The Safe Schools Program In Brief
The Safe Schools Program is a five-year initiative (2003-2008) funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Office of Women in Development and implemented by DevTech Systems, Inc. The Safe Schools Program works in 40 communities each in Ghana and Malawi, focusing on male and female students in upper primary and lower secondary school, ranging in age from 10 to 14 years old.
- Teachers became more aware of how to report a violation related to school-related gender-based violence: prior to the Safe Schools Program, 45 percent knew how to report. After the intervention more than 75 percent knew how to report a violation.
- Teachers' attitudes towards acceptability of physical violence changed: in Malawi, prior to the intervention, 76 percent of teachers thought whipping boys was unacceptable; afterwards approximately 96 percent of teachers thought it was unacceptable.
- Teachers' awareness of sexual harassment of girls and boys at school increased: in Ghana, prior to project involvement, roughly 30 percent of teachers agreed that girls could experience sexual harassment at school, after the program that number increased to nearly 80 percent. Teachers' belief that boys could experience sexual harassment increased by 38 percent—from 26 percent to 64 percent.
- Students became more confident that they had the right not to be hurt or mistreated: in Ghana, the percentage of students agreeing with the statement "You have the right not to be hurt or mistreated" increased from 57 percent to 70 percent.
- Students' attitudes towards teen pregnancy changed: in Malawi, the baseline study showed that just 70 percent of girls disagreed with the statement that it was okay for a teacher to get a girl pregnant as long as he married her. After the Safe Schools Program's involvement, nearly 90 percent of girls disagreed.