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close this bookLife Skills for Young Ugandans - Primary Teachers' Training Manual (UNICEF, 190 p.)
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Open this folder and view contentsSection One: The Life Skills Education Initiative
Open this folder and view contentsSection Two: Methodologies and Training Session Activities
Open this folder and view contentsSection Three: Overview of current Primary Teacher’s College Health Education Syllabus and Potential for Development of Life Skills Education
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Open this folder and view contentsSection Five: Preparing Your own Units
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For children to grow and develop, they have to depend on parents, guardians and people around them for food, shelter, medical care and all other requirements. In traditional societies, the wisdom passed on to children was to enable them stay alive, fit into their society and continue to live like the adults whom they found in the community. The wisdom was passed in packages of noms and rules such as; how to talk to adults, how to behave in a manner expected of one’s gender, or generally, how to live acceptably in society.

The communities were tight, with little mobility and outside influence. Their survival depended on social coherence. Communities of today are much more complex. There is a quest for development and more interaction with the ‘outside’ world. Rural to urban migration is on the increase. Children and adolescents travel and interact much more than their counterparts of the traditional communities. As a result, they meet more ideas that put demands on them. The media exert a great deal of influence on children and adolescents, far more than the acquisition of wisdom from parents.

There are many challenges to today’s societies. Armed conflict and civil strifes of today are more devastating than the ethnic battles that used to be fought with spears. Children are always the easiest victims to such conflicts. Man-made evils, such as defilement, target the child who has the least capability of self defence. Though humanity has the capacity to enjoy better health today than the predecessors did, there are numerous challenges that continue to threaten the human race.

It therefore makes a great deal of sense that ways must be found for the protection of children, adolescents, and the girl-child in particular, more than was done by traditional societies. The Government of Uganda is committed to this protection of the child. This is why, through the current Government of Uganda/UNICEF country programme (1995-2000) there is a strong component of Basic Education, Child Care and Adolescent Development (BECCAD). Within this component, passing on to children the wisdom that can enable them lead healthy and satisfying lives despite today’s challenges is considered critical for child care, protection and development. It is a way of empowering the children, having realized that the traditional wisdom may not be sufficient for the more complex societies of today. This is thus the basis on which Life Skills has been introduced in the Ugandan Society.

Uganda is committed to empowering children and adolescents by equipping them with skills for choosing what to do among several alternative courses of action, skills for making informed decisions; the ability to act, unhampered by forces around them, so long as they are convinced of the correctness of the stand to be taken. This may sound like going against certain traditional practices where the child is supposed to be dormant and not to question adult actions. We have to filter and sieve the traditional values carefully so that only the positive and functional aspects are adopted. Tradition Values that are not harmful to the children and adults must be preserved. When for example, respecting adult actions leads a child into being raped or defiled, then the child must be equipped with the skills to know when there is a likelihood of danger and to take appropriate action in good time. The children must always be alert.

In this spirit, the Life Skills Initiative is being introduced into schools, Teacher Colleges and Institutes as part of the education of children and adolescents.

It is hoped that the trainers, for whom this manual has been prepared, will continue to be promoters of Life Skills among Ugandan adolescents. The future of the country’s young ones is in their hands.

Eric Karuhije

Ag. Commissioner for Education Inspectorate



This training manual has been prepared for tutors of primary school teachers in order to prepare them to introduce life skills in the schools themselves. It gives an introduction to and examples of life skills and the kind of methods needed to make the life skills meaningful. It then shows how the skills can be integrated or infused into the Basic Science and Health Education syllabus and examples of activities that can be used with the children.


The manual can be used in several ways. Tutors can read through the manual and use it to train themselves in the approach before using it with their students. The students would also benefit from reading through the manual, especially since the last section gives hints and examples on how they could prepare their own activities when they go to work in the schools.


In the last few years, it has become increasingly clear that knowledge alone does not change behaviour. Doctors continue to smoke even while they tell others of the dangers of smoking. Taxi drivers have seen their colleagues killed or seriously injured because of dangerous driving but they continue to drive in the same manner. People in the village are very familiar with the advantages of latrines, or the importance of cutting the grass around their house, but they continue to live as before.

The dangers of such a gap between knowledge and behaviour have become even more apparent with the onset of HIV/AIDS. All our children are under threat from the disease. As a result, the Ugandan government in conjunction with UNICEF, have seen that there is a need to teach our children the life skills they require to cope with the world in which they live.


The manual was produced by:

Rose Tiridri (Health Education, Ministry of Health)
Gracious Stephen Kalya (National Teachers’ College, Kaliro)
Harry Sengendo Kamya (National Curriculum Development Centre)
Habib Kato (Institute of Teacher Education, Kyambogo)
Francis Odet (Ministry of Education, Inspectorate)
Gertrude Zziwa (Kitante Primary School)

in collaboration with:

Martin Buczkiewicz (Consultant, TACADE, U.K.)
Richard Mabala (Consultant, Sara Communication Initiative, Tanzania)

and with the untiring support of:

Janet Kiima (Ministry of Education, Health Education Unit)
Santa A. Opumar (Ministry of Education, Health Education Unit)

ably facilitated by:

Fred Ogwal-Oyee (UNICEF Programme Officer)

illustrated by:

Vic Kasinja (Consultant, Sara Communication Initiative, Malawi)
Robert Asaph Sempagala-Mpagi (Free-lance artist, Uganda)

layout and cover design by;

Robert Asaph Sempagala-Mpagi (Free-lance artist, Uganda)


1.0 Background

This Life Skills Education Initiative has been developed on the basis of several other initiatives. These include:

(a) School Health Education Project (SHEP)

SHEP was a component of the 1985-9 and 1990-1995 Uganda Government/UNICEF Country Programmes. The aims of SHEP were as follows:

· To influence a reduction in infant and child morbidity and mortality.
· To influence a reduction in STD and HIV infection among the youths aged 6-20 years.

Appropriate content was then identified, materials produced and teachers trained to implement the project. SHEP was first introduced in Primary 6 and 7 because, while pupils in these classes had habits and behaviours which were still modifiable, they, especially girls, were at risk of dropping out of school and starting families of their own. Therefore it was important that they were equipped with some health knowledge, skills and attitudes to assist them. In addition, it was expected that they would inform their parents and other children about the health messages they were receiving in school, thereby creating a multiplier effect since a very large number of families had school going children. The programme was later extended to all primary school classes.

However, when an impact evaluation into SHEP was carried out, it was found that, while children’s knowledge on health issues had increased significantly, there was no corresponding behaviour change. The missing link was identified as the life skills to assist the children to translate knowledge into positive health behaviours.

(b) Early Life Skills Initiatives

Throughout the whole Eastern and Southern Region of Africa (ESAR) there has been a growing awareness that:

(i) The needs and life skills for children and adolescents have been largely neglected in current educational programmes in and out of school

(ii) Life skills are an essential aspect of confronting the crisis caused by the HIV/AIDS pandemic and other social problems facing young people.

In response to this, UNICEF-ESAR held a regional workshop in Entebbe, Uganda in June 1994 with the aim of reaching a common understanding of the concept of life skills and how it could be adapted to the African situation. In addition, it looked at how life skills could be integrated into current programmes.

Subsequently, Uganda held a national workshop in the same year in Jinja to discuss life skills further in the Ugandan context. This workshop came up with suggestions for a life skills programme based on the current needs and problems of Ugandan youth. However, in the course of further workshops, it was agreed that it was better to infuse life skills activities into current syllabi in use in schools and colleges than to have a separate life skills curriculum: The reasons for this are:

(i) Within the current curricula, there is no space on the timetable for a separate life skills programme.

