A regional meeting was held this week to focus on teacher training in comprehensive sexuality education in Eastern and Southern Africa.

Countries included in the meetings: Angola, Botswana, Burundi, DRC, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Africa, South Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe

Young people in East and Southern Africa (ESA) face many challenges today. Nearly two thirds lack basic knowledge to access crucial sexuality education and health information to protect themselves from issues related to HIV and early pregnancy. With adolescents and young people making up over one third of the region’s population, it is critical we act now.

“Sixty per cent of young people aged 10 to 24 years lack the basic knowledge they need to prevent HIV, due to a lack of sexuality education,” said Dr. Julitta Onabanjo, Regional Director of UNFPA East and Southern Africa, at a meeting hosted by UNFPA and UNESCO in Johannesburg, South Africa from August 26–28, 2014. “Comprehensive sexuality education, sexual and reproductive health services, education and skills building for adolescents and young people need to be placed at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with specific indicators and targets.”

The education and health sectors recognize the urgency facing young people and have committed to improving comprehensive sexuality education and youth-friendly health services through a historical ESA commitment signed in December 2013. This commitment has targets to be completed by 2015 and 2020. Some of the key tasks included in these targets are devising strategies to develop and implement a comprehensive sexuality education curricula framework and conducting effective training for teachers and health providers.

The meeting focused on the status of teacher training in sexuality education for East and Southern Africa. UNESCO and UNFPA, with support from USAID, commissioned a situational analysis in 2013 to review the status of pre- and in-service teacher training on sexuality education in 21 countries in ESA. The key findings of the report were presented during the meeting. At the regional level, the report is to be used for the development of a coordinated regional approach to improving teacher training programmes in the ESA region, in order to scale up and sustain quality CSE.

Dr. Onabanjo said the policies and procedures that would be put in place at the meeting had the potential to improve the lives of the largest numbers of adolescents and young people in Africa’s history.

“By better preparing teachers, their supervisors and tutors with the appropriate training, materials and mandate to teach sexuality education including HIV, the education sector may close the knowledge and skills gap faced by many students across the region,” said Professor Sheila Tlou, Director of UNAIDS Regional Support Team.

These words were echoed by SADC Secretariat’s Lomthandazo Mavimbela: “This training is so important. However, training alone is not enough – further coaching and ongoing mentoring and support is essential for successful curriculum implementation,” she said.

“In order for comprehensive sexuality education curricula to be effective, there needs to be adequate support, training, resources, and mentoring for teachers,” said Dr. Patricia Machawira, Regional HIV and Health Education Advisor with UNESCO. “Effective training must have a personal impact on teachers, allowing them to reflect on their own attitudes so that they not only internalize content they are teaching but gain confidence in discussing these topics in the classroom in a non-judgemental and rights-based manner.”

Indeed, the unifying vision continues to be this: That every young African is resilient and informed, making their own decisions, fostering healthy relationships, accessing proper health care, actively participating in their education and ultimately, contributing to the development of their community and their future.

[:en]Sexuality education and the provision of services for adolescents and young people are at the heart of a recently launched national programme, implemented by the Government of Zambia and supported by UNESCO.

The programme, launched in April 2014, will reach 1,750 000 students, aged between 10 and 24, with a new comprehensive sexuality education curriculum and some 45,000 new and existing teachers will be trained over the next four years. New teaching and learning materials will be developed and schools will also be advised on policies and codes of conduct to reduce current high levels of gender-based violence and HIV-related stigma and discrimination.

“Girls in particular are at high risk of HIV in Zambia because they may not be in a position to negotiate safer sex or don’t know enough about how to prevent the infection from being transmitted. We know from experience that if all learners, male and female, have the right education we can prevent and reduce the number of new infections,” Chris Castle, UNESCO Global Coordinator for HIV and AIDS said.

Plans to give young people easier access to HIV testing and other necessary medical services will also be implemented. The overall goal is for adolescents and young people in Zambia to enjoy better sexual and reproductive health, with a focus on preventing new HIV infections and unintended pregnancies.

Young people in the East and Southern Africa region are highly vulnerable to unintended pregnancies, HIV, sexual abuse, early marriage, HIV and sexually transmitted infections. In Zambia, 28% of girls under the age of 19 have already had at least one child and the HIV prevalence rate is 8.7% among girls aged 15-24 and 4.3% among boys the same age.

Harriet Tembo, aged 15, a student at Kablonga Basic School in Lusaka, Zambia, says she thinks that the new sexuality education curriculum is important for young people: “I think the knowledge which I’m going to receive will help me to stay in school longer and it will also make me focus on my future and help me achieve my dreams.”

Click here for full article on unesco.org[:pt]A educação sexual e a provisão de serviços para adolescentes e jovens estão no centro de um programa nacional lançado recentemente, implementado pelo Governo da Zâmbia e apoiado pela UNESCO.

O programa, lançado em abril de 2014, alcançará 1,750 000 estudantes, com idades compreendidas entre 10 e 24, com um novo currículo de educação sexual extensiva e 45,000 professores, novos e que já existiam, serão formados no curso dos próximos quatro anos. Novos materiais de ensino e de aprendizagem também serão aconselhados em termos de politicas e códigos de conduta para reduzir os altos níveis atuais de violência com baseada do género e estigma e descriminação relacionados com o VIH.

“Raparigas em particular correm o risco de VIH na Zâmbia porque podem não se encontrar na posição de negociar o sexo seguro ou não têm conhecimento suficiente sobre como prevenir a transmissão da infeção. Sabemos por experiência que se todos os que aprendem, sexo masculino e feminino, têm uma educação correta, podemos prevenir e reduzir o número de infeções novas”. disse Cris Castle, o Coordenador Global de VIH da UNESCO.

