Taking School Connect to Adolescents in Tutorial Centres  

A large percentage of adolescents and young people do not have accurate information about their sexual and reproductive health and rights and hence need age-appropriate information to make informed decisions about their sexual health. The School Connect Project continued at Krystal Edge Tutorial Centre to provide adolescents with comprehensive sexuality education, which helps them know more about their Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH). The projects’ main targets are schools, tertiary institutions, pre-varsities, tutorial centres and other gatherings of adolescents and young persons (AYPs). This program was done for averagely one hour weekly a period of 4 weeks at the tutorial centre. An average of 50 students attended each session.

Each week, the School Connect Project volunteers teamed up with Onelife Initiatives’ staff to facilitate each session. Sessions were energetic and impressing, as there were no dull moments for the participants, who were eager to participate in the role-play and ice-breaking sessions. During the sessions, participants were able to discuss freely their perceptions on various SRH topics. Many of them had little or wrong information about these topics. At the end of every session, the anonymous box always contained lots of smart, funny, candid, sensitive and controversial questions on topics relating to SRH such risky sexual behaviours, sexual and reproductive rights, sexually transmitted infection, life-building skills and many more. Participants of this program ask more of their questions verbally because there are older groups of AYPs while few made use of the anonymous box for more sensitive questions. Their questions were more engaging as they were able to relay practical challenges they face related to their reproductive health. Some of these questions have helped us compile a list of frequently asked questions by AYPs. You can click here to find them.

The sessions provided participants with detailed information and age-appropriate answers to their questions; sensitive questions were preferably answered through one on one counselling with the bearer of the questions who showed interest in seeing the facilitator after the general training. At the end of every session, participants were provided with the organization’s contact details in order to foster a better relationship with AYPs who needed more information or service that was not provided during the session. Pre-test forms were given to each participant in the first week to test their prior knowledge on SRH. Post-test forms were then used to measure participants’ knowledge after the sessions to assess the program outcome. The result from the evaluation showed that the participants mean knowledge score increased from 9.1±4.7 to 21.2±7.2. AYPs need accurate Information on their SRH in order to make informed choices about their sexual health. Providing them with Comprehensive Sexuality Education enables them to navigate through life, plan their future and help them live a fulfilled life. Participants of the School Connect Project will be agents of change among their peers.

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