(ii) Since a life skills curriculum would not be examinable, it would not be given the necessary emphasis by teachers who are accustomed to concentrating on preparing their pupils and students for examinations.

(iii) Life skills cut across the whole school curriculum and can be infused into all subjects taught.

Thus it was decided to adopt an infusion approach, whereby life skills would be integrated firstly into the Health and Science syllabi and later into other subjects.

(c) The Basic Education, Child Care and Adolescent Development Intervention (BECCAD)

The 1995-2000 Uganda Government/UNICEF Country Programme stresses the promotion of positive behaviour change with emphasis on women, children and adolescents. BECCAD is one of the four interventions intended to bring about such behaviour change. The Programme Plan of Operations states that the aim is:

To promote full cognitive and psycho-social development of children and adolescents within a supportive family and community environment which is conducive to education for all, prevention of HIV/AIDS/STDs, adequate care and protection of children and adolescents from birth to adulthood.

A Growing Child

One important aspect of this is to equip children and adolescents with life skills that will enable them to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life.

In order to achieve this objective, the Uganda Government/UNICEF Country Programme produced Into the 21st Century: Life Skills Education Resource Booklet (1996) for all those who work with children and adolescents, especially teachers in Primary and Secondary schools. Subsequently, a team was identified and trained to prepare this manual for tutors and lecturers in Teachers’ Colleges so that they can train pre-service and in-service teachers as the first step towards introducing life skills into the schools.

(d) Baseline Study on Life Skills

A baseline study conducted in 1996 to determine the level of life skills of Uganda’s primary school children found that:

(i) the children had a moderate but insufficient level of life skills.

(ii) teaching strategies in schools were content and examination driven/focussed and were therefore neither pupil centred nor suitable for life skills transmission.

(iii) when life skills were explained to teachers, they quickly saw their value and were eager to embark on such an initiative.

(iv) community representatives, like the teachers, welcomed the idea of initiating life skills education even though they had not known about life skills before.

(e) Pretesting of Life Skills Manuals

In 1996. BECCAD commissioned a team of writers to produce Life Skills training manuals for primary and secondary school teachers in order to meet the needs of Ugandan children. After the draft manuals had been produced, the writers, together with a few selected trainers, pretested the materials in Mbale, Bushenyi, Kampala and Lira. In each of the districts, a four day training was carried out for lecturers, tutors and teachers who were then encouraged to try out the activities in the manuals with their target groups. Educational administrators and relevant non governmental organisations (NGOs) were also involved. Below are some of the salient points from the pretesting:

(i) Many of the participants knew little or nothing about life skills before the training but, as a result of the training received, they were both knowledgeable and highly enthusiastic. In all the districts they urged that life skills should be integrated across the curriculum rather than in health education alone.

(ii) Participants felt that the objectives of the manual were straightforward, achievable, clear and specific; the content was relevant, easy to follow and use and suitable to the age group; and the methodology was relevant and appropriate.

(iii) Participants made several suggestions on improving activities and addressing other issues which have been incorporated into the final draft of this manual.

It is worth noting the following:

(i) Teachers who tried out these activities commented that:

The content sticks with less strain on the part of both student and instructor. (Pretest participants, Mbale)

The activities contribute to learning because they involve everyone in a relaxed way which leads to greater confidence in learners. (Pretest participants, Kampala)

The activities fit in with the syllabus and enable tutors to cover material more quickly and enjoyably (pretest participants, Lira)

This is important in that one of the most commonly stated objections is that it will be impossible to integrate life skills because of the demands of the syllabus and examinations.

(ii) The participants in the Lira workshop held a follow up meeting on their own initiative which prepared an action plan to target PTAs with information about life skills. The Headteachers’ Association also held a meeting and resolved to set up a health education department with the aim of ensuring that health materials are taught in a life skills participatory way.

In Mbale and Bushenyi, some participants immediately organised sensitisation sessions for other members of staff.

The reaction of pupils and students was similar. In Nyondo, the materials were tried on a Primary Six class who were so excited that they continued imitating the lesson even after it had ended. Elsewhere, a group of students attended very reluctantly on the first day because it was their holidays but enthusiastically attended on the second day because they found the materials relevant and the methodology absorbing. Student teachers urged their tutors to continue using the same methodology.

These reactions are also important because they show how life skills, taught in a participatory way, really do address the students’ concerns and feelings and therefore are likely to lead to not only behaviour and attitude change but also improved learning.

To sum up the reactions one can quote the comments from Kampala Primary School.

It relates to our daily lives as regards our health, emotions, character building, learning abilities and social interactions. It is also systematically arranged and extremely comprehensive.

Indeed this book is appropriate and relevant. It broadens one’s knowledge of issues and trains how to react to situations appropriately. It is also both teacher and child centred. Through the numerous activities involved, both facilitators and pupils greatly benefit.

The book is extremely readable and clear. It has nice reading texts which stimulate one’s interest and the accompanying questions for discussion help to sharpen the mind. Moreover they are drawn from life like situations and therefore educative. In addition, they are a variety - poems, dialogues, short stories, songs, character sketches. The numerous activities to be done, as shown in this book, help in making students active.

We welcome further comments from lecturers, tutors and teachers who will use the manual. What is clear from the pretest is that once one starts to teach life skills, the overwhelming reaction is enthusiastic.

2.0 What are Life Skills?

Those skills needed by an individual to operate effectively in society in an active and constructive way. (Edward de Bono)

Personal and social skills required for young people to function confidently and competently with themselves, with other people, and with the wider community. (TACADE, United Kingdom)

Human beings are a complex mixture of knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviour. People constantly interact with other people, with their inner selves and with the environment as a whole. Thus, as children grow up into adolescence and adulthood they need to acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes that will enable them to handle themselves and their environment successfully.

Traditional education attempted to address this holistic view of human personality through the informal education system. The formal education system, on the other hand, has tended to prioritise knowledge at the expense of other aspects of our personalities, believing that an increase in knowledge will automatically lead to positive changes in attitudes and behaviours.

At the same time, it was generally assumed that life skills and attitudes would continue to be imparted through the family and community. However what has happened is that such traditional methods have largely broken down thereby leaving young people more vulnerable. In addition, the challenges and threats facing young people have increased for various historical reasons. Thus, it has become increasingly clear that such prioritisation of knowledge at the expense of other aspects of the human personality is a very inadequate way of preparing young people for the complex nature and challenges of our world today. Maybe this has been brought into sharpest focus by the HIV/AIDS pandemic but it refers to the way we live our lives in general.

Life skills have been defined in many ways:

· Livelihood or vocational skills

· Practical health related skills (for example, use of Oral Rehydration Salts [ORS], or boiling water before drinking)

· Physical skills

· Skills related to behaviour and interaction.

The first three are knowledge based, whereas the last one is directed at what we do with our knowledge and skills. These are the life skills addressed in the Life Skills Initiative. They can be divided into several groups.

(i) Knowledge of oneself or self-awareness. On the basis of their self awareness, (awareness of what they can and cannot do) young people build their self-esteem and self- confidence. On this too they build their assertiveness or ability to respond confidently to any situation. Finally, self-knowledge leads to self control so that people can cope with their emotions and stress.

(ii) Development of one’s interpersonal relationships with the people around one, family and friends, peers, people in authority and adults. This is done in two ways.

· Positively through friendship formation and adjustment to society in which they live. It also involves empathy or putting oneself in the shoes of other people in order to understand them and live happily with them.

