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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Zambia’s school re-entry policy for adolescent mothers: examining impacts beyond re-enrollment

    The persistently high rate of adolescent pregnancy, particularly among poor girls and in rural areas, is one of the reasons that universal secondary school completion remains elusive in Zambia. We used a mixed methods approach to explore how Zambia’s re-entry policy is related to young mothers’ outcomes beyond re-enrollment in school. We found that girls with knowledge of the policy were less likely to be forced out of school while pregnant and perceived less stigma after delivery. …

  2. Teenage pregnancy and parenting at school in contemporary South African contexts: deconstructing school narratives and understanding policy implementation

    South African national education policy is committed to promoting gender equality at school and to facilitating the successful completion of all young people’s schooling, including those who may become pregnant and parent while at school. However, the experience of being pregnant and parenting while being a learner is shaped by broader social and school-based responses to teenage pregnancy, parenting and female sexuality in general. …

  3. National policies on pregnancy in education systems in sub-Saharan Africa: the case of Botswana

    The article critiques pregnancy policies in the education systems in sub-Saharan Africa. Policies discussed are divided into expulsion, re-entry and continuation policies. Arguing from the standpoint of theories of oppression, it is postulated that expulsion policies symbolise direct violence against girls who become pregnant and are more common in those countries with poor human rights records. …

  4. Inclusion or exclusion ramifications of teenage pregnancy: a comparative analysis of Namibia and South African schools pregnancy policies

    Pregnancy of learners for most South African schools has reached alarming proportions. To most governing bodies and teachers, it has becomes difficult to deal with pregnancy of learners. What makes this a conundrum is that teachers don’t know what should be done for the well-being of the pregnant leaner, the baby and the fear that learners and teachers who may have to provide medical help should medical problems arise are not prepared. South African constitution forbids excluding pregnant learners from school and allows them (Pregnant learners) to continue with their schooling. …

  5. An assessment of the implementation of the re-entry policy for girls in Swaziland: school practices and implications for policy development

    Swaziland has no stand-alone re-entry policy. Practices vary from school to school, but generally a pregnant adolescent girl has to drop out of school although those who become pregnant may be allowed to return to write their exams at the same school or they may be advised to find another examination centre. …

  6. Girls’ education in South Africa: special consideration to teen mothers as learners

    Teenage pregnancy has militated against the educational success of girls in South Africa. Statistics show that four out of ten girls become pregnant overall at least once before age 20. Education is important for these girls in order to break the poverty cycle in which most of them are trapped. Though the girls are allowed to return to school after becoming mothers, they face many challenges in trying to balance motherhood and the demands of schooling. The aim of this study was to find out how teen mothers cope with schooling, hence how much support is rendered to them. …

  7. South African teachers' responses to teenage pregnancy and teenage mothers in schools

    South African law forbids excluding pregnant teenagers from school and permits young parents to continue with their schooling. However, the existence of progressive policy and law does not by itself ensure that pregnant teenagers and young parents remain in school or experience as little disruption to their studies as possible. Two of the factors influencing the experiences that pregnant girls and young parents have are the attitudes and practices of teachers. We explore how teachers in diverse South African secondary schools respond to young women's pregnancy and parenting. …

  8. Opportunities for technology-based HIV prevention programming among high school students in Cape Town, South Africa

    One in three new cases of HIV in South Africa is among adolescents. Given that adolescents are particularly affected, scalable, and cost-effective prevention programs are urgently needed. This study aims to identify opportunities to integrate technology into youth HIV prevention efforts. In 2012, 1107 8th–11th graders completed a paper-and-pencil survey. Respondents were enrolled in one of three public high schools in Langa, a lower income community in Cape Town, South Africa. Eighty-nine percent of respondents have used text messaging (SMS) and 86% have gone online. …

  9. Effects of peer education on AIDS knowledge and sexual behavior among youths on national service and secondary school students in Nigeria

