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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

Defining the type of programme

Context of HIV/AIDS/STD education

The first decision that needs to be made is where to integrate the programme.1 The programme could be taught: as a separate subject or topic, as part of an established subject (e.g. population education, family life education, health education, social studies), as an extra-curricular activity, or “infused” in different subjects.

1 Please refer to School Health Education to Prevent AIDS and STD

If an infusion strategy is used, maths teachers may present the statistical trends of HIV and AIDS, teachers of social studies will address the social dimensions of AIDS in the community, teachers of biology will present the biomedical aspects of HIV, AIDS, STD, teachers of religious studies will debate family values, health education teachers will address prevention, and art/drama teachers will propose AIDS as a theme for the production of plays or posters. Materials for teachers of different subjects, and students, will have to be developed.

Having a common element running through different subjects creates an opportunity for communication and coordination among school staff; however, an infusion strategy is only recommended for mature school systems with well-trained teachers, and an efficient monitoring system that ensures implementation of the programme.

In general, science or biology are not the best carrier subjects, as they tend to place too much emphasis on biomedical aspects of HIV/AIDS/STD, at the expense of preventive, behavioural aspects.

The question of where to integrate HIV/AIDS/STD education may require policy decisions at the higher levels of the Ministry of Education. It may be a difficult decision but it must be made early in the development of your curriculum.

Type and length of programme

The programme can be offered during one school year or divided over two to three years or more (sequential curriculum). A sequential programme is preferable, because learning can be reinforced at regular intervals; it is not as time-consuming as a one-year programme; and students are able to relate knowledge and skills to specific situations encountered at different ages.

Programmes on sexuality and HIV/AIDS/STD education are more effective if given before the onset of sexual activity. For some countries, this may mean starting the programme in early grades. Information on age at first intercourse will greatly help planners in defining the age at which HIV/AIDS/STD preventive education should start.

The belief that sex and AIDS education may encourage sexual activity in young people is a powerful barrier to the introduction of prevention programmes for adolescents. Yet, evidence from evaluation studies that compared groups of young people who received such education with others who did not, shows that sex and AIDS education do not promote earlier or increased sexual activity; on the contrary, sex education may lead to a delay in the onset of sexual activity, and to the use of safer sex practices among those students who are sexually active. Studies have also shown that education programmes that promoted both postponement of sexual activity and protected sex when sexually active, were more effective than those promoting abstinence alone.

Young people today are increasingly exposed to sexually explicit messages, and some are victims of sexual abuse. Parents should be the first educators, because they can grade the information according to the age and development of their children, and link it to the values they want to instil. Unfortunately, few parents talk to their children about sexual health and development. The HIV/AIDS epidemic has forced many school systems to reconsider the issue of sex education in schools, given that a large proportion of infections occur during adolescence, and that AIDS is a fatal disease.

School-leaving age is also an important factor to consider. Certainly, by the time most students leave school, they should all have received the minimum HIV/AIDS/STD programme (see core objectives in the next section). In countries where girls tend to leave school at a younger age than boys, every effort should be made to provide AIDS-related education while they are still at school, as this might be their only chance to learn vital information for their protection.

Time allotment

Here are four aspects to be considered in making decisions about the amount of time for the programme:

· Participatory teaching methods (e.g. role playing) require more time than teacher-directed methods;

· Teacher abilities and experience in AIDS or sex education;

· The amount of time the Ministry of Education and schools are willing to give to teaching the programme;

· The extent to which some topics are taught in other subjects or in the carrier subject.

The following tables show examples of programmes, ranging from 8 to 20 hours in one year to 40 hours over 3 years. Numbers indicate hours or teaching periods.

4 examples of 1-year programmes

Programme

prog. A

prog. B

prog. C

prog. D

Unit 1
Basic knowledge

2

3

4

5

Unit 2
Responsible behaviour: delaying sex

3

3

4

4

Unit 3
Responsible behaviour: protected sex

1

2

4

6

Unit 4
Care and support

2

2

4

5

Total number of hours of instruction

8

10

16

20

2 examples of 2-year programmes

Programme

first year

second year

total for each unit

Unit 1

3

1

4

Unit 2

3

2

5

Unit 3

1

2

3

Unit 4

1

3

4

Total number of hours of instruction

8

8

16

Programme

first year

second year

total for each unit

Unit 1

4

2

6

Unit 2

3

4

7

Unit 3

1

4

5

Unit 4

2

2

4

Total number of hours of instruction

10

12

22

Example of a 3-year programme

Programme

first year

second year

third year

total for each unit

Unit 1

4

2

2

8

Unit 2

3

7

4

14

Unit 3

1

2

6

9

Unit 4

2

3

4

9

Total number of hours of instruction

10

14

16

40