|Global Co-ordination > Working Group on Education for All >|
|First meeting / Document 7|
UNESCO Strategy on HIV/AIDS and Education
than two decades HIV/AIDS has been transformed from a medical
curiosity to an international emergency. It can no longer be
conceived of as just a health problem - it is already a development
disaster and is becoming a security crisis with social impacts
as devastating as any war. The spread is not decreasing, on
the contrary, it is still accelerating. Unlike other epidemics,
it primarily affects young adults, and although it strikes the
poor it also heavily affects the skilled, the trained and the
educated - i.e. the groups most vital for development.
epidemic not only hampers development; it reverses it by destroying
productive capacity. The epidemic will have an exceptional impact
on the economy in two ways. Firstly, by loss of productivity
from loss of the most productive. Secondly by the burdens of
caring for the sick and tending for orphans. Many youth will
grow up desocialized and disconnected. AIDS is wiping out decades
of investment in education and in human development.
not only human bodies, but the body politic as well. It has
an unprecedented institutional impact, not only on the institutions
most needed for development but also on those most needed to
prevent the spread of the epidemic itself. By the high rate
of disease and death among teachers and other trained professionals
it will erode access and interfere with the capacity of key
institutions to function. Children will lose teachers at school
and parents who can support them from home. Classes will be
dropped and schools will close. Not only will children and the
young get a poorer education as the industrialized world moves
into the knowledge society - there will be fewer opportunities
for them to learn how to avoid what is afflicting their elders.
paradox is that in spite of the knowledge of the causes of the
disease and how to avoid it, it took a long time before public
authorities reacted in a forceful way. It has taken also a very
long time before the knowledge has spread, particularly in developing
countries. But in all countries the provision of information
is necessary on a permanent basis. In large parts of the world
the basic knowledge about infectious diseases is absent. In
this vacuum, superstition can grow, for example about how one
can protect oneself or be cured.
does not bring complete cure and the treatment that can bring
improvement is still too costly for large parts of the world's
population, prevention through education followed by action
is the best medicine - indeed the only thing that works. This
is the point of departure for UNESCO's strategy on HIV/AIDS.
questions deserve thorough investigations:
(Draft for discussion)
does the epidemic affect the institutions of society in
general and educational institutions in particular?
can the institutions of society in general, and formal and
non-formal educational institutions in particular, counteract
the spread of the epidemic.
defensive, question needs to be answered in order to plan for
how to cope with the ravages of the epidemic on the very institutions
that should protect against it. How to plan and organize? With
which partners? What countermeasures can be taken? At which
level? What has been tried and what works? To answer such questions
studies and research are needed - but at the same time strategies
have to be drawn up before full knowledge is attained.
offensive, question is what information should be given by whom,
in what way, to whom, and at what level (international, national,
local) to obtain the desired impact. What teaching material
or curricula should be prepared for learners in different institutions
and programmes, for teachers, for managers? What should be directed
towards attitudinal change?
to both questions clearly it is essential to help ministries
of education to tackle the magnitude of the HIV/AIDS crisis.
It is also essential to mobilize all actors working at the national,
regional and local level and to build partnerships. In developing
this strategy, knowledge about local conditions as well as sensitivity
to culture is imperative.
were identified through the end of decade review and, most importantly,
through feedback from our regional and agency partners who are
working in a variety of contexts across countries. In some cases
many of the CG regional and agency members are already programming,
raising awareness and/or conducting research in one or more
of the above areas (i.e., early literacy, CRC, training & capacity
building). For areas such as HIV/AIDs or the development of
appropriate and relevant indicators for ECD, the CG plans to
review current practice and understanding and/or carry out new
piloting and action research on particular topics with the leadership
and involvement of some of our donor and regional partners.
ACTIVITIES OF UNESCO
the work already done and proposed on HIV/AIDS and Education
undertaken in UNESCO can be divided into six types. They are:
1. Information Sharing
: through Resource Package and Training Materials Development
3. Coping: implementing new interventions
capacity Building and Networking
most activities have dealt with (1), (2), (4) and (5). These
will continue capitalizing on results already achieved and new
ones will be conducted in the other areas.
of focus within each of these types of work include:
youth initiatives and adult education
and other higher education institutions including teacher training facilities, and management institutes
attention will be paid to gender issues.
of operation include:
with Ministries on a cross sectoral basis
with communities on local initiatives
with NGOs and strengthening their capacities
public and private partnerships for a range of co-ordinated
particular attention to the protection of young girls and
empowerment of women.
