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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Picture that: supporting sexuality educators in narrowing the knowledge/practice gap

    Teaching about sex and relationships is one of the greatest challenges in not only the combating of HIV and AIDS, but also in preparing the youth for responsible sexual behaviour. Although it seems as if teachers to some extent do feel comfortable with the teaching of sexuality education at school, the question however remains as to whether youth get the information they require. In this article, are presented drawings produced by teacher participants in order to investigate the beliefs that teachers hold regarding young people’s needs from sexuality education. …

  2. ‘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’. …

  3. 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). …

  4. ‘… a huge monster that should be feared and not done’: Lessons learned in sexuality education classes in South Africa

    Research has foregrounded the way in which heterosexual practices for many young people are not infrequently bound up with violence and unequal transactional power relations. The Life Orientation sexuality education curriculum in South African schools has been viewed as a potentially valuable space to work with young people on issues of reproductive health, gender and sexual norms and relations. …

  5. 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.

  6. Designing an effective sexuality education curriculum for schools: lessons gleaned from the South(ern) African literature

    Sexuality education forms part of the national school curricula of most sub-Saharan African countries, yet risk-related sexual behaviour among young people continues to fuel the HIV pandemic in this part of the world. One of the arguments put forward to explain why sexuality education seems to have had little impact on sexual risk-taking is that existing curricula have neglected to take into account the complexity of the social, cultural and gender norms that influence the behaviour of school-going young people in sub-Saharan Africa. …

  7. Creating Futures: lessons from the development of a livelihood-strengthening curriculum for young people in eThekwini's informal settlements

    Comprehending praxis is a critical step in developing interventions that can have a real-world impact on people's lives. In this paper, we reflect on the lessons learned in the development of a curriculum for young people living in informal settlements in eThekwini, who are exposed to numerous vulnerabilities, including HIV-related risks associated with precarious urban livelihoods. Behavioural interventions have not led to commensurate reductions in HIV incidence, and the impact of these approaches remains regulated by numerous contextual conditions affecting those participating. …

  8. Challenges in providing HIV and sexuality education to learners with disabilities in South Africa: the voice of educators

    People with disabilities are at increased risk of exposure to HIV, yet they lack access to HIV prevention, treatment care and support including sexuality education. Lack of knowledge, skills and confidence of educators teaching sexuality education to learners with disabilities is related to this increased vulnerability. This study identifies possible challenges educators of learners with disabilities face when teaching sexuality and HIV education. …

  9. Sexuality educators: taking a stand by participating in research

    Life Orientation teachers play a critical role in the teaching and learning of sexuality education in South African schools. Using an experiential participatory approach with 125 teachers in the Motheo district, Free State, I explored three questions: What messages did the teachers learn about sex and sexuality? How do these messages inform the teachers’ values? How do the teachers teach sexuality education? Despite its own problems and limitations, the participatory approach exploits and reinforces the life-space model proposed by Kurt Lewin. …

  10. Inviting Backchat: How schools and communities in Ghana, Swaziland and Kenya support children to contextualise knowledge and create agency through sexuality education

    Education about sex, relationships and HIV and AIDS in African contexts is riddled with socio-cultural complexity. In this paper the authors argue that in extreme contexts education can lead change further by developing young people as significant actors in their own lives and in the lives of the community by bringing about change in attitudes in the community, as well as practices in schools. …

  11. Can any teacher teach sexuality and HIV/AIDS? Perspectives of South African Life Orientation teachers

    In this paper we explore the perceived desirable characteristics of South African Life Orientation teachers for teaching sexuality and HIV/AIDS. We also investigate the extent to which these characteristics can be understood as parts of a role script for teaching HIV/AIDS and sexuality. Data were collected from teachers who taught Grade Eight and Grade Nine students in South African public high schools. The teachers particularly emphasised the importance of personality and life experience as important characteristics for teaching sexuality and HIV/AIDS. …

  12. Teachers' confidence in teaching HIV/AIDS and sexuality in South African and Tanzanian schools

    Aims: This study aimed to investigate how confident and comfortable teachers at Tanzanian and South African urban and rural schools are in teaching HIV/AIDS and sexuality. It also aimed at identifying factors associated with teacher confidence and investigated how reported confidence was associated with the implementation of educational programmes on HIV/AIDS and sexuality. Methods: A survey was conducted among South African grade 8 and 9 Life Orientation teachers, and among science teachers for grade 5 to 7 in public primary schools in Tanzania. …

  13. Sexuality education in South Africa: Three essential questions

    Sex education is the cornerstone on which most HIV/AIDS prevention programmes rest and since the adoption of Outcomes-Based Education (OBE), has become a compulsory part of the South African school curriculum through the Life Orientation learning area. However, while much focus has been on providing young people with accurate and frank information about safe sex, this paper questions whether school based programmes sufficiently support the needs of young people. …

  14. Sexual and HIV/AIDS education in South African secondary schools

    Teaching sexual and HIV and AIDS education in schools has been the subject of debate and discussion for a while now southern Africa. The debates have mainly centred around three key issues – at what stage to introduce it, what kind of curricula is appropriate and who is qualified to provide such teaching. South Africa is one the few countries in the region that have made attempts to introduce sexual and HIV and AIDS education at the secondary school level. Although this has had benefits, it has not been without its challenges. …

  15. Sexual behavior, pregnancy, and schooling among young people in urban South Africa

    This study is an article extracted from "Studies in Family Planning", special issue on Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health in Sub-Saharan Africa, published in December 2008. It examines transitions in schooling, sexual activity, and pregnancy among adolescents and young adults in urban South Africa. Data are analyzed from the Cape Area Panel Study (CAPS), a recently collected longitudinal survey of young adults and their families in metropolitan Cape Town. We find that teen pregnancy is not entirely inconsistent with continued schooling, especially for African women. …

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