Integrating Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in Schools (SRHR) in Schools
Learning about sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) can change the course of a young person’s life. Integrated SRHR in schools is widely acknowledged as one of the most effective ways to decrease child marriage, early pregnancies and the transmission of sexually transmitted infections.
Over 6,000 children aged 7-13 years old in So They Can’s 28 partner schools in Tanzania participated in quarterly SRHR training in 2023. The sessions, facilitated by healthcare professionals, are part of our Keeping Girls in School project.
The 1-hour sessions cover a range of topics including:
– Sexual and reproductive health
– Communicable and non-communicable diseases
– Negative impacts of drug abuse
– General health and personal hygiene
‘The training helped me to become aware of my own personal hygiene and my health. Learning about the impact of sexual relations on young people, made me reconsider my choices. What I learnt in the session actually made me want to refocus on school, and studying, to do well’.Standard 5 pupil, Mamire Primary School.
Engaging a trained medical professional to facilitate the sessions ensures that children and teachers receive accurate health information. The interactive approach in the sessions, allows students to discuss and correct any myths and misconceptions that they may have.
‘SRHR training in schools, especially at the primary school level, has been a much needed platform for students to learn about different health challenges and how to overcome them. It covers things that they are not learning in the classroom, or at home. Overall students’ response to the sessions has been very positive’.Maria, SRHR Facilitator and Nurse from Mamire Health Centre.
For teachers, one of the main benefits is that children are encouraged to be open, and discuss their attitudes and behaviours in the sessions, for shared learning.
‘In our school, the training has been hugely beneficial. The facilitator really helped my students to talk about inappropriate behaviour, and together as a group discuss consequences and better choices. As teachers, with parents, we have been able to address inappropriate student behaviour in our school community.’Happiness, Head Teacher, Mamire Primary School.
In 2024, 14,000 primary school children, and 4,000 secondary school children will participate in school-based SRHR training supported through So They Can’s Keeping Girls in School project.