· On the other side of the coin, interpersonal relations also require the ability to resist unhealthy pressures from adults or peers, to negotiate one’s way through difficult life situations both in interpersonal relationships and in work situations, and, where necessary, to advocate for change in the most effective manner.

These relationships are dependent on effective communication which is also required for conflict resolution and management.

(iii) Knowledge of oneself and interpersonal relationships must be based on the development of creative and critical thinking in order to be able to confront the challenges of life and make appropriate decisions on what to do and how to solve problems. Thus, whether to resist or negotiate, how to assert oneself in different situations, even how to cope with one’s emotions and stress depend on one’s ability to think critically and creatively.

Life skills are examined in more detail below:

(i) The skills of knowing and living with oneself

Self Awareness

Young people need to know and understand themselves first, their potential, their feelings and emotions, their position in life and in society and their strengths and weaknesses. They need too to have a clear sense of their own identity, where they come from, and the culture into which they have been born and which has shaped them.

For men and women are not only themselves; they are also the region in which they were born, city apartment or farm in which they learned to walk, the games they played as children, the old wives’ tales they overheard, the food they ate, the schools they attended, the sports they followed, the poems they read and the God they believed in (Somerset Maugham: A Razor’s Edge)

The more individuals are aware of their own capabilities, the more capable they are of using other life skills effectively, the more they are able to make choices which are consistent with the opportunities available to them, the society in which their live and their own abilities.

Self esteem

Self awareness leads to self esteem as people become aware of their own capabilities and place in their community. It has been described as an ‘awareness of the good in oneself. It refers to how an individual feels about such personal aspects as appearance, abilities and behaviour and grows on the basis of their experiences of being competent and successful in what they attempt.

However, self esteem is strongly influenced by an individual’s relationships with others. Significant adults, such as parents, family members and teachers, and one’s peers can help to develop or destroy a person’s self esteem by the way in which they interact with him/her.

Therefore, the encouragement of positive relationships is essential to life skills as self esteem relates to behaviour, in particular a wide range of health related behaviours such as sexual health, stress and anxiety, smoking, alcohol and other drug use, and willingness to follow medical advice. High self-


Assertiveness means knowing what you want and why and being able to take the necessary steps to achieve what you want within specific contexts. It can cover a wide variety of different situations, from a girl rejecting the sexual advances of a fellow student or older man to children convincing their parents that they need to continue with their education, to adolescents taking the lead in bringing people together for some beneficial act in the community such as protecting or developing the environment.

However assertiveness should be differentiated from the two extremes on either side; passivity whereby the child or adolescent may know what s/he wants but is too timid or too lazy to stand up for that; and aggression whereby the child or adolescent just fights for what s/he wants without any consideration for the context or the people with whom s/he is interacting. Listening and valuing what others feel and want and why is an essential part of assertiveness.

In addition assertiveness is related to culture. It is important that children and adolescents know how to be assertive in all situations, but the way they are assertive with their peers may differ from assertiveness with parents, school teachers etc.

Coping with Emotion

Emotions, such as fear, love, anger, shyness, disgust, the desire to be accepted etc are subjective and usually impulsive responses to a situation. That is why they can be very unpredictable and often lead to actions which are not based on logical reasoning. They can therefore easily lead people into behaviours they might later regret.

Emotions are strong reflections of what we are. Thus, identifying and then coping with emotions implies that people can recognise their emotions and the reasons for them and make decisions which take account of but are not overly influenced by them.

Coping with Stress

Stress is an inevitable part of life. Family problems, broken relationships, examination pressures, the death of a friend or family member are all examples of situations that cause stress in people’s lives. In limited doses and when one is able to cope with it, stress can be a positive factor since the pressure forces one to focus on what one is doing and respond accordingly. However, stress can be a destructive force in an individual’s life if it gets too big to handle. Therefore, as with emotions, young people need to be able to recognise stress, its causes and effects and know how to deal with it.


(ii) The skills of knowing and living with others

Interpersonal Relationships

Relationships are the essence of life. Relationships also come in different shapes and sizes. As children grow up, they have to develop relationships with:

· significant adults in their lives such as parents, relatives, neighbours, teachers etc.

· peers in and out of school.

· people they meet in life, friends of their parents, the local leaders, shopkeepers etc.

Not everybody can be one’s friend but children need to know how to react appropriately in each relationship so that they can develop to their maximum potential in their own environment.

Friendship Formation

At the level of peers, this is one of the most important aspects of interpersonal relationships. An individual needs friends to share life with, activities, hopes, fears and ambitions. Friendship formation starts from the earliest stages of life but children and adolescents need to understand how friendships are formed and how to form and develop those which will be mutually beneficial. They should be able to recognise and, if necessary, resist friendships that can lead them into dangerous or unnecessary risk taking behaviour such as taking alcohol or other drugs, stealing and dangerous sexual behaviours.


Showing empathy involves putting oneself in other peoples’ shoes, particularly when they are faced by serious problems caused by circumstances or their own actions. It means understanding and internalising other peoples’ circumstances and finding ways to lessen the burden by sharing with them rather than condemning or looking down on (or even pitying which is another form of looking down on people) them for whatever reason. Thus empathy also means supporting the person so that they can make their own decisions and stand on their own feet as soon as possible.

Peer Resistance

Peer resistance means standing up for one’s values and beliefs in the face of conflicting ideas or practices from peers. Friends, or colleagues, can come up with unacceptable or dangerous suggestions and may put pressure on one to accept. One needs to desist from doing things that one believes to be wrong and be able to defend one’s decision, even if it means being threatened with ridicule or exclusion from group membership. With young people in particular, the pressure to be like other group members is great. Thus, if the group is turning to negative influences and habits, peer resistance is a very important skill.


Negotiation is an important skill in interpersonal relationships. It involves assertiveness, empathy and interpersonal relations and also the ability to compromise on issues without compromising one’s principles. It involves being able to cope with potentially threatening or risky situations in interpersonal relations, including peer pressure, state one’s own position and build mutual understanding.

Non-violent Conflict Resolution

This is connected to interpersonal relations, negotiating skills and coping with emotions and stress. Conflicts are unavoidable and sometimes necessary but the skill of non-violent conflict resolution ensures that such conflicts do not become destructive. This can either involve a person resolving his/her own conflict situations or assisting others to come to an understanding without resorting to fighting.

Effective Communication

Communication is the essence of human relationships. Therefore, one of the most important life skills is being able to communicate effectively with others. This includes listening skills and understanding how others are communicating as well as realising how one communicates in different ways. For example, while one’s mouth is saying one thing, one’s body may be saying something completely different.

(iii) The skills of making effective decisions

Critical Thinking

Children growing up in the world of today are confronted by multiple and contradictory issues, messages, expectations and demands from parents, peers, teachers, the media, religious leaders, advertisements, music etc. These interact with their own aspirations and ambitions and constantly require them to make decisions. They need to be able to analyse critically the environment in which they live and the multiple messages that bombard them.

Creative Thinking

The furniture in a room can be arranged in one way and the room looks pleasing to the eye. Another person may come and arrange the furniture in a different way and make the room look even more attractive. In general, there is not always one way of doing things. Neither is human life static. Coming up with new things, new ways of doing things, new ideas, arrangements or organisations is called creative thinking. This is important in life skills because people are continually placed in unexpected or unfamiliar situations where creative thinking is required to make an appropriate response.