    Young persons are disproportionately affected by the impact of HIV in Nigeria. This paper presents findings from an evaluation of a national youth HIV prevention program designed to determine the effects of HIV prevention intervention (HPI) on Youths on Compulsory National Service (YoCNS) and Adolescents in Secondary Schools (AiSS). Data were collected from 229 YoCNS who received training on HIV prevention and 231 of their counterparts who did not. Among AiSS, data were collected from 909 respondents who were trained as peer educators and among 1005 students who were not. …

  10. Application of the information, motivation and behavioural skills model for targeting HIV risk behaviour amongst adolescent learners in South Africa

    This paper discusses the application of an information, motivation and behavioural skills (IMB) model in a school-based programme for the reduction of HIV risk behaviour among 259 Grade 11 learners in two high schools in Alexandra township, Johannesburg. School 1 was the Experimental group, while School 2 was the Control group. After a baseline study (Time 1) at both schools, a 3-week intervention programme was conducted at School 1. A post-test (Time 2) was conducted at both schools. The intervention was repeated at School 2, followed by another post-test (Time 3) at both schools. …

  11. Sexual coercion among in-school adolescents in Rwanda: prevalence and correlates of victimization and normative acceptance

    Adolescents are particularly vulnerable to sexual coercion, as victim as well as perpetrator. This paper aims to adapt sexual and reproductive health interventions to the reality of young people’s sexuality and relationships. This study assesses the prevalence of forced sex, characteristics of victims and norms regarding sexual coercion among Rwandan adolescents. A survey was completed by 285 senior secondary school students and four focus groups were conducted. Of sexually active respondents, 15.5% reported forced sexual intercourse. …

  12. Out-of-school and at risk? Socio-demographic characteristics, AIDS knowledge and risk perception among young people in Northern Tanzania

    This paper investigates the reasons why young people in urban and rural Kilimanjaro, Tanzania do not attend school, their socio-demographic characteristics, AIDS knowledge and risk perception. A structured face-to-face interview was conducted with 1007 young people between the ages of 13 and 18. Findings suggest that non-attendance is the product of a complex interaction of economic, individual, family and school-related factors. Boys have more AIDS knowledge than girls, and those from urban areas are more knowledgeable than their rural counterparts. …

  13. Knowledge of HIV/AIDS among secondary school adolescents in Osun state, Nigeria

    The study assessed levels of knowledge and sources of information on HIV/AIDS among secondary school students in Osun State, Nigeria. Multistage, random sampling was used to identify 592 students from 5 local areas in Osun State. A self-administered questionnaire revealed that 50% of students believed one could contract HIV through mosquito bites and 53.7% through kissing. Half of the students believed that someone with HIV/AIDS can look healthy; 92.6% had heard of HIV/AIDS prior to the study and 29.4% believed there was a cure for AIDS. …

  14. Young people's understanding of HIV: a qualitative study among school students in Mankweng, South Africa

    This article describes young people's interpretation of HIV, AIDS and sexually transmitted illness in a rural South African community in Mankweng, Limpopo Province. Method: The study was based on 19 focus group discussions with adolescents aged 12-14 years. Results: Our participants had limited knowledge about HIV from a biomedical perspective. Their understanding and interpretations of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases were largely informed by traditional and religious belief systems that explain how and why people contract an illness via sexual intercourse. …

  15. Process evaluation of a school-based HIV/AIDS intervention in South Africa

    This paper presents a process evaluation that assessed the fidelity and quality of implementation, as well as the acceptability and subjective evaluations of a HIV/AIDS intervention among students and teachers. Methods: The process evaluation was conducted as part of a cluster randomized controlled trial of a theory- and evidence-based school HIV/AIDS intervention in Cape Town. The intervention was designed for grade 8 high school students and delivered by teachers over a six-month period. Twenty-six schools participated in the trial, 13 in the intervention group and 13 in the control group. …

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