The Initiative on
the Impact of HIV/AIDS on Education
The links between HIV/AIDS
and the education sector have become increasinglyevident.
Good quality education is a powerful tool against HIV/AIDS.
However, the HIV/AIDS pandemic impacts on learning opportunities
and education systems in a myriad of ways. In fact, HIV/AIDS
threatens the evelopment of education, through the sickness
and death of policy makers, teachers and administrators and
through damage to the resource base.
On the supply side, evidence has suggested that teachers are
among the professional groups considered most at risk. Sub-Saharan
Africa in particular is experiencing a sharp increase in the
mortality rates of teachers:
An estimated 860,000 children lost their teachers to AIDS
in sub-Saharan Africa in 1999. About 1,000 teachers - or half
of those trained annually - are dying of AIDS each year in
Zambia, for example, while the disease caused 85 per cent
of 300 teacher deaths in the Central African Republic in 2000.
Teacher absenteeism - due to illness, attendance at funerals,
patient care at home, and psychological trauma - has risen
sharply, affecting the education itself qualitatively and
quantitatively as well as increasing sector costs.
On the demand side, AIDS is
likely to affect the trends of the school-age population in
many countries. According to the Report on the Global HIV/AIDS
508,000 children aged 0-14 years died from AIDS in 2001.
Some 14 million children aged 0-14 years have lost one or
both of their parents.
The proportion of orphans to all children in Africa, estimated
at about 2 per cent prior to the epidemic, has now risen to
15 - 20 per cent in some African countries.
Further enrolments could be lowered due to incidence of drop-out
HIV/AIDS is likely to increase
education sector costs in a context where the adverse macro-economic
impacts of the pandemic affect domestic resource availability
in the public sector, and constrain the flow of resources
from the private and household sectors. According to the EFA
Global Monitoring Report 2002, HIV/AIDS is estimated to add
US$975 million per year to the cost of achieving EFA. This
The incremental teacher costs for training additional teachers
to replace those lost to AIDS and for the payment of death
The costs of training and paying temporary teachers to replace
those on extended periods of sick leave;
incremental school and education programme costs for mainstreaming
HIV/AIDS preventive education in curricular and -ther areas
of school life, and;
The social subsidies to encourage or enable the school attendance
of orphans and vulnerable children from families affected
Most of the problems outlined
above affect negatively the education process and quality.
This flagship aims at contributing
to the implementation of the Dakar Framework for Action, especially
with regard to the following strategy: "To achieve EFA
goals will necessitate putting HIV/AIDS as the highest priority
in the most affected countries, with strong, sustained political
commitment; mainstreaming HIV/AIDS perspectives in all aspects
of policy; redesigning teacher training and curricula; and
significantly enhancing resources to these efforts" (Expanded
Commentary on the Dakar Framework for Action, Strategy 7,
para. 62). More concretely, the flagship seeks to address
the impact of AIDS on education through effective skills-based
prevention education using formal and non-formal approaches.
Education remains a powerful and proven tool for prevention.
The activities undertaken
so far include:
Capacity-building to accelerate the education sector response
to HIV/AIDS, especially in Africa.
Development and endorsement by some fifteen partners of "HIV/AIDS
and Education: A Strategic Approach", that provides a
framework of action.
The establishment of a technical resource facility to help
countries respond to the impact of AIDS in the education sector
with the cooperation of Inter-Agency Task Team.
The carrying-out of a 100-country survey of national level
policy and practice in education and HIV/AIDS.
The preparation of an overview of the relationship between
HIV/AIDS, gender and education to inform the EFA Global Monitoring
Partners include ILO, UNESCO,
UNAIDS Secretariat, UNICEF, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, World Bank,
key bilateral donor agencies, international non-governmental
organizations working in education and individual experts.
Focal Point for HIV/AIDS
International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP/UNESCO)
7-9, Rue Eugène Delacroix
75116 Paris, France
Phone: +33 (0) 1 45 03 77 38
Fax: + 33 (0) 1 40 72 83 66