Decision Making

Each day one wakes up, one must make decisions. Should one go to the garden or wait for more rain to sink into the soil? Should a family cook beans today or green vegetables? These are relatively simple decisions which may not critically affect the direction of one’s life. However, an individual is frequently confronted with serious decisions in regard to relationships, future life etc. There are frequently conflicting demands all of which cannot be met at the same time. One must make a choice but at the same time one must be aware of the possible consequences of one’s choice. Thus it is important to weigh the consequences before making a decision and have a framework for working through these choices and decisions.

Problem Solving

Problem solving is related to decision making and needs many of the same skills. It is only through practice in making decisions and solving problems that children and adolescents can build the skills necessary to make the best choices in whatever situation they are confronted with,


In equipping the learner with the life skills mentioned above, life skills education aims at promoting the following abilities in the learner.

(i) taking positive health choices.
(ii) making informed decisions.
(iii) practising healthy behaviours.
(iv) recognising and avoiding risky health situations and behaviours.

Life skills education, therefore, does not teach skills in isolation but are an integral part of a variety of educational programmes such as:

· drug abuse prevention.
· prevention of adolescent pregnancy.
· AIDS education.
· protecting young people from abuse.
· peace education.
· suicide prevention programmes.
· programmes for vulnerable youth such as street children, orphans etc.

The skills outlined above are transferable to many different situations and issues. Linking these skills to the knowledge available will enable the Ugandan child to become a confident and competent individual, able to take his/her place in society.


Traditionally, the main approach to health and life skill education has been knowledge based. This means just giving children the facts and information about, for example, the effects and dangers of misusing drugs or the biological parts of the reproductive system.

These activities address the right current problems of our society and especially youth. (Nabisunsa Girls School)

The skills based approach, exploring attitudes and values and developing certain psycho-social competences, is set alongside the knowledge component. The emphasis is on helping children to develop the personal and social skills they need to keep themselves safe and become responsible and independent adults. The skills based approach also taps into the feelings and emotions of the person - the affective domain.

It makes people understand that there’s a gap between people’s knowledge and behaviour. (Participants in pretest, Lira)

Research, including the SHEP evaluation, has shown that where knowledge is provided in isolation, people may become better informed but there is little effect on behaviour. However where young people are taught the life skills mentioned above, the impact on their lives is usually positive. As their skills develop and improve so their confidence and self-esteem increase. This is also very important as it is now known that self esteem is a significant factor in behaviour.

The skills based approach may therefore be summarised as follows:

Social Skills
Self esteem/self awareness


Personal confidence and competence



The World Health Organisation suggests the following:

Health Benefits

(i) Life skills education addresses the combination of psychological and social (i.e. psychosocial) factors that contribute to healthy behaviour.

(ii) The implementation of life skills education in schools addresses the needs of all children.

(iii) The promotion of personal and social skills is an important aspect of health promotion interventions that aim to empower the individual to promote his/her own health as well as the health of others and of the community.

Educational Benefits

(i) Life skills education introduces learner-centred and interactive teaching methods which can have a positive impact on:

· the relationships between teachers and pupils.
· young people’s enjoyment of learning.
· teacher’s job satisfaction.
· rates of drop out and absenteeism from school.

Life skills go well with the ethics of a teacher and will bring serenity to schools. (Participants in pretest, Bushenyi)

(ii) Life skills have an impact on the teaching of academic subjects, e.g. because of the introduction of interactive methods.

(iii) There are indications that life skills education can have a positive impact on academic performance. Once the students or pupils feel that they are involved in issues of relevance to their own lives, they participate more and learn more.

Social Benefits

Life skills education can promote more pro-social behaviour and so result in less delinquency among adolescents.

Cultural Benefits

(i) Life skills education helps to clarify the needs of young people growing up in modern societies.

(ii) Life skills education is of particular value to young people growing up in multicultural societies.

Economic Benefits

(i) Life skills education, and the skills promoted, appear to be amongst the ones most highly valued by the future employers of young people.

(ii) Early prevention can be expected to reap maximum rewards in regard to a healthy society, especially since the health and social problems prevalent today have at their root a component of human behaviour.

Political Benefits

Life skills education addresses the needs of the child as specified in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Child Statute of Uganda, 1995.

Research into the effectiveness of life skills education have shown similar results.

(i) Several studies have reported positive changes in self-reports of health-related behaviour following educational programmes based on life skills, for example research on self-reports of drug use and smoking.

(ii) Several reviews of programmes have found that those based on skills learning are more effective than traditional approaches based on information.

(iii) Numerous studies have reported improvements in mental health status. In particular, improvements in self-esteem and self-confidence are frequently reported.

(iv) Numerous small studies have indicated teacher satisfaction after training and implementation of a life skills programme. In addition, improved teacher-pupil relationships and classroom behaviour have obvious benefits for school staff.

(v) The pretest for this manual shows potentially the same results as the ones mentioned above.


(a) Some of the characteristics of a primary school child in Uganda

Primary school children are not homogeneous in terms of age, culture, religion etc. Most of them are in the 6-13 age range but some may be several years older. They go to day or boarding schools in rural, peri-urban and urban environments. Most belong to one of the major religious denominations and while the majority still belong to one of the nationalities in Uganda many now belong to two cultures as a result of intermarriages.

The majority of the children live in families and communities which do not have adequate resources and services at their disposal. Many belong to families with unstable or broken marriages. Some are staying with single parents because of death (mainly due to AIDS or socio-political conflicts) or the break up of relationships. Some are in the care of step-parents or other relatives. The majority of parents or guardians have little or no formal education, especially the women.

(b) Challenges to a Primary School Child in Uganda

Because of these situations in which children find themselves, they are in danger of making uninformed and sometimes disastrous choices and decisions concerning their lives

Today’s children and adolescents are having to grow up in an atmosphere which is full of messages, many of them confusing and contradictory. Traditionally, parents, relatives and friends used to be charged with the responsibility of passing cultural, social and vocational skills to the children but today, most of these parents are unable to fulfil this role because they may be unavailable, too busy, ignorant of their children’s changing needs or not well equipped themselves. At the same time, traditional communities are losing their role because of rural-urban migration and decreasing reliance on the extended family. Cultural inhibitions and prohibitions have lost their force in the face of the attraction of urban, and often foreign, life styles. There is also the problem of peace and security. To crown it all there is the STD/HIV/AIDS pandemic which is threatening to wipe out large sections of the population.

Schools have a key role to play in preparing children and adolescents to face the challenges of their world. Unfortunately, to date, what the teachers teach and how they teach it and what the pupils learn and how they learn is geared exclusively to passing examinations, thereby only developing the cognitive skills.

Moreover, the traditional parental or pedagogical approaches are insufficient to face the contemporary challenges, problems and influences to which children are exposed. For example, children are daily exposed to information from the electronic media (TV, radio) in terms of music, dance, drama, discussion, and news, and the print media (newspapers, books and magazines) in the form of stories, pictures, photographs, and political issues. While some of this information is beneficial, some is misleading and a danger to the children. For example, songs which emphasise love affairs, especially exploitative ones, films which emphasise crime and violence, pornographic materials all tend to send them the wrong signals.

The communities in which the children live also tend to put the children at a disadvantage. For example, male adults, including some relatives and stepfathers, some teachers and some employers sexually exploit the girl child within the school, on the way to and from school and within the family home and community.