has to be collected systematically and put at the disposal of
governments, NGOS, and international agencies working in this
field. This function has to be carried out at the sub regional,
regional and international level. At the international level
IIEP and IBE will cooperate with the different sub- regional
and regional offices to organize clearinghouses on HIVAIDS and
(including a data base) on the impact of HIV/AIDS on education and ways and means of coping
UNESCO (IIEP) in co-operation with various regional offices and regional networks will systematically
collect reports, studies and materials linking education and
HIV/AIDS. Emphasis will be placed on the following areas:
impact of HIV/AIDS on education in light of less demand
on current formal system, decreased supply of schooling
services, reduced quality of education and low achievements;
lower family resources and increased pupil absenteeism and
drop out; high personnel absenteeism and turnover (teachers
practices and measures introduced to help curb as well as
cope with the effects of the pandemic on the system (ministry
actions; community and family initiatives; teacher development;
data collection, monitoring and use in the policy-planning
process, non- formal initiatives, school health)
of integrated programmes combining education, health and
communication (community initiatives and information campaign
using mass media, non-formal cultural activities, possible
collating functions will also be carried out to summarize lessons
learned, to identify particularly successful experiences, and
to identify knowledge needs.
data base creation related to curriculum:
approaches, resource packages, teaching materials, videos,
posters on HIV/AIDS, sexual health education, community awareness
programmes(UNESCO-IBE with regional offices)
proposed that an updated, ongoing cataloguing and review of
all major efforts to date be established in the development
of curricular strategies for HIV/AIDS education. A comprehensive
catalogue of materials developed by both national and international
institutions will be developed/updated and a state-of-the-art
review prepared, indicating the most promising materials/approaches.
This review might be carried out by a committee of experts
from a suitable representation of countries. Such an effort
could be part of the ongoing work of UNAIDS to systematically
identify and catalogue best practices in HIV/AIDS sexual health
education within both formal and non-formal education settings.
Resource Package and Training Materials Development
development of flexible and adaptable resource packages for
curriculum planners, providing them with tools to incorporate
HIV/AIDS awareness measures into their plans, and dissemination
of the existing prototype resource package (to be adapted
and translated into several languages) Production of gender-sensitive
HIV/AIDS teaching material in formal and non-formal education
e.g. the planned activity for a sub-regional workshop for
the production of gender-sensitive radio and booklets on HIV/AIDS
with participants from Malawi, South Africa, Swaziland and
Zimbabwe. Production of teaching materials to be used in literacy
and adult education programmes.
with teacher training programmes to update curricula and develop
teacher manuals, and training of trainers' manuals to include
relevant subjects, including life-skills and HIV/AIDS awareness.
Programmes should be designed to facilitate teachers' learning
for their own personal well-being and ethical stance, as well
as to develop skills in conveying and supporting messages
Planning and Implementing New Interventions
best practices and success stories, try out and support
new interventions at local, regional and national level;
out the various alternatives to cope with the pandemic in
terms of organization of education provision in and non-formal
programmes, education of those affected by the pandemics
( e.g. the orphans), teacher supply and training and provision
of a secure and caring environment for those infected and
UN policy guidelines concerning teachers and HIV/AIDS. These
guidelines should enable governments to formulate teacher
policies on an informed basis to address questions such
as: What is the status of teachers with HIV/AIDS? What are
their rights and responsibilities? How should policies of
teacher recruitment, training, employment and deployment
be changed? Should HIV/AIDS infected teachers be kept on
staff? Under what conditions should they be asked to stop
teaching? What support should be given to them?
countries in developing a personnel policy to deal with
high attrition rates, and declining productivity among staff
members. Analysis of best practices to replace the large
numbers of teachers who have had to stop teaching because
with teacher unions on the definition of a code of conduct
for teachers, and on strategies to cope with teacher shortages;
teacher training seminars on school health and HIV/AIDS
or raise the quality of education in contexts of HIV/AIDS
with communities and parent teacher associations to sensitize
them on the real risks of infection, and how teachers that
are affected should be treated;
assertiveness-training modules in literacy programmes and
non-formal education activities, especially for girls/women.
Capacity Building and Networking
a. Train and support planners and managers to anticipate and
cope better with HIV/AIDS
training materials and programme for both face-to-face and
distance education modes.
mobilization task-force teams to help governments with planning
and managing HIV/AID.
HIV/AIDS an integral concern in the training of planners
and managers, develop a special module in the IIEP annual
training programme on how to cope with HIV/AIDS and education,
and train educational planners through various intensive
courses and distance mode.
existing management training programmes to include national
leaders and staff dealing with the HIV/AIDS epidemic
women trainers for formal and non-formal education programmes
Foster networking and links between researchers and planners
to feed research findings into policy-making and projects.
positions and research at local universities in areas related
to HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention.
governments to implement and monitor new organizational and
countries to mobilize task-force teams to help governments
with planning and implementing new organizational strategies.
opportunities to modify existing projects and develop new
projects to include strong components to build the capacity
of people in all sectors to manage and implement HIV/AIDS
prevention and care programmes.
