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Ma’An Campaign To Reduce Violence in Schools

© Courtesy of RHC 2009
Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah, Eminent Advocate for UNICEF launches Ma'An campaign with attendance of 4,500 school principals

Ma’An Campaign
To Reduce Violence in Schools
2009 –2012


Introduction
The Ma’An campaign is a national campaign to reduce violence by teachers against children.  It is designed to reach all public and UNRWA schools in Jordan.  The campaign was launched in November with 4,500 educators and schools principals under the Patronage of Her Majesty Queen Rania.  A National Alliance Group with Honorary Presidency by Her Majesty Queen Rania has been established with membership of opinion leaders and private sector leaders to advocate for the campaign.  The campaign is anchored on a three track strategy:  school-based activities to promote a new way of discipline among teachers; community-based meetings and celebrations to encourage zero-tolerance of violence in schools; and a robust media-based coverage to make the campaign known.  Private sector funding is essential for the success of this multifaceted national campaign.

The Reduction of Violence in School Plan
In Jordan, the Ministry of Education has been vigilant in combating violence in schools.  However, in spite of these efforts, a national survey on the prevalence of violence at home and in schools that was conducted by UNICEF in 2007 revealed high levels of emotional and physical abuse happening in the home and at schools; more than two thirds of children in Jordan are subjected to verbal abuse by their parents (70 per cent), school teachers and administrators (71 per cent), around 34 per cent of children are physically abused by parents/legal guardians, and about 57 per cent by school teachers and administrators.  While 38 per cent of children reported being subjected to verbal abuse in the community and 13 per cent reported being subjected to severe physical abuse in the community.  Furthermore, the study reveals wide acceptance among parents and families of corporal punishment as it is perceived to be an effective tool for behaviour modification in children.  

Thus, Ma’An was designed with the objective of 40% reduction in the incidence of violence by the teachers in all public and UNRWA schools for the first year and up to 90% by the third year. The campaign is based on four integrated communications actions:

I. Administrative mobilization, public relations and advocacy: for putting the New Way of Discipline in classroom on the public and administrative/programme management agenda, whereby the goals and actions of the campaign are disseminated to all MoE schools principals, teachers and administrative staff together with high-ranking administrative staff at municipalities in support of the Plan;
II. Interpersonal Communication: a group of advocates will be established at the school-level and will be promoting the new way discipline with all teachers and principals.   This will be reinforced by a monthly discussion sessions led by the advocate group utilising the results of the monthly random survey on violence.
III. Advertising: an intensive advertising and media campaign will be accompanying the Ma’An campaign three times a year, each for three weeks; Massive, repetitive, intense and persistent messages via radio, television, newspapers and other channels.
IV. Community mobilization: National Commitment Day; group meetings, partnership building with the community, use of participatory research; traditional communication channels such as mosques and religious leaders and community drama to influence families and communities.

The campaign utilises a mutli-layer strategy to impact teachers’ behaviour into adopting non-violent disciplinary practices (New Way of Discipline) in the classroom.  The core of the campaign is the establishment of a group of advocates at the school-level who will be promoting the new way discipline with all teachers and principals.   The new way of discipline is based on asking teachers to take four steps when a problem occurs in the classroom as follows: Pause, Enquire about the problem from the student, Engage the class in discussion around this issues and finally, Take action suitable to the mistake that happened (PEET). The advocate group will be comprised of the school principal, counsellor, two teachers, a student representative and a parent.  Furthermore, the campaign ensures that the media, communities, decision makers and opinion leaders are all echoing the same message of promoting the New Way of Discipline, thus ensuring the adoption of PEET by teachers.

 

Speech of Marilena Viviani - UNICEF Deputy Regional Director - on the Launch of Ma’An Campaign

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Violence against children study in Jordan

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