15 June, 2018 – Harare, Zimbabwe 40 Master Trainers from Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Tanzania, as well as national partner, regional and global organisations, have been involved in a workshop to adapt and pilot the Connect with Respect Tool in the four countries, aiming to end School-Related Gender Based Violence (SRGBV). The tool is a result of experience sharing by the Global Working Group to end SRGBV, with the partnership of UNESCO and UNGEI, sharing specific lessons from a classroom programme for early secondary school level entitled, Connect with Respect: Preventing gender‐based violence in schools that was developed for Asia and Pacific teachers to help them deal with SRGBV in their local context and to teach secondary grade students to understand the causes and effects of gender‐based violence, and thereby, to develop their skills for building respectful relationships.
The workshop that took place in Harare, Zimbabwe from 11 to 15 June 2018 came as a result of analysis and consultations on the situation of SRGBV in the ESA region in March 2017. Hosted by UNESCO, countries in the region examined entry points based on existing SRGBV prevention and response efforts within the education sector. In addition, activities in the Connect-With-Respect-Tool were reviewed within the context of East and Southern Africa, paving the way for the Master of Trainers workshop to pilot the tool in the region.
The workshop in Harare, Zimbabwe sought to provide an opportunity for education systems in the region to deploy a well‐developed, evidence informed resource for use in classroom prevention education, and for schools to participate in research trials, which will help to provide knowledge about impact and effectiveness. Particularly, the workshop aimed to:
Provide a tailored version of Connect-with-Respect tool,
Investigate whether Connect with Respect produces positive changes in knowledge, attitudes and behaviour,
Collect regional data on effective programming, informing future investments by the education systems in the prevention of SRGBV,
Develop the capacity of the region to deliver and evaluate educational programs, and
Encourage and enable education systems to provide SRGBV education to schools.
The workshop Master Trainers participating in the workshop included education officials and teacher training experts who are expected to work as multipliers by extending training and technical support to teachers, head teachers and district education officials in pilot schools on the Connect-with-Respect tool.
The workshop was delivered by trainers from the Graduate School of Education Youth Research Centre at the University of Melbourne, Australia, as well as from the four pilot countries. The training content focused on;
Understanding the patterns of GBV,
Raising Awareness about GBV,
Skills needed for positive gender relationships, and
Using a whole‐school approach to positive gender relations.
As follow-up, Ministries of Education (MoE) in the four piloting countries are expected to take the leading role in facilitating Connect with Respect trial activities. MoEs will work with UNESCO to identify their needs to meet all requirements of the pilot exercise.