HIV/AIDS and Teacher Education: synopsis of observations and principal conclusions

Case Studies & Research
5 p.

InWEnt (Capacity Building International), Germany convened a regional meeting of 60 senior officials and representatives of governments, universities and other tertiary institutions, nongovernment organisations, and unions. Professionals from Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, South Africa and Uganda met to determine what support teachers and teacher educators require to respond to the complex needs of learners and educators affected by HIV/AIDS.The consultation focused initially on teacher education (PRESET and INSET) and how best to upgrade the capacities not only of school teachers, but of teacher educators in colleges and universities, to deliver lifeskills curriculum. In general, lifeskills education for educator and learner populations has been inadequate, many educators have been reluctant to teach sexuality curriculum, and there are too few teaching and learning materials in the system. INSET programmes are rarely comprehensive or systematic enough to deliver adequate skills and materials to serving teachers. Not all teacher trainees are getting HIV-awareness training in PRESET programmes.Finally, little or no provision has been made by education systems to address the condition of orphans, care and counselling for affected learners and educators, or for the protection of children at risk especially in deep rural, impoverished urban, or war-torn areas of Africa.Two routes were identified for further strategic planning:1. a slower, long-term development approach to prevention, care and counselling in which the aim is to change the behaviour of learners - as well as educators, parents, elders and others - so as to save lives and mitigate the consequences of HIV and AIDS; and2. a quicker, short-term direct intervention humanitarian approach to prevention, care and counselling in which the aim is to save lives now, keep learners safe and in school, and at the same time support the build-up of capacity to deliver on behaviour change.

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