In addition, poverty in most of the rural and urban slum families forces the parents to pay more attention to meeting the immediate survival needs than to their children’s behaviours. The children are therefore left mostly under the guidance of their peers. In the urban slum areas, family dwellings tend to be crowded since most families cannot afford more than one room. This, coupled with scarce building materials and shared services like toilets and bathroom limits the essential privacy within and between families. The children are therefore prematurely exposed to many negative behaviours and influences from some parents and other adults who may drink a lot, use drugs, fight, commit crimes, be corrupt or have multiple sexual partners or extra -marital relationships. The results are that some children take to drugs, alcohol, petty crimes and prostitution.

The ideal course of action would be to remove all these negative pressures and influences from our society and save the children. But an ideal is like a distant star. We chart our course by it but we never reach it. Therefore the most practical and effective course of action is to help the children handle and cope with these pressures and challenges by teaching them to take responsibility for their growth and development through a life skills initiative. The short term achievement from this will be that the children will be able to cope with these pressures and challenges as they move towards and through their adolescent years. The long term achievement will be that they will take these life skills into their adult lives. Therefore, they will be more responsible and effective parents and managers of society.


(a) Methodologies and Learning Environment

In the baseline study to determine the level of life skills among Ugandan primary school children, Cele et al (1996) found that while the level of life skills was not very high, the teaching styles and teaching/learning environments were generally not promoting the acquisition of life skills by the children. Teachers were using mostly teacher-centred methods which allowed limited or no pupil involvement and participation.


If the pupils are to learn and internalise life skills, more active, participatory, learner-centred approaches must be employed. The pupils must be exposed to learning experiences which will not only assist them to gain knowledge but also provoke them to think about and interpret the meaning of the learning experience and its implications in their daily lives. Such learning experiences can include exposure to and frank discussions of real life situations, games, pictures, role plays, case studies, songs, debates and reading materials.

Many teachers may claim this is impossible for several reasons:

(i) The syllabus is already overcrowded and there is no room for life skills activities.

(ii) Participatory methodologies require a lot of preparation and take up too much time in the classroom.

(iii) The most important life skill in the current Ugandan situation is passing the examinations which will enable the children to develop in life.

(iv) Teachers are already under so many pressures caused by economic insecurity, community expectations, overcrowded classes, insufficient teaching materials and inadequate training, etc that they cannot be expected to break away from the tried and trusted traditional methods.

In answer to these partially valid objections, it can only be said that:

(i) The infusion of life skills into the current syllabi using more participatory methodologies is based on the fact that it is not true that the children and adolescents know nothing. Especially on issues concerning their health, they already know a great deal from parents and relatives, health workers, visits to hospitals and earlier training in school etc.

The methodology provides simultaneous feedback on the learning experiences of the child. (Participants in pretest, Mbale)

Therefore, rather than plodding through one topic after another, the tutor (and teacher) can, by using the kind of methodologies and activities outlined in the next sections of the manual, elicit and build on the knowledge the students already have while at the same time connecting the knowledge (which is also vital) with the life skills required to use it effectively in their everyday lives.

(ii) Although most teachers follow the ‘chalk and talk’ model, they may not be satisfied with it. It may need less preparation, especially for a teacher who relies on the notes of years in the past, but the classes themselves are tiring precisely because they depend on excessive efforts from the teachers who have to do most of the talking. Worse still, because the vast majority of the pupils are not involved, they tend to lose interest and the teacher has to expend a lot of effort on maintaining discipline. The life skills approach leads to a more involved, less stressful classroom so that the teacher can actually enjoy her/his teaching more. This is why the teachers who participated in the base line survey were initially suspicious but later enthusiastically embraced the need to infuse life skills into their teaching.

(iii) Even in terms of examinations, life skills has a positive contribution to make.

The content sticks with less strain on the part of both student and instructor. (Participants in pretest, Mbale)

Firstly, lively classes lead to better retention of content. Secondly, the skills of critical and creative thinking are essential in examinations and finally children who have a dear awareness of themselves and their relationships with their peers and their community are more motivated and focussed in their learning.

(b) The educator

Effective implementation of the life skills education initiative will depend, to a great extent, on the life skills educators. For example, s/he must be able to correctly interpret and internalise the aims and objectives of life skills education, integrate the skills in appropriate carrier subjects and topics and select the most suitable situations and activities for the pupils to appreciate and learn the skills. S/he must also be convinced about the values of the individual skills. S/he must have the ability to recognise the pupils’ characteristics, challenges and needs in a given community. S/he must be sensitive and coordinate fellow educators, parents and opinion leaders so that they too play their roles in promoting the development of life skills. S/he must be a role model in words, actions and behaviours. If this seems a big responsibility for any individual teacher, there are many who are already showing many of these qualities and the life skills initiative merely provides them with the chance to develop them further.



Life skills education should be given right from birth. All the interactions between the baby and the mother, father, fellow children and other people in the family should be geared towards promoting the appropriate life skills in the child as it develops. These interactions should demonstrate love, affection, warmth, support and guidance. The physical environment should promote health and at the same time provoke and reward curiosity and the wish to learn and relate.

In communities or families where children go to pre-primary schools, they should continue to support family and community efforts to promote the skills. Formal life skills education should start right from Primary One.


Life skills education should be given everywhere. Within the school, every activity should offer an opportunity to impart life skills. For example, English Language and the ability to communicate effectively are crucial to life skills. Science lessons can help to develop skills such as critical thinking and decision making. Mathematics can be used to analyse trends and patterns of behaviour, and of course Religious Education, Political Education, History and Social Studies are often prime vehicles for instilling some of the life skills. During the pretest, several of the participants had already assimilated life skills into English, Geography and Political Education.

In addition, assemblies, communal work, meal times, worshipping time and games also provide useful opportunities. One Bushenyi school suggested that clubs like religious associations, scouts and guides and other extra curricular activities should include life skills in their activities.

Outside the school, life skills education should be given in the families and communities. During the pretest of this manual, the consensus everywhere was that parents and community need to be aware of the nature and purpose of the life skills initiative so that they become active participants. Some effort has been made in the activities to include parents but a broader sensitisation process is required, as shown by the participants in Lira who have already made plans to introduce life skills at Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs).


The obvious answer to the question is that everybody should. This manual targets first of all the college tutors. Through them, the primary and secondary school student-teachers and teachers will be reached who will eventually teach the pupils. This is therefore a ‘cascade’ model of infusion.

4.0 Other supporting activities/strategies

Life skills education in schools and colleges will be supported by several activities/strategies in Uganda. These include:


In line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child passed in 1990, the Ugandan Parliament passed a law in 1995 known as the Children’s Statute. Its provisions are as follows:

Rights of the Child in Uganda

1. A child in Uganda should have the same rights, irrespective of sex, religion, custom, rural or urban background, nationality, tribe, race, marital status of parents or opinion.

2. The right to grow up in a peaceful, caring and secure environment, and to have the basic necessities of life, including food, health care, clothing and shelter.

3. The right to a name and a nationality.

4. The rights to know who are his or her parents and to enjoy family life with them and/or their extended family. Where a child has no family or is unable to live with them, he or she should have the right to be given the best substitute care available

5. The right to have his or her best interests given priority in any decisions made concerning the child.

6. The right to express an opinion and to be listened to, and, to be consulted in accordance with his or her understanding in decisions which affect his or her well being.

7. The right to have his or her health protected through immunisation and appropriate health care, and to be taught how to defend himself/herself against illness. When ill, a child should have to right to receive proper medical care.

8. A child with disability should have the right to be treated with the same dignity as other children and to be given special care, education and training where necessary so as to develop his or her potential and self-reliance.

9. The right to refuse to be subjected to harmful initiation rites and other harmful social and customary practices, and to be protected from those customary practices which are prejudicial to a child’s health.

