The Government of the Republic of Zambia has recently embarked on an ambitious educational reform programme named, "Basic Education Sub-Sector Investment Programme - BESSIP". The programme aims at increasing access to and improving the quality of basic education. For all it's intent and purpose, it is envisaged that Universal Basic Education comprising nine years of schooling can be attained by the year 2015.The global spread of HIV/AIDS may make the attainment of some of the BESSIP goals difficult if not impossible. The wrath and devastation of HIV/AIDS on the Zambian society has been categorized as severe and ranks among the worst hit in the world. With an infection rate of about 20% of those between 15-49 years being infected, the epidemic represents one of the most urgent challenges to our country in general and Ministry of Education in particular. The infection rate is estimated to be 28 % in urban areas and 14 % in rural areas. The most productive people are dying, with peak infection for women occurring at 20- 29 years and for men 30-39 years.No part of the country has been left untouched by the pandemic. All indications are that the infection rate is high, and measures that will reduce the rate of infection and create a caring environment for the infected and /or affected must urgently be put in place.
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