|School Health Education to Prevent AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) : Teachers' Guide (UNESCO - WHO, 1994, 117 p.)|
[write this section according to the role given to peer leaders in the programme]
Why peer leaders
Young people listen more attentively and accept messages from respected peers more readily than from a teacher. This is especially true in areas of health, safety and sexuality. Some students are influential in that they set the group norms and function as models for the group. They can become peer leaders. Peer leaders provide assistance to the teacher which allows him/her to spend more time on preparation, individual attention to students and classroom management.
Who is a peer leader
A peer leader is a person who helps the teacher in many ways:
· Helps in classroom management, e.g. handing out activity sheets, etc.
· Helps in demonstrations, e.g. using a condom
· Helps in role-plays, e.g. being assertive
· Leads a class team, e.g. during a quiz
· Reads stories, questions, answers to activities
· Volunteers answers to activities
· Leads a small group
· Reports findings of small groups
· Models appropriate behaviour, e.g. is assertive
· Carries out certain activities and reports back, e.g. buying a condom
· Takes polls, e.g. when teacher wants to know how many answered yes.
· Draws diagrams on the blackboard.
Selection of peer leader(s)
Peer leaders may be selected by their own peers. Otherwise, select from the class individuals who are:
· Considered as opinion-leaders by the other students.
· Concerned about the welfare of their peers.
· Able to listen to others.
· Dependable, honest.
· Well-liked by other students
· Well-rounded students - not necessarily the best students academically.
· Not all male or all female (if possible).
· Perhaps older students.
· Perhaps sexually active (if this information is available).
In this guide, ways to use peer leaders are not explained for every activity. However, peer leaders may be used whenever the teacher feels this would be useful and appropriate.
This is a very sensitive process as it is critical that selected students not be rejected by other classmates as being the teachers pet - both for the sake of the programme and the self-esteem of the peer leaders, [provide here detailed guidance on peer leader training, illustrate those activities where peer leaders are involved, suggest forms of recognition of their role]