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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. Towards comprehensive sexuality education: a comparative analysis of the policy environment surrounding school-based sexuality education in Ghana, Peru, Kenya and Guatemala

    The successful implementation of comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) programmes in schools depends on the development and implementation of strong policy in support of CSE. This paper offers a comparative analysis of the policy environment governing school-based CSE in four low- and middle-income countries at different stages of programme implementation: Ghana, Peru, Kenya and Guatemala. …

  3. 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. …

  4. Rethinking HIV-prevention for school-going young people based on current behaviour patterns

    The aim of the research was to gain increased knowledge regarding the sexual risk behaviour of school-going young people in South Africa after two decades of HIV-education in schools, to contribute to the development of improved HIV prevention strategies. In collaboration with the Department of Education, a sample of 5305 learners (between 10 and 18 years in Grades 5–12) from high-risk communities were identified. …

  5. Another lost generation? The impact of HIV/AIDS on schooling in South Africa

    The South African education system is faced with the difficult task of redressing the inequalities and backlogs created by the racially segregated and unequally resourced apartheid structure. The system is also faced with the responsibility of reintroducing a culture of teaching and learning in the nation’s schools after the anti-apartheid struggle’s ‘freedom now, education later!’ slogan, a time when protest action brought about disruptions in young people’s education, and the much lamented ‘lost generation’. …

  6. 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. …

  7. The need to prepare future teachers to understand and combat homophobia in schools

    Teacher training programmes that improve teachers' capacity and confidence to address homophobia in South African schools will engender non-homophobic school contexts. Currently, there is a dearth of educational research on future teachers' preparation for homophobic school contexts. …

  8. 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. …

  9. ‘You need to have some guts to teach’: teacher preparation and characteristics for the teaching of sexuality and HIV/AIDS education in South African schools

    Using in-depth interviews, the authors asked sexuality educators in South Africa about their own professional preparation and what they believed were necessary educator characteristics for teaching Sexuality Education. Their findings show that the teachers taught Sexuality Education without any appropriate qualification or preparation, but because they had a lighter teaching load and had room to take on more teaching hours. Nevertheless, they all mention that ‘not anybody can teach Sexuality Education’. …

  10. School experiences of HIV-positive secondary school learners on ARV treatment in Namibia

    Although the provision of life-saving antiretroviral (ARV) treatment is central to the medical and policy response to the HIV pandemic, relatively little research in the SADC region and in Namibia particularly, attends to HIV-positive people's experiences and the social effects of taking ARV treatment, with children being least focused on. The study from which the paper is drawn contributes to this dearth by examining the experiences of HIV-positive high school learners on ARV treatment in Khomas Region, Namibia. …

  11. Engaging school personnel in making schools safe for girls in Botswana, Malawi, and Mozambique

    Girls are vulnerable to HIV in part because the social systems in which they live have failed to protect them. This study evaluates a program aimed at making schools safe for girl learners in order to reduce girls’ vulnerability to HIV in Botswana, Malawi, and Mozambique. In addition to an extensive process evaluation with school personnel program participants, program facilitators, and community members, a cross-sectional post-intervention survey was conducted among adolescent girls in the three countries. The total sample size was 1249 adolescent girls (ages 11–18). …

  12. 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. …

  13. Life orientation sexuality education in South Africa: Gendered norms, justice and transformation

    Research on sexual practices among young South Africans has proliferated in light of the national imperatives to challenge the spread of HIV/AIDS, gender-based violence and unwanted early pregnancies. It has been widely acknowledged that, in order to respond to these social problems, we need to understand the enmeshment of gender, class, age and other forms of social inequality, and how these are played out in ‘normal’ heterosexual relationships.

  14. Scaling up comprehensive sexuality education in Nigeria: from national policy to nationwide application

    Nigeria is one of few countries that reports having translated national policies on school-based comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) into near-nationwide implementation. We analysed data using the World Health Organization-ExpandNet framework, which provides a systematic structure for planning and managing the scaling up of health innovations. We examined how Nigeria's nationwide programme was designed and executed. Since 2002, Nigeria has developed a well thought through strategy to scale up CSE. …

  15. 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. …

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