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Thursday, 3rd June 2021

Delivering SRHR Teacher Training and Capacity Building in Central and Southeast Madagascar

By Luke Capper

Across Madagascar, students and teachers alike have expressed the need for increased knowledge of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). Whilst receiving SRHR information in school is an important part of young peoples’ learning and development, putting this into practice is more complex than one might think. Rather than simply teaching students about SRHR as independent sessions, SEED’s Project Safidy is taking a more holistic, sustainable approach. In collaboration with the National Ministry of Education (MEN), SEED developed an SRHR curriculum covering 13 SRHR topics that could be interwoven into eight subjects across the Malagasy high school education system. This means topics such as gender equality, advocacy, rights, abuse, and consent would now become a part of high school courses such as biology, philosophy, and geography.

Research undertaken by Project Safidy in 13 schools showed that 90.0% of teachers agreed that young people should be able to advocate for SRHR in their own communities1. However, this research also highlighted that many teachers lacked the ability to deliver this integrated SRHR curriculum.  When surveying teachers, we found that in some cases their students knew more than they did. For example, teachers on average identified just 2.2 out of nine sexually transmitted infections (STIs), whereas students identified 2.4 STIs. Worryingly, nearly all (97.5%) teachers incorrectly claimed that SRHR education increases sexual behaviour in young people, and only 41% expressed confidence in their ability to lead condom demonstrations in the classroom.2

I think it's best that young people are informed of their rights and the caution they should take to safeguard them. This can be a guidance for young people in deciding what path they should take in their life

English Teacher at Manakara High School

teachers-being-trained-srhr-education-madagascar.jpg

When SEED looked at how to tackle this problem, we knew we needed to start by working with teachers to increase their knowledge and confidence levels. In February 2021, SEED expanded its teacher training programme to address gaps in teachers’ knowledge of SRHR topics and to provide them with an improved teaching approach to more accurately and confidently deliver the 13 SRHR themes within their lessons. Created in collaboration with the MEN, the hands-on training sessions continue to build teachers’ capacity, weaving SRHR into the ethos and strategy driving Madagascar’s education system. Employing a train-the-trainer approach, SEED instructed 10 members of the MEN to deliver SRHR curriculum training to teachers from five pilot schools across central and southeast Madagascar. With the support and supervision of SEED, the trained MEN members delivered training sessions for 100 educators, including principals and vice principals. During these sessions, Regional and District Ministry officers were also trained on how to monitor and evaluate the teaching and delivery of SRHR education in schools, independent of SEED, marking a major step towards ensuring the sustainability and longevity of the integrated SRHR curriculum.

Some concepts didn't really make sense to me before, but this training has shed light on these topics and now I'm confident in delivering the lessons

Teacher from Fenerive Est Lycee

education-training-srhr-sexual-reproductive-health-rights-madagascar.jpgIn addition to equipping teachers with SRHR knowledge, such as consent, gender, contraception, and adolescent health, these training sessions addressed the importance of SRHR in the classroom, the significant role of teachers in delivering SRHR lessons, and the importance of participatory methods when approaching SRHR education. The training was positively received, with teachers stating they felt more comfortable teaching SRHR topics after receiving the sessions.

I really enjoyed the fact that everyone participated. Each and every one of us could speak out whatever they wanted to. We could truly exchange

Economic and Social Science Teacher from Fénérive Est

Empowered teachers empower students. Enhancing the capacity of teachers and local Ministry officials to deliver the rights-based curriculum across Madagascar will further empower young people to be actively engaged and informed of their sexual and reproductive health and rights. Based on the success of these sessions, we are hopeful that SRHR messages will continue to remain a part of the national curriculum, with the ability to be implemented independent of SEED, and that confident, knowledgeable teachers can continue to provide a rights-based approach to the next generation of students.



References

  1. SEED (2020) Project Safidy: Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning Teacher Endline Report [online] Available at:  https://madagascar.co.uk/application/files/3815/9012/5546/Project_Safidy_Phase_IV_-_MEL_Seconde_Endline_-_Teachers.pdf
  2. Ibid.