10. The right to be treated fairly and humanely within the legal system.

11. The right to be protected from all forms of abuse and exploitation.

12. The right to basic education.

13. The right to leisure which is not morally harmful, to play and to participate in sports and positive cultural and artistic activities.

14. The right not to be employed or engaged in activities that harm his or her health, education, mental physical or moral development.

15. A child, if a victim of armed conflict, a refugee, or in a situation of danger or extreme vulnerability, should have the right to be among the first to receive help and protection.

Who is a Child? A Child in Uganda should be defined as a person under the age of 18 years.

From the above, children’s rights can be divided into four main categories.

(i) Survival Rights (such as food, clothing and shelter).
(ii) Development Rights (such as the right to education).
(iii) Protection Rights (from exploitation, abuse, harmful initiation rights, battering etc).
(iv) Participation Rights (including the right to speak and be heard, to meet one another etc).

In the context of life skills (iii) and (iv) are the most important. Children need to know their rights and how to use life skills to keep those rights. The participation rights are the most controversial as many elders in most communities do not accept automatically that children have the right to speak in front of, or disagree with, adults.

In the study of the Rights of the Child at the Village Level (Kakama, 1993), the participants agreed it was a good idea to listen and to consult children in decisions affecting them. It was however expressed that most people in the community do not respect the views of the child. “Their time has not come”, according to one key informant. In one area of the country where the study was carried out it was expressed that children’s views could be sought but the decision remains with the parents. The children said they are neither listened to or consulted and yet they felt they should contribute to decision making on matters concerning them (Republic of Uganda, 1995)

However, society is changing, and when it becomes clear that children’s participation does not lead to insubordination, and that the children actually participate more fully and more meaningfully if given the chance, communities (and teachers) can accept. Without the participation rights being discussed and negotiated, it is difficult to develop life skills such as self esteem and assertiveness.

In addition, there is always a need to insist on children’s rights within a life skills programme since knowing and asserting your rights successfully is an important part of self esteem and development. In addition, many vulnerable groups, such as orphans, street children, children with disabilities etc and girl children in general can be deprived of their basic rights, even to education and health.

In the pretest, participants commented that life skills and children’s rights go hand in hand.

· In knowing and understanding their rights, the children will increase and develop their self awareness and self esteem

· Life skills training, based on discussion of real life situations will help the children to discover how to assert themselves and their rights in acceptable ways

· Both life skills and children’s rights are interpreted within the cultural context of Uganda.

At the same time, it is worthwhile observing that the Children’s Statute emphasises both rights and responsibilities.

Responsibilities of the Child in Uganda

A child in Uganda shall first of all have responsibilities towards his or her Family, Society, Country and then the International Community.

A child shall, according to his or her age, ability and rights, have the duty:

· to work for the cohesion of the family, to respect his or her parents, elders and other children and to assist them;

· to use his or her abilities for the benefit of the community;

· to preserve and strengthen cultural values in his or her relations with other members of the society, in the spirit of tolerance, dialogue, consultation and to contribute to the moral well being of the society.

· to preserve and strengthen the independence, national unity and the integrity of his or her country.

This is in line with the Convention on the Rights of the Child which talks of the responsibility of parents and guardians for ensuring that their children are brought up in accordance with acceptable cultural norms. Thus childrens rights do not mean the freedom to do whatever they want without parental guidance or correction. What is needed is to find the correct balance between adult guidance and children’s growing autonomy.


Generally in Uganda, the girl child is more disadvantaged than a boy. In a study on Village Perceptions of Children’s Rights (Kakama, 1993), it was revealed by the discussion groups that on various fronts the girl child is discriminated against. Girls are a second consideration for education, especially in instances where there is insufficient money. Girl children do not have the right of inheritance, and they are generally subjected to harder work than their brothers. These discriminatory practices against the girl child are not formally condoned. They are largely culturally determined. The overall effect, however, is that these practices and attitudes deny the girl child the enjoyment of her full rights. (Republic of Uganda, 1995)

The SCI is an initiative developed by UNICEF and its allies in the East and Southern African Region (ESAR). This initiative, which has learnt from the Meena Initiative in South-East Asia, is directed at the adolescent girl and her society with the following objectives:

(i) To address the extreme discrimination that exists against girls

(ii) To highlight the needs of girls (and boys)

(iii) To present a dynamic role model for girls and boys which communicates specific messages on:

· education, health and development with gender equity.

· other issues relevant to the survival, protection and development of children in sub-Saharan Africa.

The problem areas identified include economic issues (eg exploitation in employment, lack of vocational skills and homelessness), educational (eg being pushed out of school due to lack of school fees or girls being married off, lack of access to education, lack of family life education and career options), sexual (eg sexual abuse, pregnancies, STD/AIDS infection), and cultural (eg son preference, female genital mutilation, inheritance, early marriage, gender roles and workload)

It was also identified from the outset that in order to deal effectively with all these problems and challenges the girl child needed life skills such as problem solving, critical thinking, decision making, self assessment and concept, assertiveness, negotiation, coping with emotions and stress, conflict management and resolution, empathy and interpersonal relationships.

Some of the characters from the Sara Communication Initiative.

Thus, the Sara Communication Initiative aims at developing the life skills of girls in order to meet the challenges of life. This is to be done through a series of animated films produced regionally about different aspects of the life of the girl child, together with radio plays, comic books, story books and any other activities that might grow out of this.

In order to achieve this, stories were written across the region (from Eritrea to Namibia) and four were chosen for research in all the countries. They were read to boys, girls, community members, out of school youth etc in rural and urban areas, from different cultures and environments in order to test the acceptability of the characters, the stories, the names and even the appearance of the characters. As a result, three stories were chosen and rewritten for films and a second phase of research to choose a further four stories is underway.

The stories try to look at:

· factors that ensure that a girl does not have enough chance to improve her status in life.

· how girls and boys, their families and their communities can transform their lives from what it is to what it should be.

This Life Skills Training Manual makes use of the Sara Communication Initiative in three ways.

(i) The work done in all the countries of Eastern and Southern Africa to identify issues pertaining to the girl child has been used to ensure that the gender aspect of childhood and adolescence has been foregrounded where previously it was not apparent at all. As stated in the report quoted above, the discriminatory practices are culturally embedded more than deliberate discrimination and thus need to be highlighted. Thus all the activities bear in mind the specific problems facing girl as well as boy children, the reasons for them and the life skills required to face them.

(ii) The main characters from the Sara Initiative are introduced at the beginning of Section 4 (suggested activities for the tutor) These include Sara herself and her classmates and friends Juma and Amina. In subsequent activities, the tutor may continue to use these characters and invent other classmates and friends that reflect specific aspects of Ugandan life.

There are also her teacher, Ms Matata, and her family; the supportive father who is working in town to raise enough money for them to start a new life; the mother and younger brother and sister with whom she lives in the compound of the uncle; the uncle who is the elder brother of the father and is resistant to any change in the status and behaviour of girls in society; and the grandmother who is the depository of traditional values in society. Sara lives in a peri-urban setting and thus the problems and struggles of her and her friends can be adapted to a wide variety of urban and rural activities. Finally, Sara is presented as a role model of a girl who is assertive but respectful, who knows where she wants to go and uses her life skills to achieve her goals despite all the obstacles she faces. From research into the first stories produced she was recognised and strongly appreciated by both girls and boys, especially girls, and by the community as a whole who recognised that she had the right mix of assertiveness and respect. Where they felt she was too assertive, the stories were changed but parents greatly appreciated Sara’s ability to negotiate her way creatively through the obstacles placed in her path. Above all they appreciated that Sara is an actor, not a passive victim. Thus everyone, boys (who said she was the ideal wife of tomorrow) girls (who wanted to be like Sara) and parents (who felt that she was the kind of daughter they would like) identified with her.

