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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Measuring the quality of sexuality education implementation at the school level in low- and middle-income countries

    Comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) is a key component of efforts to improve sexual and reproductive outcomes for young people. While many governments have established policies and curricula for CSE, there are no quantitative measures of the quality of their implementation in schools. This article describes the construction of a school-level index to measure CSE implementation quality using data from Peru, Guatemala, Kenya and Ghana for validation. …

  2. Challenges to implementing national comprehensive sexuality education curricula in low- and middle-income countries: case studies of Ghana, Kenya, Peru and Guatemala

    School-based comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) can help adolescents achieve their full potential and realize their sexual and reproductive health and rights. This is particularly pressing in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), where high rates of unintended pregnancy and STIs among adolescents can limit countries’ ability to capitalize on the demographic dividend. While many LMICs have developed CSE curricula, their full implementation is often hindered by challenges around program planning and roll-out at the national and local level. …

  3. Short-term effects of a rights-based sexuality education curriculum for high-school students: a cluster-randomized trial

    An emerging model for sexuality education is the rights-based approach, which unifies discussions of sexuality, gender norms, and sexual rights to promote the healthy sexual development of adolescents. A rigorous evaluation of a rights-based intervention for a broad population of adolescents in the U.S. has not previously been published. This paper evaluates the immediate effects of the Sexuality Education Initiative (SEI) on hypothesized psychosocial determinants of sexual behavior.

  4. What is best practice in sex and relationship education? A synthesis of evidence, including stakeholders’ views

    Sex and relationship education (SRE) is regarded as vital to improving young people's sexual health, but a third of schools in England lacks good SRE and government guidance is outdated. The authors aimed to identify what makes SRE programmes effective, acceptable, sustainable and capable of faithful implementation. […] They identified key features of effective and acceptable SRE. Their best practice criteria can be used to evaluate existing programmes, contribute to the development of new programmes and inform consultations around statutory SRE.

  5. Education, HIV, and early fertility: experimental evidence from Kenya

    A seven-year randomized evaluation suggests education subsidies reduce adolescent girls’ dropout, pregnancy, and marriage but not sexually transmitted infection (STI). The government’s HIV curriculum, which stresses abstinence until marriage, does not reduce pregnancy or STI. Both programs combined reduce STI more, but cut dropout and pregnancy less, than education subsidies alone. …

  6. Sexuality education in rural Lesotho schools: challenges and possibilities

    The aim of this paper is to present and discuss some of the obstacles to effective sexuality education in rural Lesotho schools and offer some suggestions that could facilitate positive change in the current status of sexuality education. The call for education as a ‘vaccine’ against new HIV infections places teachers at the forefront of the fight against the pandemic, and thus it is imperative to understand how they experience teaching about sexuality. …

  7. Learners perceptions and experience of the content and teaching of sexuality education: Implications for teacher education

    This article aims to explore Grade 11 learners perceptions and experience of the teaching of sexuality education. A total of 270 adolescent boys (n 121) and girls (n 149) from the Heidedal suburb of the greater Mangaung Municipality, South Africa, completed an anonymously written Teaching of Sexuality Education Attitude Scale (TSEAS). The questionnaire was constructed on a six-point Likert scale with response options ranging from 1 (highly disagree) to 6 (highly agree). …

  8. Preparing teachers to deliver gender-focused sexuality/HIV education: a case study from Nigeria

    Evidence shows that a focus on gender and power in sexuality/HIV education increases the likelihood of achieving positive sexual health outcomes, and international agencies have called for a shift to a gender-focused approach. However, questions remain about the implementation of such programmes, including how best to prepare teachers to deliver such curricula. In the development of the national school-based HIV prevention curriculum in Nigeria, several state governments partnered with feminist (or like-minded) non-governmental organisations to collaborate on teacher training. …

  9. It's good to teach them, but … they should also know when to apply it: parents’ views and attitudes towards Fiji's Family Life Education curriculum

    A Family Life Education (FLE) curriculum was introduced in Fiji schools in 2010 in response to concern about increasing teenage pregnancies and young people's vulnerability to sexually transmitted infections and other health and social problems. However, conservative and suspicious parental attitudes towards FLE have been an obstacle. The need for an educational programme for parents to complement the FLE curriculum taught in schools is now urgent. This study examines parents' views on the sex and sexuality component of the FLE curriculum. …

  10. Sexuality education as a collective responsibility: a new health education curriculum in Cyprus

    The development of health promotion is typically viewed as a reaction against both the excessive responsibility placed on individuals concerning their health-related choices and the absence of recognition of environmental factors associated with personal decision making. What though does sexuality education mean from the perspective of health promotion? According to one approach, it implies the existence of a curriculum that recognises the environmental factors affecting sexuality and sexual behaviour. …

  11. Sexuality education in India: examining the rhetoric, rethinking the future

    Comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) has been recognised globally as key to helping young people assert their sexual and reproductive rights. In India too, there is growing awareness of the importance of providing CSE not only to reduce sexually transmitted infections, unintended pregnancies and abortions but also to teach important life skills. Simultaneously, lack of political will and conflicting interests among certain religious and political factions have ensured that no uniform CSE curriculum has been implemented throughout the country. …

  12. Checkmating HIV and AIDS: Using chess to break the silence in the classroom

    In this article, the author gives an account of his ‘Checkmating HIV&AIDS’ action research project, which was an attempt to break the ‘culture of silence’ concerning HIV&AIDS and sex and sexuality in his classroom. In this project, he focused specifically on one code of sport, namely chess, and he points out and discusses the potential of using chess as an educational tool in addressing HIV&AIDS. It was found that learners enjoy playing chess and that it can be used in the Life Orientation classroom to promote HIV&AIDS awareness. …

  13. An HIV/AIDS knowledge scale for adolescents: item response theory analyses based on data from a study in South Africa and Tanzania

    A 14-item human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome knowledge scale was used among school students in 80 schools in 3 sites in Sub-Saharan Africa (Cape Town and Mankweng, South Africa, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania). For each item, an incorrect or don't know response was coded as 0 and correct response as 1. Exploratory factor analyses based on polychoric correlations showed two separate factors for all sites. …

  14. Community-level successes and challenges to implementing adolescent sex education programs

    Best practices for adolescent sex education recommend science-based approaches. However, little is known about the capacity and needs of organizations who implement sex education programs on the local level. The purpose of this research was to describe successes and challenges of community organizations in implementing science-based sex education. Using qualitative methods, we interviewed program directors and educators in 17 state funded adolescent pregnancy prevention/sex education programs as part of a larger mixed methods evaluation. …

  15. Attitudes of parents of young men towards the inclusion of sexual orientation and homophobia on the Irish post-primary curriculum

    The ‘Exploring Masculinities’ (EM) programme was piloted in 22 Irish single-sex boys’ post-primary schools during the late 1990s. Following objections from some influential journalists and an organisation representing parents whose sons attended Catholic secondary schools, the Minister for Education and Science put the planned dissemination of the programme on hold. The concerns of the objectors included the proposed treatment of sexual orientation and homophobia in the context of the school curriculum. …

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