UNESCO launched a life skills-based Sexual & Reproductive Health online course for students
UNESCO, in partnership with the Tanzania Commission for AIDS (TACAIDS), launched the life skills-based HIV/AIDS, Sexual & Reproductive Health (SRH), and Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Prevention Education (CSE) online course for learners in higher and tertiary education institutions in Tanzania. The event was held on 30th November 2022 at the Ilulu stadium Lindi region, during the Worlds Aids Day – Youth Climax Event.
UNESCO through the SIDA-funded project “Our Rights, Our Lives, Our Future (O3) Plus project” aims to ensure that young people in higher and tertiary education institutions in Tanzania realize positive health, education, and gender equality outcomes through sustained reductions in new HIV infections, unintended pregnancy, and gender-based violence. In this regard, UNESCO has been working with a broader range of partners to scale up the provision of quality, age, and culturally appropriate life skills-based sexuality education and support the improvement of sexual reproductive health (SRH) services in Higher and Tertiary Education Institutions.
As part of this initiative, UNESCO in partnership with UNAIDS, UNFPA, and ILO and in collaboration with the government Ministries i.e., Education, Health, and institutions (Tanzania Commission for AIDS, Tanzania Institute of Education, University of Dar Es Salaam, the University of Iringa and St. Augustine University of Tanzania) developed and piloted Life skills-based Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) online course for Higher and Tertiary Education Institutions. The course was piloted from 2020/21 in four universities – University of Dar es Salaam – Mlimani Campus (UDSM), Mkwawa University College of Education (MUCE), St. Augustine University of Tanzania (SAUT) and University of Iringa (UoI) whereby 17,000 learners were registered and undertaken the course.
The pilot provided UNESCO with recommendations to review the relevance of Life skills-based Comprehensive Sexuality Education online course contents and its presentation in the Universities Learning Management System (LMS). Several series of consultation meetings were organized to support the improvement process and validation of the course.
The launching of the life skills-based sexual and reproductive health education online course is a revolutionary step towards improving learning environments for Students and Staff in higher learning. It aims to empower students to overcome whatever challenges they may face in their campus life. Students who will take the course will become resilient and knowledgeable on health, social and economic issues. With the course knowledge, a student will enjoy her/his campus life and be able to reach her/his full educational potential and contribute more effectively to the development of the country as a graduate, professional, and young leader.
“We aim to ensure that campuses are safe, healthy, and Inclusive so that all learners get to enjoy campus life and achieve their educational outcomes,” remarked Mathias Herman, UNESCO’s National Project Officer
The course has been designed in an attractive and engaging way to enable learners to have the flexibility to study it, at their own pace on their own schedule anytime anywhere.
The Launched course that TACAIDS in collaboration with related stakeholders will disseminate to all higher and tertiary learning Institutions in Tanzania, contributes to the national plans specifically the HIV and Health Sector plans.
UNESCO’s Education for Health and Wellbeing program contributes directly to the Health, Education, and Gender Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).