techniques introduction and overview
  • Creating effective and safe clubs
  • Analyzing the dimensions of power between genders when creating clubs
  • Defining the role of educators in creating safe clubs/spaces
  • Reviewing HQ-created checklists for SFS and effective clubs
  • Learning implementation strategies for SFS at the three levels of intervention of LGL
  • Practicing Maua Mazuri – fine arts empowerment
  • Practicing Mazingira Mazuri – environmental education empowerment