|Health & HIV/AIDS Education in Primary and Secondary Schools in Africa & Asia No. 14 (DFID, 1995, 94 p.)|
Since the late 1980's, there has been a growing interest in the development of health education in schools. This has been spurred on by the AIDS pandemic. Health education, focused on changing sexual behaviour, has been seen as a key strategy in arresting the spread of the disease. In 1993 the ODA education division invited proposals for a study to:
"establish the extent to which health education (including AIDS) is currently included in the curriculum of primary and secondary schools in Africa and Asia, the relevance of the curriculum content to children's needs, teaching methods and teacher preparation."
This occasional paper presents the outcome of this study, which was undertaken by the Education Resource Group of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, in conjunction with collaborating partners in Pakistan, India, Uganda and Ghana.
The study had two elements:
· a review of available literature and documentary evidence on the current state of health and AIDS education in schools in Africa and Asia
· case studies of policy and practice in health and AIDS education in the four countries.
The first section of this paper provides an overview of the issues facing policy makers in determining whether and how to include health and AIDS education in school curricula. It draws on evidence from the literature and from the results of the four country studies.
The second section presents the methodology and main findings of the country studies. The case studies combined key informant interviews and collection of documentary evidence from central government agencies, donors and non-government organisations. The in-depth studies of schools involved over 3,000 pupils in 'draw and write' - a method to explore perceptions and health concerns. A summary matrix is provided to enable the reader to make comparisons across the four countries. This is followed by a more detailed presentation of the country studies.
The study places emphasis on recognising the importance of children's perspectives as a starting point for meaningful educational planning. It is fitting, therefore, to start this report with the words of one of the young respondents:
In many cases we the youth are treated rather
unfairly. I'm talking about third world countries. The youth are not given the
right to express themselves or choose what they want, which I believe is a right
of every human being. At home, parents rebuke us unfairly sometimes, they
frustrate us, we can't answer to defend ourselves, they don't consider that we
know what we want but instead want to decide everything for us. They don't have
time to listen to our 'nonsense' pleas. Especially the working ones who from
work go to drink from clubs straight to beds so that their children see very
little of them. It is very important to spare time to advise, have leisure talks
with our parents, but they don't seem to realise! That is why we end up in such
messes as pregnancy, bad habits of not mixing well with other people. We lack
that consideration and we need more parental love. Of course not only parents
but all elderly people should be responsible for community's