School violence, perceptions of safety and school attendance: results from a cross-sectional study in Rwanda and Uganda

Publication Abstract

Meyer, Sarah R., Gary Yu, Sabrina Hermosilla, and Lindsay Stark. 2018. "School violence, perceptions of safety and school attendance: results from a cross-sectional study in Rwanda and Uganda." Journal of global health reports, 2: e2018020.

BACKGROUND: Adolescents displaced by conflict face a number of risks, and access to education has potential to have multiple protective aspects in humanitarian settings. Yet, the impact of violence experienced at school by adolescents in humanitarian contexts is poorly understood, especially in terms of impacts on educational outcomes.

METHODS: A household survey of adolescents in a refugee camp in Rwanda (n=274) and in two refugee settlements in Uganda (n=763) was conducted. Multiple logistic regression models were used to assess the influence of violence experienced at school on school attendance, feelings of fear and feelings of safety at school.

RESULTS: In multiple logistic regression models, adjusting for socio-demographic variables, exposure to school violence was significantly associated with feelings of safety at school (adjusted odds ratio (AOR)=2.29, 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.20-4.38) and days of school missed (AOR=3.28, 95% CI=1.54-7.01) in Rwanda. In Uganda, exposure to violence was significantly associated with all outcomes: school fear (AOR=2.26, 95% CI=1.48-3.44), school safety (AOR=1.90, 95% CI=1.23-2.92) and school attendance (AOR=2.39, 95% CI=1.52-3.74). Gender-stratified analyses indicated that in both contexts exposure to school violence is significantly associated with school attendance, school fear, and school safety for girls, but the association is weaker amongst boys (with experience of violence significantly associated with school attendance for boys in Uganda, but not for other outcomes and not in Rwanda).

CONCLUSIONS: This study presents some initial and novel findings on the relationships between violence experienced at school and educational outcomes amongst adolescents displaced by conflict.


PMCID: PMC6586240. (Pub Med Central)

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