The Safe Learning Model adopts a holistic approach to education that brings together transformative gender interventions within an education programme. The model, being piloted and evaluated in Sierra Leone from 2017-2021, is based on the assumption that children’s educational progress will be enhanced when they live in communities that are underpinned by support for gender equality and children’s wellbeing. This three level approach to learning seeks to counter the issues of SRGBV and gender stereotypes, which can keep children from learning or cause them to drop out of school.
Three levels of intervention:
- Comprehensive Literacy Interventions including competency based Continuous Teacher Professional Development
- School Level SRGBV Prevention & Response including transformative approaches with teachers and school management and age appropriate Social and Emotional Learning with children
- Community Level SRGBV Prevention & Response including family level transformative gender approaches and community dialogue
In addition to the interventions, the Safe Learning Model includes a research component being conducted in partnership with University College Dublin (UCD) School of Education. Aimed at testing whether the different levels of intervention are effective and how they interact, the study is divided into two phases: a pilot phase in the first year (2017-2018) and the main trial from 2018 to 2021. The rigorous mixed methods randomized controlled trial combines quantitative measurements with thick qualitative descriptions of children’s everyday lives to create a comprehensive picture of the multi-faceted intervention. The longitudinal study will engage with 100 schools randomly allocated to 4 levels of intervention and follow approximately 3,000 children in their first three years of primary education in Sierra Leone.