Round Table on Protection of Learners and Educators affected by and living with HIV and Promotion of Prevention Education in Eastern Europe and Central Asia
A round table discussion on the issues related to scaling-up prevention education and protection from discrimination HIV-affected and infected learners and educators was initiated and organized on November 10-11 in Kiev (Ukraine) by the UNESCO Moscow Office jointly with UNFPA Ukraine and the Ministry of Education and Science, Youth and Sports of Ukraine.
Recommendations on HIV Policy in Education Sector for Eastern Europe and Central Asia: Education, Protection, and Support of Learners and Educators Affected by and Living with HIV developed with UNESCO’s support were presented to round table participants for peer review. Participants from Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Russia, and Ukraine, representatives of national educational authorities and the community of people living with HIV highly appraised the Recommendations for their quality and relevance and made specific suggestions how to improve the document.
Over 50 Ukrainian experts and educators from Cherkassy, Chernigov, Dnepropetrovsk, Donetsk, Kiev, Kirovograd, and Poltava as well as representatives of UN agencies, international and local NGOs, engaged in prevention education reviewed the current situation in the field of prevention, identified gaps and determined actions for enhancement of prevention education in Ukraine. It was decided to resume the work of the Ministry of Education Coordination Council on prevention education which provides a platform for priority and strategy setting jointly by national counterparts and international development partners. Integration of HIV prevention and sexuality education into teacher pre-service training curriculum and development of relevant training materials was identified as the key strategy to achieve sustainable teacher training and support. The round table also recommended strengthening the HIV prevention and sexuality education component in the Basics of Health curriculum for grades 1-11, other extracurricular training programmes as well as in new educational standards for secondary and high school. Engaging parents into prevention and gaining their support to sexuality and reproductive health education was identified as an important strategy for scaling it up.
It was also agreed to use the regional Recommendations on HIV Policy in Education Sector to equip the management and personnel of educational institutions with knowledge and skill necessary to protect from discrimination continuously increasing number of HIV-affected and infected learners in Ukraine.
UNESCO will provide necessary technical support to the education sector and other stakeholders to further promote prevention education in Ukraine.