Planos para dar acesso a testes de VIH e outros serviços médicos aos jovens também serão implementados. O objetivo geral é de os adolescentes e jovens da Zâmbia disfrutarem de uma saúde sexual e reprodutiva melhor , centrando-se na prevenção de novas infeções de VIH e gravidezes não intencionadas.

Os jovens da região da África Oriental e Austral encontram-se altamente vulneráveis às gravidezes não intencionadas, ao VIH, ao abuso sexual, ao casamento precoce, e às infeções sexualmente transmitidas. Na Zâmbia, 28% das raparigas abaixo da idade de 19 anos já tiveram pelo menos um filho e a prevalência da taxa de VIH é de 8.7% entre raparigas com idades compreendidas entre 15 e 24 anos e de 4.3% entre rapazes da mesma idade.

Harriet Tembo, com 15 anos, estudante na Kablonga Basic School em Lusaca, Zâmbia, diz pensar que o currículo de educação sexual é importante para os jovens.: “Penso que o conhecimento que vou adquirir ajudar-me-á a ficar mais tempo na escola e também a me concentrar no meu futuro par alcançar os meus sonhos”.

Clique aqui para ler o artigo completo sobre a unesco.org[:fr]L’éducation sexuelle et la fourniture de services pour les adolescents et les jeunes sont au cœur de notre programme national lancé récemment et mis en œuvre par le gouvernement de la Zambie et soutenu par l’UNESCO.

Le programme, lancé en Avril 2014, atteindra 1 750 000 élèves, âgés de 10 à 24 ans, avec un nouveau programme d’éducation sexuelle et quelque 45.000 enseignants seront formés au cours des quatre prochaines années. De nouveaux matériels d’enseignement et d’apprentissage seront développés et les écoles seront également informées sur les politiques et les codes de conduite afin de réduire les niveaux élevés actuels de violence fondée sur le genre et la stigmatisation ainsi que la discrimination liées au VIH.

«Les filles en particulier font face au risque du VIH en Zambie, car elles peuvent ne pas être en mesure de négocier des rapports protégés ou ne savent pas assez sur la façon de prévenir la transmission de l’infection. Nous savons par expérience que si tous les élèves, hommes et femmes, ont le droit à l’éducation, nous pouvons prévenir et  réduire le nombre des nouvelles infections, » a déclaré Chris Castle, coordonnateur de l’UNESCO pour le VIH et le SIDA.

Des plans pour donner aux jeunes un accès plus facile au dépistage du VIH et d’autres services médicaux nécessaires seront également mis en œuvre. L’objectif général est que les adolescents et les jeunes en Zambie jouissent d’une meilleure santé sexuelle et reproductive, en mettant l’accent sur la prévention des nouvelles infections au VIH et les grossesses non-désirées.

Les jeunes de la région de l’Afrique Orientale et Australe sont très vulnérables aux grossesses non-désirées, au VIH, aux abus sexuels, au mariage précoce et aux infections sexuellement transmissibles. En Zambie, 28% des filles de moins de 19 ans ont déjà eu au moins un enfant et le taux de prévalence du VIH est de 8,7% chez les filles, de 15 à 24 ans et 4,3% chez les garçons du même âge.

Harriet Tembo, 15 ans, étudiante à l’école Kablonga à Lusaka, en Zambie, a déclaré qu’elle pense que le nouveau programme d’éducation sexuelle est important pour les jeunes: «Je pense que la connaissance que je vais recevoir me permettra de rester plus longtemps à l’école et me permettra aussi de me concentrer sur mon avenir et d’atteindre mes rêves.”

Cliquez ici pour l’article complet sur unesco.org[:]

We know education is critical to the prevention of HIV and AIDS across Eastern and Southern Africa – but how do we measure its impact?

Last week, August 4-5, 2014, UNESCO and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Secretariat hosted a regional workshop in Botswana to provide Education Management Information Systems (EMIS) staff with technical support to collect data on education’s response to HIV and AIDS. Representatives from nine countries attended the training, including Angola, Botswana, DRC, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

UNESCO, working with a number of governments and agencies along with the UNAIDS Inter-Agency Task Team (IATT) developed global indicators in February 2013 to integrate within the Education Management Information Systems. This workshop was now the training to help countries integrate these indicators.

These indicators, being incorporated into national surveys and census frameworks, are the first of its kind. It will be the first time monitoring and evaluation results like this at the regional level will be gathered and collected for the annual HIV Report developed by SADC.

“This process will not only increase the capacity of data collection and indicators that are currently available but more so, to build appreciation and awareness of the Education sector’s contribution in response to comprehensive sexuality education and HIV,” said Dr. Patricia Machawira, Regional Health Education and HIV Advisor with UNESCO in her opening remarks during the workshop.

“This work is crucial to measuring the Education sector’s response to the HIV epidemic in this region,” said Ms. Lomthandazo Mayimbela, SADC Senior Education Officer in her welcoming speech. “Through such training, we can help deliberate and guide HIV indicators to enable governments to make informed decisions.”

At the end of the two-day workshop, Countries agreed that this training would need to cascade across the region and down to the provincial, district and school levels.

On behalf of the delegates from the 9 member states who participated in the workshop, Ms Dlamini, Director of Education Testing Guidance and Psychosocial Services Department in Swaziland expressed her gratitude. “This information and training has come at an opportune time. It will enable us to track and share the education sector’s contribution to the ESA Commitment Targets.”

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