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close this bookSchool Health Education to Prevent AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) : Handbook for Curriculum Planners (UNESCO - WHO, 1994, 88 p.)
close this folderA. Designing the programme
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentProgramme model
View the documentMaking a situation assessment
View the documentDefining the type of programme
View the documentSelecting objectives
View the documentMaking a curriculum plan
View the documentPlanning for material production
View the documentDeveloping the students’ activities
View the documentParticipation of parents and family members
View the documentInvolvement of peer leaders
View the documentDeveloping the teachers’ guide
View the documentValidating the curriculum
View the documentPlanning for teacher training
View the documentDesigning the programme evaluation

Making a situation assessment

In order to make a wise selection of objectives and classroom activities, it is important to gather information about your target audiences - those for whom the programme is intended, and those who influence the programme or whose informed involvement is necessary. The information gathered will enable planners to develop learning materials that are relevant to the students and acceptable to most sections of the community. It will provide powerful support to advocacy about the need for AIDS education at meetings with parents and community leaders.


Information that is needed about young people includes:

· Age at first intercourse, age at marriage, for boys and girls

· Age at which most leave school

· Prevalence of STD and early pregnancy

· Sources of information about sexuality

· Common beliefs about STD, contraception, marriage

· Scenarios/situations that may lead to sexual intercourse, e.g. accepting lifts from school, going to visit family members in town, boy/girlfriends proposing sex after a party or on the way to/from the market/school, older family friends visiting, etc.

· Young people’s relationships: girls’ and boys’ expectations, attitudes to sex, gifts for sex; forced sex; male domination

· Patterns of relationships: amongst same age; older man-young woman; young man-older woman, “sugar daddies”, multiple partners

· Type of sexual practices: masturbation, petting, kissing, vaginal penetration, oral sex, anal intercourse among boys and among boys and girls

· Knowledge of HIV/AIDS/STD

· Knowledge and attitudes towards condoms

· Prevalence of injecting drug use

· Extent of circumcision, tattooing, and other scarification practices

· Use of traditional healers and unqualified doctors

· Attitudes to people with HIV/AIDS.


Information that is needed about teachers includes:

· Teaching methods most commonly used
· Reading level
· Blackboard/audio-visual equipment available
· Comfort with, and experience of teaching sexuality
· Attitudes to people with HIV/AIDS
· Familiarity with other subjects within which HIV/AIDS/STD programme could be taught
· Methods of evaluating students
· Average class size
· Attitudes to parent involvement
· Knowledge of HIV/AIDS/STD
· Willingness to teach about HIV, AIDS and STD.


Information that is needed about parents includes:

· Reading level
· Ability to understand information
· Participation in school activities
· Experience in other parent programmes
· Attitudes to people with HIV/AIDS
· Attitudes to delaying sex and providing information to young people on condoms
· Knowledge about HIV/AIDS/STD
· Acceptance of parent involvement.

Ministry of Education

Information that is needed about the Ministry of Education includes:

· Policies on HIV/AIDS/STD education

· Allotment of time for HIV/AIDS/STD programme

· Type of programme preferred: curricular or extracurricular, over one year or spread over several years

· Preferred subjects where programme can be integrated

· Method of validating new curriculum

· Willingness to evaluate the curriculum

· Expertise available in sex education, population education, family life education

· Attitudes to teacher training and time off for teacher training

· Financial resources: availability and/or constraints

· HIV/AIDS/STD education already in place.


Information that is needed about the community includes:

· Prevalence of HIV/AIDS/STD, teenage pregnancy
· Availability and acceptance of condoms
· Attitudes to delaying sex
· Availability of local health and social services for people with HIV/AIDS/STD
· Ministry of Health’s policies on prevention and control of HIV/AIDS
· Availability of HIV/STD testing and counselling
· Attitudes to people with HIV/AIDS
· Primary methods of transmission of HIV
· Acceptance of sexual behaviour in young people
· Attitudes and laws about injecting drug use.

How to gather information for the assessment

The following are useful sources of information for the initial assessment.1

1 Please refer to WHO, AIDS SERIES No. 5, Guide to Planning Health Promotion

· National AIDS Programme

· Earlier studies and reports. Check NGOs and university departments

· Individual interviews with members of key target audiences and community workers

· Rapid assessment by means of a small survey

· Focus groups. These discussions take place with 6-12 people who represent the target audience (e.g. students). A prepared list of topics is used, but facilitators encourage participants to speak freely. The record of the discussions (notes or tape recording) provides information about the group - see section B-1 for a sample checklist

· Interviews with key people in the community, such as: youth leaders, youth counsellors, community health doctors, religious leaders, public health nurses, parent/teacher association representatives, social scientists.