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UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa in collaboration with the UNESCO Institute of Educational planning (IIEP) is hosting an online training course on Quantitative methods in monitoring and evaluating the education sector response to HIV and AIDS.

The training which commenced on the 24th of April and running till the 2nd of June 2017, seeks to reinforce skills in collecting, analyzing and reporting internationally recognized core indicators to measure education sector response to HIV and in formulating policies to monitor and evaluate the education sector response to HIV and AIDS.

Approximately 80 participants from 15 countries in Eastern and Southern Africa region and one team from West Africa who are members of the Education Management Information System in the Ministries of Education, HIV focal points in the education sector and UNESCO National Programme Officers for HIV and Health Education are taking part.

The course aims to ensure participants are able to review indicators associated with monitoring and evaluating the education sector response. Additionally, participants will learn to critically examine the quality of annual school census questionnaires, to construct the core indicators and additional indicators that are relevant for their country context and to identify the most relevant indicators. Participants will interact with the three modules of the course.

The education sector is identified as important to impart knowledge and personal skills, which are essential for HIV prevention. In countries with a generalized HIV epidemic, the education sector is key in contributing to mitigate the impact of AIDS on students, education personnel, their families, and communities.

 

“I hope participants will gain more knowledge with regards to monitoring and evaluating the delivery of Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) using internationally recognized core indicators to measure the education sector response to HIV. It is my hope that skills of countries to collect, analyze and report on the indicators will be reinforced so that we are able to tell the world the great work we are doing.”

Patricia Machawira, PhD
UNESCO Regional HIV and Health Education Advisor, Eastern and Southern Africa

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[:en]In a bid to strengthen and effectively implement the 2013 Ministerial Commitment on Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE), and Adolescent and youth-friendly Sexual and Reproductive Health (ASRH) services in Eastern and Southern African (ESA), the Technical Coordination Group (TCG) is set to meet in Johannesburg, South Africa from the 17th to 19th May 2017 to discuss progress, challenges and priority areas to meet the Commitment’s 2020 targets.

The Technical Coordinating Group which meets every year under the leadership of UNAIDS and with support from SADC and EAC Secretariats, plays a key role in the management of the ESA Commitment process and the implementation of the accountability mechanism.

An expanded TCG meeting has been proposed to include ESA Commitment Focal Points, and civil society organizations’ (CSO), core TCG group, UN partners and the private sector from all 21 ESA countries to ensure a rich discussion informed, in part, by country experiences and lessons learned.

The 2017 TCG meeting comes at the backdrop of the re-affirmation of the ESA Commitment by Ministers of Health through a call to action tag lined “Let’s Step Up and Deliver” along with the Roadmap 2020 which were adopted during the 2016 AIDS Conference and will see an expansion in the nature of discussions with the inclusion of key stakeholders in the implementation, monitoring and accountability of the commitment.

Also scheduled for discussion will be how countries and Civil Society Organizations can operationalize the roadmap towards the year 2020 targets (2020 Road Map); discuss resource mobilization strategies such as how to advocate for increased domestic resources; ESA Commitment coordination and mechanisms to improve partner engagement; and how to institutionalize CSE and youth-friendly services for in and out of school adolescents and youth.

In 2015, the Eastern and Southern Africa Commitment progress report noted that after two years of implementing the ESA Commitment across 21 countries, significant progress was made in achieve targets set out in the 2013 Commitment. The report also cited relevant work required to improve the quality of comprehensive sexuality education and health services that are delivered to young people, as well as the quality and coverage of training for educators and health service providers.[:]

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Collaborative efforts and partnerships are key in ensuring that interventions aimed at creating safe learning spaces for young people become effective.

This was echoed by delegates attending an orientation workshop hosted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation Regional Office for Southern Africa (UNESCO- ROSA) on the Global Guidance to end School-Related Gender-Based Violence (SRGBV) in Harare, Zimbabwe.

Speaking at workshop, the Executive Director of Southern Africa AIDS Trust (SAT), Mr. Jonathan Gunthrop noted that the implementation of the Global Guidance in Eastern and Southern Africa relied upon support mechanisms for the school and the community where young people are experiencing various forms of gender based violence cascades.

Echoing the same sentiments, UNESCO Regional HIV and Health Education Advisor for Eastern and Southern Africa Dr. Patricia Machawira urged all country teams to work together to come up with sound interventions to end School-Related Gender-Based Violence and Early Unintended Pregnancies by ensuring the Global Guidance is localised and understood at country level. She also reiterated the need to have data informed responses and sustainable interventions.

The workshop which ran from 20th to 22nd March 2017 was attended by gender focal points in the Ministries of education, civil society and UN agencies from 12 Eastern and Southern Africa countries and unpacked the Global Guidance to end School Related Gender based Violence with specific focus on the Eastern and Southern African region. It also capacitated country teams to effectively deal with SRGBV and identify the linkage between School-Related Gender-Based Violence and Early and Unintended Pregnancies (EUP).

With support from the Senior Programme Specialist in the UNESCO Headquarters Section for Health and Education, Ms. Joanna Herat, the participants were given the overview of the Global Guidance narrowing into the Eastern and Southern African context exploring where School-Related Gender-Based Violence happens, who the victims are and the consequences they face.

The session presented statistics gathered from studies conducted in Eastern and Southern Africa which clearly highlight that School-Related Gender-Based Violence is present in African societies.In one of the studies cited which was carried out in Eastern and Southern Africa in 2009, 41% of head teachers acknowledged that sexual harassment occurred between pupils in their schools. 39% of the same head teachers reported that teacher to pupil harassment had occurred in their schools. Also in South Africa, 8% of secondary school girls had experienced several sexual assault or rape in the previous year whilst at school.

Cyber bullying stemmed out as a recent and emerging form of harassment that Africa is experiencing due to the growth of the Information and Communication Technologies, thus affecting young people within and outside the school environment. Calls to prioritise capacity building of learners on internet security were made.

Adopting a participatory nature, the workshop accorded the country teams and representatives of the civil society to share their country situational analysis relating to existing data on School-Related Gender-Based Violence, current interventions in place and priority areas of focus to address School-Related Gender-Based Violence and early and unintended pregnancies.

Some of the interventions that were discussed at length during the workshop which require scaling up and refinement included the Determined, Resilient, Empowered AIDS Free Mentored and Safe Girls Project (DREAMS) that seeks to empower the girl child by facilitating their stay in school; Sista 2 Sista; and boys and girls empowerment clubs.

From the workshop, country teams drafted action plans to address SRGBV and EUP with some of the priorities being building the capacity of teachers and students on reporting and referral systems, mainstreaming of SRGBV with other topics being taught under life skills, creation and finalising of National Gender Based Violence frameworks.

The Global Guidance on SRGBV can be accessed on: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0024/002466/246651E.pdf

For more information, please contact: p.machawira@unesco.org or l.halimani@unesco.org

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