5 October 2014 marks the 20th anniversary of World Teachers’ Day.
Education is only as good as its teachers. They are central to ensuring quality education for our future generations. Training our teachers is a top priority, especially when integrating new curriculum, such as sexuality education, into the school systems. We recognize the need to equipping and empowering teachers with the right competencies to deliver quality sexuality education.
Challenges facing teachers
In many cases and in various countries, teachers work without resources or proper training, often teaching without comprehensive knowledge or comfort level related to topics of sexuality, especially in a youth-friendly manner. Preconceived cultural attitudes and perceptions also shape how these topics – including teenage pregnancy, condom use and HIV – are taught in the classroom.
Through the Ministerial commitment, policies, legal frameworks and implementation practices will help to improve these situations in the future.
Piloting the first teacher training workshop for comprehensive sexuality education
From 26 August to 6 September, UNESCO and Advocates for Youth (AFY, USA) conducted the first-of-its-kind piloting project: teacher-training workshops in Kampala, Uganda. The workshops aimed to provide educators in Uganda with the appropriate knowledge and skills regarding HIV/AIDS, Life Skills, Sexuality Education and Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health. This foundation is important for teachers in order to be able to support the scaling up of sexuality education in pre and in-service teacher training not only in Uganda but also across Eastern and Southern Africa.
The workshop focused on pretesting a pre-service teacher education module that has been developed by UNESCO to be used in the ESA region. Finally, the outcomes of the workshop allowed UNESCO to discuss strategies for rolling out the module at a country level.
Workshop Participants from across the Education Sector
Participants from the Ministry of Education, Curriculum Development Centre, Teachers, Scouts Association, UNAIDS, UNFPA and CSO for young people all attended the workshop. The module was well received by participants and great feedback was obtained that will be used to improve the workshops going forward.
The workshop provided great insight into the next steps involved in rolling out the comprehensive sexuality education program and even more importantly, provided a foundation for implementation across Eastern and Southern Africa.
We invite you to join us in celebrating our teachers on 5 October for World Teachers’ Day. Investing in teachers means investing in the future.