The Sara materials give vivid feelings, raise emotions and problems affecting girl children are made clear. (Student teachers, Bushenyi)

In terms of teachers colleges, Ms Matata is also a good role model for the student teachers and can be used to promote discussion on the way teachers interact with their classes.

(iii) As Sara Initiative materials such as videos, comic books and radio tapes are produced, they can be used by schools and colleges for provoking thought and discussion on specific youth and girl child issues in relation to life skills. The first materials have already been produced and can be obtained from the UNICEF Kampala office at Kisozi House, off Kaggwe Road.

5.0 Problems and solutions

In the final section of this chapter, we would like to raise and comment on some of the potential and actual problems that can arise when life skills are introduced into the curriculum. These are divided into two sections, ‘yes... but’ and ‘what if...’.

5.1 YES... BUT...


(i) Life skills are a nice idea but the syllabus does not give us any time.

It is true that life skills activities do take time and reduce the amount of time available for imparting of knowledge. However, by using a participatory methodology, the tutor is able to assess the level of knowledge already existing and build on it by addressing only those issues which are still problematic. As said by the Mbale participants:

The methodology provides simultaneous feedback on the learning experience of the child.

In addition, where students are active, interested and involved, they learn much faster and thus one is able to cover the content more quickly. In Kampala tutors commented:

The students learn more and you can cover more of the syllabus in a shorter space of time.

Therefore, the contention that there is no time has not been proven valid in terms of the research undertaken during the pre-testing of the manual.

(ii) These methodologies are very good but I don’t have the time and the materials to prepare them.

It is true that, especially at the beginning, it takes time to produce unfamiliar material. However, the manuals have already provided a wide variety of materials and participants in the pretest who started making up their own activities based on the suggestions in Section Five, found that they were not too difficult as they arose out of their own experiences.

Secondly, participants found that, while the preparation may be more time consuming, and even painful, the actual classes were much more enjoyable and fulfilling and therefore less exhausting.

Once the students start to participate, the strain placed on the teacher is significantly reduced and they do not get as tired as they used to. As Mbale participants noted, the content sticks with less strain, not only for the student but also for the tutor.

Thirdly, most activities can be carried out using a few sheets of paper and the blackboard. Once students appreciate the methodology, they can be used to prepare the materials if necessary, such as copying out sufficient copies of a case study, questionnaire etc.

(iii) I would like to use life skills but my class is too big.

It is very true that large classes may make it quite difficult to use some of the methodologies recommended in this manual. However, the methods may be adapted to suit circumstances. For example, the children may be taken to an area outside the normal classroom where additional space is required. However, group work does not depend on the size of classes and some methods such as role plays can be rotated from group to group, week by week, in order to give every student a greater chance to participate and ensure that the large size of a class does not prevent these methods from being used for the benefit of the students and the teacher.

(iv) Participatory methods are more enjoyable but they lead to more noise and a breakdown in discipline.

Findings from the pretest proved otherwise. Pupils and students were so absorbed in the activities that discipline actually improved. Discipline is more likely to break down when students have no interest in what they are being taught. The Mbale participants even commented that energisers and icebreakers (See Section 2) in fact boosted class control, concentration span and interest.

(v) We should teach life skills but they should not lead to pupils and students questioning our own practices.

In the pretest, some teachers, and headteachers, did not like some of the activities such as those related to destructive teacher behaviour and the health promoting school because they raised awareness of some of the negative practices and situations that exist in their schools. However, even without such activities, children already make such observations and it is incumbent upon the teacher to modify the behaviour identified as inappropriate. The activities are intended to help teachers and educational administrators to improve their practice.

At the same time, headteachers may argue that the school is so dilapidated because of economic constraints and that therefore it is wrong to criticise. However, such an activity could lead to a new appraisal, even with the PTA on how to ensure that schools really are health promoting and identify achievable targets for development.

(vi) Life skills are good but they go against culture and religion.

It is interesting that, in the pretest, one teacher at Mengo secondary school commented that:

The topics are good and helpful in helping teachers as custodians of culture in schools and curriculum.

Culture is not static and communities themselves are changing and developing in response to the challenges of a changing society. Life skills do not preach but rather raise issues which allow teachers and their pupils/students to look critically at culture in order to ensure the survival/development of those aspects which reinforce the society. The same applies to religion. It is only those who cannot tolerate debate who could object to the raising of issues.



(i) What if the pupils become so emotionally involved that the debate gets out of hand?

Because life skills raise real issues affecting the lives of the children, they are likely to become emotionally involved. This is why the early activities in team building and laying down ground rules for discussion are so important.

It is also worth remembering that an animated discussion does not mean that it has got out of hand. The teacher has to let go and allow the debate as long as the students are actively involved and learning. It is not necessary for the teacher to control the whole discussion.

In addition, teachers should be aware of other support staff and agencies that may be able to offer help and advice to certain students and maybe even involve them in the discussion.

(ii) What if young people are bored with such issues and don’t want to listen?

Although this was raised by a participant in the pretest, the actual experience proved the opposite. If the young people are bored, it will be because the activity, or manner of presentation had some weakness and the teacher should discuss this with the students and look for an alternative method. Very often, the young people become bored as soon as they realise they are being preached at in another guise. The reflections from the pre-test were that the life skills activities were enjoyable and beneficial to the needs of the children.

(iii) What if a child’s rights are being violated?

If it becomes apparent in discussion that a child’s rights are being violated at home, school or in the community, the Local Government (Resistance Councils) Statute 1993, provides that the Vice chairperson of every Resistance Committee at all levels is the Secretary for Children’s Welfare with the responsibility of ensuring that the rights of the child are protected.

Therefore, if necessary, such cases of violation can be reported to the Vice chairperson. However, it may be worth trying more persuasive methods first through the staff meetings, Board of Governors, Parent Teacher Associations etc.


This section is divided into two parts. Part A looks at activities and methodologies which create a good atmosphere, build unity and openness among the participants and encourage participation. Part B looks at specific workshop activities for introducing life skills training.


By the end of this section, participants should be able to:

1. Explain the purpose of ice breakers and energisers
2. Use the activities outlined in the section
3. Use life skills approaches and procedures in their daily teaching.
4. Develop simple life skills techniques for dealing with difficult participants during a class
5. Use participatory methodologies to elicit and build on participants’ knowledge and attitudes
6. Use the workshop activities as a means of introducing a training session on lift? skills


1.1 Ice-breaking activities
1.2 Expectations and Tears
1.3 Laying ground rules
1.4 Team building
1.5 Coping with difficult group members
1.6 Energisers
1.7 Processing



Ice breaking activities have the following purposes:

· Create a safe, warm learning environment from the outset.

· Encourage participants to mix with and get to know one another.

· Give all participants a chance to speak and be listened to in an environment where their experiences and opinions will be valued.

· Reduce individual feelings of isolation.

· Prepare all participants to become fully involved in later activities.

· Ice-breaking means breaking the ice, overcoming the cold (not warm), and tense atmosphere which may possibly exist before participants get to know each other.

