12.09.2011 - UNESCO Office in Dakar

Sexuality education on the agenda in Guinea-Bissau

UNESCO/Xavier HospitalSexual education curricular in the making in Guinea-Bissau

Only some 13 per cent of young people in Guinea-Bissau could correctly identify how HIV was transmitted, according to a 2010 survey. And 21 per cent have already engaged in sexual relations by the age of 15.

“The need to give young people a sexuality education is evident and urgent,” says Xavier Hospital from UNESCO’s regional team on HIV and AIDS based in Dakar, Senegal.

UNESCO Dakar and UNESCO Brasilia are currently organizing a workshop to support the Guinean-Bissau Ministry of Education in implementing comprehensive sexuality education curricula at primary and secondary school.

The workshop takes place from 8-16 September 2011 in the capital of Guinea-Bissau.

Building on Brazil's experience

The aim is to improve the education sector’s role in preventing sexual transmitted diseases, gender violence and teenage pregnancy. Inspiration from Brazil The workshop gathers technicians and trainers who design curricula or train teachers.

It is based largely on Brazil’s successful Health and Prevention in School programme (Saúde e Prevenção Nas Escolas). Brazilian specialists and representatives from the Brazilian Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health are facilitating the sessions.

South-south cooperation

“The project is an excellent example of South-South cooperation,” says Maria Rebeca Otero Gomes of UNESCO Brazil.

UNESCO Dakar and UNESCO Brasilia have been working together since 2006 to provide technical support to the Portuguese-speaking African countries to develop a strong education sector response to HIV and AIDS.

“The partnership has allowed for the development of valuable exchanges between these countries and their respective ministries,” Gomes says.

A similar workshop will take place in Cape Verde in late 2011 or early 2012.

The project also includes analyses of curricula, support for curriculum development as well as institutional needs assessment in both countries. It is financed by the Japanese Government and UNAIDS.

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