The majority of Ghanaian students across all the levels of education experience different forms of violence (sexual, physical, and psychological violence) each day in school. However, the subject of school violence (SV) has been a muted one that has had and continues to have negative implications on students’ academic achievement and health and well-being.
CONSEQUENCES OF SCHOOL VIOLENCE
At the basic school level, victims of regular SV turn to have less sense of belonging at school and are 3x more likely to skip school often or even end their education. At all levels of education, SV affects students’ academic performance, impacts their health (primarily mental health). Moreso, students’ risk behavior such as substance abuse, early sexual intercourse, and alcohol use increase as a result of SV. Generally, SV contributes to an intergenerational cycle of violence since the victims are more likely to be perpetrators of violence later in life.
In general, when our schools are violence-free; there will be better learning outcomes and a higher return on education, but sadly, issue of school violence receives less attention in our national conversation with the false assumption that it is a school’s problem and that must be addressed by the school only.
Preventing SV needs coordinated efforts at multiple levels including the media, society, the government, religious bodies, family and the school.
THE SAFE SCHOOL PROJECT (SSP)
The SSP is a personal initiative to promote a safer and healthier school environment for every Ghanaian student across all the levels of education. The project is to empower teachers, students, parents and as well as the Ghanaian society on preventing all forms of violence in the Ghanaian schools and how to provide support for victims of sexual violence. communities to collectively curb various forms of violence in our school.
The Project adopts four main approaches to achieve its objective:
- Media Campaign (awareness creation through TV/radio interviews, Hashtags on social media).
- Training of teachers on establishing safety protocols in their schools to prevent and respond to SV.
- School Outreaches to help students acquire skills in preventing and responding to violence such as managing emotion, establishing and maintaining positive relationships, acquiring social skills to live in harmony with their peers. And how to look out for each other.
- National Summit on Safe School (a summit to bring key factors such as the Gender Ministry, GES, school leaders, religious bodies, SRC leaders among others to dialogue on how collaboratively, all agencies can help prevent all forms of violence in the Ghanaian schools).
We will appreciate having you join us for the campaign. Send us a message; +233247698295
We are as well open for partnership and sponsorship in any form. Do follow us on Twitter @SafeToLearn for the latest update on the Project.