in developing/co-ordinating/strengthening regional networks
to assist in the implementation of HIV prevention, care and
support interventions (as proposed in the draft report of
the pre-Committee of Cosponsoring Organizations to the UNAIDS
Programme Co-ordinating Board, March 2000). Existing networks
would be mobilized to address HIV/AIDS as a priority area
e.g. IBE/MED Network which has already been launched and networks
under development for Asia, Latin America, Arab States and
with NGOs on inclusion of HIV/AIDS and sexual/general personal
health education material into study plans of literacy and
post-literacy programmes, particularly for non-formal, youth
and adult education activities; studies on marginalized groups
to learn how programmes might be changed to take into account
better their needs; and working with trainers on HIV/AIDS
and ethical issues
communities implement local initiatives
with community leaders to sensitize them to the HIV/AIDS
issue, and to garner support for the inclusion of HIV/AIDS
material in formal and non-formal education.
of trainers from communities to heighten awareness and to
train others in HIV/AIDS prevention and management strategies.
women trainers for formal and non-formal education programmes,
including the use of traditional and local media as vehicles
for increasing young women's knowledge and transforming
skills, attitudes and behaviours to strengthen the possibilities
of fighting HIV/AIDS.
are several areas of needed research, which can be grouped
under two categories:
a. monitoring and evaluating the current impact of HIV/AIDS
on education (formal and non-formal),
and evaluating the introduction and impact of new strategies
is a continuing need to provide accurate information which can
be gleaned from demographic and health studies, UNESCO's strategy
is best to focus on the specific relationship of HIV/AIDS and
its impact on education (formal and non-formal) and the surrounding
community/family structure as well as education's impact on
HIV/AIDS . Information for current and future education systems
(formal and non-formal) regarding demand, supply of schooling
services, quality of education, and equality of opportunities
is needed, as well as the result of interventions and the way
that people are coping with the impact. Greatest emphasis needs
to be placed on planning for future alternative education systems,
and on implementing, monitoring and evaluating new interventions.
and evaluating current impact of HIV/AIDS on education (formal
to determine whether teachers are more or less exposed to
infection than other groups - statistics and causes. Specifically,
do the conditions of teaching, or the conditions of national
or international deployment of teachers contribute in any
way to the spread of HIV/AIDS. If so, then what personnel
policies need to be put in place to deal with this?
to gauge HIV/AIDS prevalence among pupils and staff in different
contexts, and how these individuals and their communities
react to this knowledge and deal with the impact.
to analyze the impact on the quality of education, with
particular emphasis on resource requirements.
and evaluating the impact of new strategies and interventions
to determine the effect of interventions such as those above
and other educational, communication and health programmes
on the behaviour of students, teachers and other staff. For
sex schools make a difference to both HIV/AIDS prevalence,
safety, learning and confidence/empowerment of girls?
should the processes, programmes and materials be modified
for different cultural sensitivities? What types of processes,
programmes and materials work best in different communities
additional forms of support are needed to strengthen the
impact of interventions?
organizational changes allow orphans and children in difficult
situation to attend school in reasonable learning conditions?
of best practices, measures and programmes aimed at facilitating
access of pupils in difficult situations e.g. orphans and
children head of households.
with other key agencies (IGOS and NGOS) in in-depth studies
into the use of selected curricular strategies/approaches/
materials to date, for the purpose of evaluating their impact
on student and teacher behaviour and attitudes. Such evaluations
will be carried out at selected country levels, with the results
relating to the use of the same materials in different countries
mapping and monitoring of impact of interventions in different
rural and cultural areas.
How to Break the Silence
and conduct conferences, workshops and seminars to obtain
broader commitment for intensified action e.g. include HIV/AIDS
activity at the 46th session of the International Conference
on Education (ICE) September 2001; organize several workshops
at international and regional level, such as the one on the
impact of HIV/AIDS on Education in September, 2000 or the
Senior Experts Conference on HIV/AIDS and Education in West
Africa planned for 2001.
with regional/sub-regional agencies such as the Association
for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) in the organization
of a series of round table meetings at sub-regional levels
bringing together Ministers of Education, Health, Finance
and other key ministries to formulate co-ordinated national
and sub-regional responses to the impact of HIV/AIDS on the
provision where possible for key agencies, NGOs, Senior staff
of ministries of education and others working in this domain
to be active in these sessions.
with and support regional and sub-regional initiatives such
as the SADC action programme on HIV/AIDS in education and
training in the Southern African Development Community;
country, regional and sector-specific presentations on the
impact of HIV/AIDS on development, along with range of pragmatic
solutions, including use of mass media.
international and country firms/businesses to mobilize the
private sector to join efforts to intensify action.
leaders to mobilize civil society and the private sector to
intensify action against HIV/AIDS in their country
raising among teachers on the real risks related to HIV/AIDS,
and on ethical conduct in keeping with the new situation.
in the media on attitudinal and behavioural issues related
to HIV/AIDS prevention.
several issues of UNESCO journals and periodicals such as
Source and the comparative education journal Prospects to
the theme of HIV/AIDS/sexual health education.
IIEP / 2/11/00