UBR’s Whole School Approach
Unite for Body Rights (UBR) program has been implementing school-based SRHR program since 2011. To sustain the SRHR education in schools, UBR adopted Whole School Approach (WSA) introduced by UBR technical partner Rutgers, Netherlands, as per the local context and applied in 24 schools within UBR working areas. This approach is specially meant for sexuality education in low resource settings and developed to work for a safe and healthy school environment.
WSA leads to a cohesive, collective and collaborative action in and by a school community that has been strategically constructed to improve student learning, behavior and wellbeing, and the conditions that support these. The approach also includes other aspects of school life such as teaching practice, parents involvement, safety-net as well as greater wellbeing of students. All these are meant to make the students feel confident, with self-esteem leading them to become active and responsible citizens.
UBR has implemented the approach through a Taskforce. UBR school taskforce consists of representatives from School Management Committee (SMC) & headmaster, teachers, students’ cabinet/alumni, parents, community gatekeepers, officials of relevant government departments (like department of education, health & family planning, local govt. & engineering, women & child affairs, youth etc.) and relevant experts. Taskforce being the nucleus of WSA, acts as auxiliary to School Management Committee (SMC) and facilitates to continue the school activities and also to keep the parents, students’ cabinet and other bodies functioning well
While adopting WSA we found
- Students are able to make informed choices/decisions
- Teachers are skilled in facilitation & counseling, even on sensitive SRHR issues
- Students’ cabinet contributing to decisions & events with better efficiency
- School Management Committee members are more active & capacitated in joint decision making and able to utilize the opportunities to get supports as needed for the school
- Adolescent Corner/common room for students is in place and well-functioning
- Toilets are adolescent girl friendly
- Students are able to use the CSE learnings in their life. Students are organized & active, able to identify their needs & rights, have leadership & ownership for their school, and have improved relationship with teachers.
- Overall school environment is improved and supportive for SRHR.