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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Guatemalan school food environment: impact on schoolchildren's risk of both undernutrition and overweight/obesity

    Guatemala suffers the double burden of malnutrition with high rates of stunting alongside increasing childhood overweight/obesity. This study examines the school food environment (SFE) at low-income Guatemalan elementary schools and discusses its potential impact on undernutrition and overweight/obesity. From July through October 2013, direct observations, in-depth interviews with school principals (n = 4) and food kiosk vendors (n = 4, 2 interviews each) and also focus groups (FGs) with children (n = 48, 8 FGs) were conducted. …

  2. Impact of the provision of school lunch on attendance in remote rural Jamaican primary schools

    This study examined the attendance patterns by region of schools which participated in School Feeding Programmes (SFPs) in poor, remote rural areas of Jamaica and determined wether there was a significant difference in attendance over a 10 year period between children who took different lunch types. The study revealed peaks and troughs in the average annual attendance by region, but found no significant difference in attendance by lunch type. …

  3. Is there a need for a European-wide initiative on comprehensive sexuality education? Reflections from Croatia

    This commentary concerns the policy brief published in this issue (European Expert Group on Sexuality Education 2015). It reflects the author’s experiences with the outcomes of efforts to introduce sexuality education in Croatia, followed by a brief history of events related to the recent introduction of sexuality education in Croatian primary and secondary schools.

  4. School feeding and girls’ enrollment: the effects of alternative implementation modalities in low-income settings in sub-Saharan Africa

    BACKGROUND: School feeding interventions are implemented in nearly every country in the world, with the potential to support the education, health and nutrition of school children. In terms of impact on school participation, there is little evidence to show that different school feeding modalities have different effect sizes. OBJECTIVE: To examine the influence of different school feeding modalities on primary school enrollment, particularly for girls, in 32 countries across sub-Saharan Africa. …

  5. When caring is not enough: The limits of teachers’ support for South African primary school-girls in the context of sexual violence

    Between 2011 and 2012, 40.1% of all sexual offences in South Africa involved children under 18. Important scholarship has demonstrated how large-scale social and economic inequalities structure African girls’ risk to and experience of sexual violence leading to a condemnation of violent masculinities and the social processes that produce it. Under conditions of chronic poverty and unstable living conditions, girls’ vulnerability to sexual violence is increased. …

  6. Bridging the gap between evidence and practice: a multi-perspective examination of real-world drug education

    Aims: The study examined normative school drug-education practice in Scotland and the extent to which it reflected the evidence base for effective drug education. Methods: Current guidance in Scotland was compared with systematic review evidence on drug-education effectiveness; a survey was mailed to primary, secondary and special schools (928 questionnaires returned); and 100 drug-education lessons were systematically observed across 40 schools. Findings: Nearly all schools provided drug education but modes of delivery and learning approaches did not always reflect the evidence base. …

  7. The girl with her period is the one to hang her head. Reflections on menstrual management among schoolgirls in rural Kenya

    Background. The onset of menstruation is a landmark event in the life of a young woman. Yet the complications and challenges that can accompany such an event have been understudied, specifically in resource-poor settings. As interventions aim to improve female attendance in schools, it is important to explore how menstruation is perceived and navigated by girls in the school setting. This research conveys rural Kenyan schoolgirls' perceptions and practices related to menstruation. Methods. Data were collected at six rural schools in the Nyanza Province of Western Kenya. …

  8. If you don't abstain, you will die of AIDS: AIDS education in Kenyan public schools

    We explored constraints of implementing AIDS education in public schools in Kenya. Sixty interviews with teachers and 60 focus group discussions with students were conducted in 21 primary and nine secondary schools. System/school-level constraints included lack of time in the curriculum, limited reach of secondary-school students (because AIDS education is embedded in biology, which is not compulsory), and disapproval of openness about sex and condoms by the Ministry of Education and parents. Alternative strategies to teach about AIDS had their own constraints. …

  9. Changes in HIV prevalence among differently educated groups in Tanzania between 2003 and 2007

    Objective: HIV prevalence trends suggest that the epidemic is stable or declining in many sub-Saharan African countries. However, trends might differ between socioeconomic groups. Educational attainment is a common measure of socioeconomic position in HIV datasets from Africa. Several studies have shown higher HIV prevalence among more educated groups, but this may change over time. We describe changes in HIV prevalence by educational attainment in Tanzania from 2003 to 2007. …

  10. Making the invisible visible: gay and lesbian issues in early childhood education

    This article, based on empirical qualitative data gained from a survey and interviews with a group of early childhood educators, argues for the inclusion of sexual differences, or more specifically, gay and lesbian equity issues, in approaches to anti-bias. The article examines the discourses that prevail in the field, that perpetuate the perceived irrelevance, invisibility and exclusion of lesbian and gay issues in early childhood settings and education generally. …

  11. What Tanzanian young people want to know about sexual health; implications for school-based sex and relationships education

    It is very important that sex and relationships education (SRE) programme developers attempt to elicit, understand and incorporate young people's views in the SRE development and implementation processes. This paper reports the findings of a study that sought to identify young people's self-identified learning needs and priorities regarding sexual health that should be included in school-based SRE. Seven hundred and fifteen primary and secondary students aged between eight years and over 20 years old completed a survey between June and September 2007. …

  12. Working with transgender children and their classmates in pre-adolescence: Just be supportive

    This study documents a school district’s coordinated response to an elementary student’s social transition from a gender variant boy to a female gender expression. Data were gathered through analysis of journal entries, lesson plans, and interviews with the child, guardian, and district personnel. Stakeholders reported a favorable outlook on the transition, particularly in the areas of classroom and school interventions, peer involvement, and maintaining safety for all. The greatest concerns related to communication and language. …

  13. Towards a model for research on the effects of school organizational health factors on primary school performance in Trinidad and Tobago

    This article presents a model for research on the effects of school organizational heath factors on primary school academic achievement in Trinidad and Tobago. The model can be applicable for evaluating schools in other developing countries. As proposed, the model hypothesizes relationships between external factors (exogenous variables), school-level factors (endogenous variables), and school outcomes (student achievement and positive school climate). The endogenous variables are sub-scales of school organizational health. …

  14. Education and vulnerability: the role of schools in protecting young women and girls from HIV in southern Africa

    Education has a potentially important role to play in tackling the spread of HIV, but is there evidence that this potential is realized? This analysis combines the results of previous literature reviews and updates them with the findings of recent randomized controlled trials and a discussion of possible mechanisms for the effect of schooling on vulnerability to HIV infection. There is a growing body of evidence that keeping girls in school reduces their risk of contracting HIV. …

  15. Scaling up and sustaining community-based care for preschool and schoolage children - successes and challenges in Malawi

    Community-based organizations (CBOs) are an important model for the care of orphans and other vulnerable children whose life and development are threatened by human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) and poverty. However, data are lacking on the challenges and solutions enabling successful expansion of these programs to the national level. This article presents some of the experiences encountered by Malawi in the expansion of their network of CBOs. …

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