Ghanaian parents' views of HIV/AIDS education in schools: report of focus group discussions. Strengthening HIV/AIDS Partnerships in Education (SHAPE 2)

Programme Reports & Evaluations
World Education Ghana
26 p.

The study summarized in this report was carried out as part of a multi-faceted research strategy designed to collect baseline data for a newly expanded project carried out by World Education, an international non-governmental organization (NGO) established in Ghana in 2001. Working in partnership with local institutions, World Education strives to prevent the spread and mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS in the education sector. In collaboration with 12 civil society organizations (CSOs), activities are carried out in nearly 250 schools in four regions that target students, teachers and parents through an innovative program, Strengthening HIV/AIDS Partnerships in Education 2 (SHAPE 2). The central feature of the program is HIV/AIDS peer education among students, coupled with training several teachers in each school to support the peer educators. To date, interventions with parents have been limited. Parents are frequently assumed to object to the teaching of HIV/AIDS information or reproductive health in schools. Administrators and teachers use this presumed opposition as a rationale not to introduce subjects that they believe to be controversial, with the potential to generate community conflict. This research was undertaken to determine parents' points of view on the challenges facing young people today, whether they raise the subject of HIV/AIDS with their children themselves, and how they feel about their children being exposed to this information in the schools. The lessons learned will be used to assess the accuracy of teachers' and administrators' perceptions, and to tailor program efforts to best meet the expressed needs of parents.

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