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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Improving lives by accelerating progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals for adolescents living with HIV: a prospective cohort study

    Background: Low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs) face major challenges in achieving the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for vulnerable adolescents. We aimed to test the UN Development Programme's proposed approach of development accelerators—provisions that lead to progress across multiple SDGs—and synergies between accelerators on achieving SDG-aligned targets in a highly vulnerable group of adolescents in South Africa. …

  2. Learners’ perspectives on the provision of condoms in South African public schools

    A stubborn health challenge for learners in South African public schools concerns sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). In 2015, the Department of Basic Education (DBE) proposed the provision of condoms and SRHR-services to learners in schools. This study aimed to contribute to the finalisation and implementation of DBE’s policy by exploring learners’ perspectives on the provision of condoms and SRHR-services in schools. …

  3. Experimental evaluation of school-based HIV programs in sub-Saharan Africa

    School-based adolescent health education programs represent a durable strategy in reducing the spread of HIV because they can leverage pre-existing social and organizational structures to reach large fractions of students at critical life stages. Many evaluations of school-based HIV programs draw on multilevel study designs that assign schools to treatment conditions or assign students to treatment conditions within blocks defined by school membership. …

  4. Accessing the ‘right’ kinds of material and symbolic capital: the role of cash transfers in reducing adolescent school absence and risky behaviour in South Africa

    This article investigates how well South Africa’s Child Support Grant (CSG) responds to the material and psychosocial needs of adolescents, and the resultant effects on schooling and risky behaviour. One driver of schooling decisions is shame related to poverty and the ‘social cost’ of school, where a premium must often be paid for fashionable clothes or accessories. The other driver relates to symbolic and consumptive capital gained through engaging in sexual exchange relationships. The anticipated impacts from the CSG are partial because of these non-material drivers of adolescent choices. …

  5. Structural drivers and social protection: mechanisms of HIV risk and HIV prevention for South African adolescents

    Social protection is high on the HIV-prevention agenda for youth in sub-Saharan Africa. However, questions remain: How do unconditional cash transfers work? What is the effect of augmenting cash provision with social care? And can “cash plus care” social protection reduce risks for adolescents most vulnerable to infection? This study tackles these questions by first identifying mediated pathways to adolescent HIV risks and then examining potential main and moderating effects of social protection in South Africa.

  6. Teenage childbearing and educational attainment in South Africa

    Teenage childbearing and attainment at school in South Africa are investigated using nationally-representative data from the National Income Dynamics Study. The analysis focuses on the outcomes by 2010 of a panel of 673 childless young women aged 15–18 in 2008. Girls who had their first birth by 2010 had 4.4 times the odds of leaving school and 2.2 times the odds of failing to matriculate, controlling for other factors. Girls from the highest-income households were unlikely, and girls who were behind at school relatively likely, to give birth. …

  7. The shrinking world of girls at puberty: violence and gender-divergent access to the public sphere among adolescents in South Africa

    Participatory mapping was undertaken with single-sex groups of grade 5 and grade 8–9 children in KwaZulu-Natal. Relative to grade 5 students, wide gender divergence in access to the public sphere was found at grade 8–9. With puberty, girls' worlds shrink, while boys' expand. At grade 5, female-defined community areas were equal or larger in size than those of males. Community area mapped by urban grade 8–9 girls, however, was only one-third that of male classmates and two-fifths that of grade 5 girls. Conversely, community area mapped by grade 8–9 boys was twice that of grade 5 boys. …

  8. 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. …

  9. Connecting the private and the public: pregnancy, exclusion, and the expansion of schooling in Africa

    In a number of countries in Africa, young women who become pregnant are excluded from school. This article presents a critique of policy and practice in this area drawing partly on Diana Leonard's scholarship concerning the relational dynamic of gender, generation, social division, and household forms. Much of the policy prescription of large global organisations concerned with the expansion of secondary schooling in Africa does not sufficiently take account of the connection between the gender dynamics of the private and that of the public outlined in Leonard's work. …

  10. Perceptions of policy duty bearers on the inclusive education policy for pregnant teenagers in South Africa

    Post-apartheid, South Africa democratised access to education as enshrined in the country’s Constitutional Bill of Rights of 1996. This also includes making education accessible to pregnant teenagers as provided for by other post-apartheid legal provisions that prohibit discrimination in education. This study explored the perceptions of education policy duty bearers on the inclusion of pregnant learners in formal schools. …

  11. Teenage pregnancy in South African schools: challenges, trends and policy issues

    Teenage pregnancy in South African schools poses a serious management and leadership challenge. It calls for school management teams (SMTs) to acquire critical skills to manage teenage pregnancy within the requirements of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 and the South African Schools Act 84 of 1996. Little, if any, research has been conducted on learner pregnancy as a hurdle toward the achievement of millennium development goals (MDGs) and EFA goals. …

  12. 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. …

  13. 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. …

  14. 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. …

  15. Teen mothers and schooling: lacunae and challenges

    While many girls who become mothers before completing schooling consider academic qualifications to be very important, they may not be able to succeed academically if the support they need to complete their studies is insufficient. Usually, instead of getting support, the teen mothers endure misunderstandings and pressure. The teen mothers may feel disempowered because they are ‘othered’ and consequently, they develop forms of resistance which in most cases may foster their failure as learners. …

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