Teacher training: essential for school-based reproductive health and HIV/AIDS education: focus on sub-saharan Africa

Teacher training: essential for school-based reproductive health and HIV/AIDS education: focus on sub-saharan Africa

How to help teachers improve HIV/AIDS education

For teaching information and skills related to HIV/AIDS, teacher training is essential, and complex. In sub-Saharan Africa, up to half of all new HIV infections are occurring among youth under age 25. Since most youth attend school at least for primary education, school-based programmes are a logical place to reach young people. Therefore, understanding the importance and techniques of teacher training in sexuality education in Africa is particularly urgent.

This paper from Family Health International’s YouthNet Program puts teacher training in the context of school-based HIV education and summarises the limited research available on the topic. It focuses on the African context, identifying particular challenges and summarising teacher training projects in Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. The authors assess the selection of teachers and the elements of a teacher training curriculum. They conclude that teachers need to be willing and motivated to teach reproductive health topics. Teacher training needs the support of national ministries, local school management, and communities; it should cover policies, administrative practices, and cultural norms that will affect the teaching of RH/HIV information. Finally, the programme should embrace a policy of zero tolerance for exploitation of students. [adapted from author]

  1. How good is this research?

    Assessing the quality of research can be a tricky business. This blog from our editor offers some tools and tips.