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Target population  

Doorways III: Teacher Training Manual on School Related Gender-Based Violence Prevention and Response was designed to train teachers to help prevent and respond to SRGBV by reinforcing teaching practices and attitudes that promote a safe learning environment for all students. The manuals focus on working with 10- to 14-year-old children enrolled in upper primary and lower secondary school.

Delivery organisation     

The Doorways training program was designed by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Safe Schools Program (Safe Schools) to enable teachers, community members and students to prevent and respond to school related gender-based violence (SRGBV). Violence in and around schools is a worldwide problem with serious implications for the educational attainment, health, and well-being of all children. The physical, sexual, and psychological abuse suffered by both girls and boys at the hands of teachers, classmates and others drives children out of school and can leave long-lasting scars invisible to the eye.

Mode and context of delivery  

The overall goal of the training program is to increase teachers’ knowledge and shift attitudes and behaviours so that they may prevent SRGBV and respond to students who have experienced SRGBV. By the end of the program, participants will be able to:

1. Recognize their role as protectors of children and agents of change in preventing SRGBV.

2. Identify what constitutes SRGBV, how to recognize it, how to prevent it, and how to respond to a student who has experienced SRGBV through direct support and the use of referral and reporting systems.

3. Restructure teaching practices to reinforce the prevention of SRGBV and promote a safe learning environment for all students.

The training programme is delivered in person and highly participatory. It involves brainstorming, group discussion, role-play, voting systems and icebreakers.

Level/Nature of staff expertise required 

The Doorways (III) programme itself has been created by a range of organisations, including The Malawi Institute of Education and The Academy for Educational Development (AED).  A full list of contributors is mentioned in the References section below.

It is delivered by a facilitator who must have some prior training in participatory teaching methods to use Doorways III effectively. Familiarity with the concepts of gender and human rights and experience working with young people are required. The facilitator should also be able to discuss HIV and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and reproductive health issues in public with a frank and unembarrassed, but sensitive, approach. Facilitators create a participatory learning experience in which all participants teach each other through sharing, discussion and feedback. Your task as the facilitator is to create an environment in which that can happen.

The programme is aimed at existing teachers and education professionals.

Intensity/extent of engagement with target group(s) 

The training program requires approximately 44 hours of training time and is designed to be delivered in approximately eight days (see Suggested Schedule for Doorways III). Since the program is highly participatory and allows time for trainees to build and practice new skills, it is recommended that the training not exceed 20 to 25 participants.  

Description of intervention 
The Doorways III manual has eight modules. Each module begins with an introduction that includes: a brief explanation of why this module or content was included as part of the SRGBV prevention and response manual; a brief description of each session within the module; a list of resources, including organizations, books, websites and other documents to learn more about the content in the module.

Module 1: Introduction

• Participants say what they most enjoy about working with young people and being a teacher.

• Participants discuss their expectations of the workshop and establish ground rules

Module 2: Attitudes Towards Young People

• Participants examine their attitudes about working with young people.

• Participants examine the qualities of an ideal teacher, a welcoming classroom and a safe learning environment

Module 3: Gender

• Participants examine gender concepts to distinguish between sex and gender.

• Building on the concepts of gender, this session examines how gender influences the school environment, students’ workloads outside the classroom and teachers’ behaviours and expectations.

Module 4: Violence and School-Related Gender-Based Violence

• Participants are introduced to the definition of violence and the three different types of violence: psychological, physical and sexual.

• Participants identify the relationship between abuse of power and SRGBV and are introduced to the concept of force, which may or may not include physical force.

• Participants discuss how to handle an SRGBV incident as a bystander.

• Participants identify the role teachers can play in promoting healthy gender norms that decrease the risk of violence and exposure to HIV.

Module 5: Human Rights

• Participants are introduced to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and examine the rights they have as human beings.

• Participants are introduced to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and discuss children’s rights in regard to education and the responsibilities that accompany those rights.

• Participants examine their roles and their responsibilities as educators to honour the rights of their participants.

Module 6: Creating a Safe and Supportive Classroom Environment
• Participants examine harmful classroom practices and alternative discipline measures.

• Participants examine punishment versus discipline

Module 7: Response – Support, Referral and Reporting
• Participants learn what is meant by response, including reporting and referring students to the appropriate people, and establishing response and support networks.

• Participants identify ways to respond to and assist students who come to them with a problem related to SRGBV. Participants are introduced to basic listening skills.

• Participants examine their ministry’s (or school’s) Teachers’ Code of Conduct to determine how it can be used as a tool to prevent and respond to SRGBV.

• Participants discuss proper reporting procedures in their communities and how to respond to violations of local and national laws.

Module 8: Action Plan and Pledge

• Participants recommit to their roles and responsibilities to address SRGBV by committing to an action plan and signing a personal pledge.

• Participants complete an evaluation of the training and a post-training assessment to assess change in knowledge, skills and attitudes.

More detailed information about the course can be found here:


Prior to the program, 44% of teachers in Malawi knew how to report a violation of the code of conduct; afterwards 83% knew how to report violations.

 Initially in Ghana 32% of teachers agreed that sexual harassment of girls occurred in schools, after the program 79% agreed that girls could experience sexual harassment in school.


A full bibliography for this programme is available at

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