At the beginning of a session, participants or first year students tend to keep to themselves or interact only with those they knew beforehand, They come from different places, have different backgrounds, experiences, qualifications etc. and often do not know how to break down the walls that exist between them. There is a need, therefore, for them to become acquainted with one another so that they are comfortable working together during the training. Thus, ice breakers should be used at the beginning of training sessions, or of a new year or term when the students do not know one another. They should not take too long, about 10-15 minutes.




Cards with half names of a town written on them. Enough cards for one per participant.


1. Write cards with half names of towns. Each participant gets a card.

2. Participants look for the participant with the other half name of her/his town. i.e.

Card 1: MB-

Card 2: -ALE

Full name of the town; MBALE

3. Participants then sit in pairs and introduce themselves to one another using the following outline:

· Name....................................................................
· Where you live......................................................
· Where you went to school......................................
· What you have achieved.......................................
· Hobbies.................................................................
· A wish....................................................................
· Anything else..........................................................

4. Each participant presents his/her partner to the rest of the group.


· If the group is large, place pairs into small groups of about six for the last step. Otherwise the introductions tend to take a very long time.

· The facilitator can come up with a different set of cards (i.e. local foods, famous personalities etc. instead of towns) or points of introduction (e.g. like/dislike etc.)







1. Invite participants to sit in a circle

2. Place a large piece of flipchart paper in the centre of the circle (and one on the wall for those who are unable to move on to the floor).

3. Ask each participant in turn, to write their name on the paper and explain briefly why they were given that name e.g. “My name is Nightingale because I was born at night”.






1. Facilitator tells participants that they have to find a partner according to one of the following criteria:

· likes the same kind of music.
· shares the same birthday month.
· shares the same favourite food.
· also has trouble saying “NO” to friends.
· enjoys playing football.

2. Ask participants to stand up and move around the room, identifying another person who fits one of the criteria.

3. After forming pairs in this way, each pair can be given topics to discuss for 2 minutes each e.g. An exciting/sad experience I will never forget, or things that make me laugh/sad.


· Facilitator can think of any other appropriate statements for clustering individuals and topics for discussion. S/he should not be limited to the examples given above.






1. Ask participants to form a circle.

2. Each participant gives his/her name in turn and then gives a false reason why s/he can’t come to school. The reason for not attending school must begin with the same letter as the person’s name e.g. “My name is Joy and I can’t come to school today because there are no buses from Jinja”.


· The facilitator is free to think of statements beginning:

‘Reasons why I.....................................




A blank card for each participant, ball point pens or pencils, box or bag or basket.


1. Give each participant a blank card.

2. Ask each participant to write the following on his/her card.

· complete name
· previous school attended
· favourite hobby

3. After all the cards are completed, collect and mix together in a container/basket. Each participant picks one card, but not his/her own.

4. After each participant has taken one card, instruct the person to find the owner of the card. Then ask each person to find out more information about the owner.

5. After 5 minutes tell everyone to be seated and ask each person to introduce the owner of the card which s/he has picked.


· Information which is too personal should be avoided.
· Allow some fun to create a more friendly atmosphere.


At the end of each ice breaker, spend a few minutes asking the group some of the following questions. Do NOT ask all the questions every time.

· How did you feel during this activity?
· How do you feel starting a group in this way?
· How might you alter or adapt this activity?
· How have you benefitted from this activity?
· Do you have any comments about this activity?
· What other ice breakers do you know/have you used?
· Anything else?



It is very useful at the beginning to allow participants to state their expectations and fears or concerns about the training. This brings into the open what people are feeling and allows the facilitator to clarify what can and cannot be done in the course of the training.


Participants come to a training with certain expectations about what they may acquire in terms of knowledge or skills. It is important to give them an opportunity to express their feelings on what they expect to get from the training and also to say at the start what they think can or cannot be achieved.


The participants have fears about issues that may be a barrier to the attainment of the objectives. The fears should be dealt with to create a conducive learning environment.

The activity on the following page will help define the participants’ expectations and fears.



Time: 30 minutes


Pieces of paper, chalk or marker, blackboard/flip chart/large sheet of paper.


1. Prepare sufficient pieces of paper for the number of participants attending the session.

2. Tell every participant to pick a piece of paper and write down what they expect from the training on one side of the paper and fear from the training on the other side.

3. Participants exchange papers with their friends and read out what is written. Facilitator writes replies on the flipchart or blackboard for all to be made aware of individual expectations and fears.

OR Divide the participants into groups, read out the answers and then merge the similar ones. The group leader presents the expectations and fears to the class and you write on blackboard or chart.

OR Each participant displays his/her written work for the whole class to read and they are later merged by the teacher.

OR Individual participants read out their expectations and fears and the teacher merges them on the blackboard or flipchart.

OR Put the cards in the middle (so that they are anonymous). Shuffle the cards and redistribute so that students read out the card they are given while you put the points on the board/large sheet of paper.

4. Discuss all the expectations and fears with the participants. Explain that you hope everyone will acknowledge that people have certain fears and will support these individuals. Explain what you hope and think can be achieved during the training, and what cannot be achieved in the time available.

5. Hang the flipchart or leave them on the blackboard.


· During the training, go through the expectations to find out those which were met and not met. Do the same with fears to find out how they were overcome.

· Expectations and fears may be introduced at the beginning of every new unit or topic to be taught and at the end of it, particularly if the issue to be discussed is a sensitive one.

· Leave the expectations and fears on the blackboard.

· Not all the expectations will be met. Explain this. Also explain that participants can discuss issues during the break.

· To cater for some of the expectations which may not be met, you can use a story or case study; or give them homework which can be done during the participants’ free time or call a resource person to give a lecture touching on those issues being reflected in the expectations.



Life Skills education involves an individual interacting closely with other people. During such interactions, group members will want to be listened to and respected. Some of the activities may involve revealing personal experiences that one would not ordinarily tell others. Therefore, group members need an assurance that in interacting with other members, their personalities will not be betrayed. Rules of behaviour need to be established. These can be called ground rules or keys to cooperation.

The ground rules should be decided upon by the group members themselves. This can be done in different ways. One way is suggested below. Alternatively you may wish to use the ‘Group Shield’ in the Team Building’ section that follows as a method for developing some ground rules.



Time: 20 minutes


Small pieces of paper, each with a number relating to the number of participants.


1. Write numbers from one to the last number in the class on small pieces of papers.

2. Each member picks a piece of paper with a number on it.

3. Number one pairs with two, three with four, etc. If the number in the class is odd, there can be three in a group.

4. Each member of the pair introduces himself/herself to the other and reveals her/his likes/dislikes and hopes for the way in which people will work together during the sessions.

5. The pair then discuss the rules they consider important regarding the discussions they will have.

6. 3 pairs join to form one group and come up with consolidated rules.

7. Participants discuss and agree on the rules to be adopted.

8. To wrap up, participants discuss the following questions:

(i) What do we do to a member who breaks the rules?
(ii) How will these rules be useful to the group during the course?


· Only one way of group formation is described here. There are other ways that groups can be formed e.g. using strings of different lengths, using combinations of letters for naming towns, etc. The teacher can also devise his/her own way of group formation. The essential point is that groups must be formed at random, with no systematic bias so that gradually each member of the group will meet and work with several others, thereby reducing the possibility of isolation and helping the integration of individual members.

· The interactions for negotiating ground rules can also be varied according to the size of the class. In the end, the negotiated rules should be agreed upon by the whole class and then adhered to in subsequent lessons.

· Because of the nature of Life Skills education, some of the rules that may come out are:

(i) Confidentiality
(ii) Respect for one another
(iii) Honesty
(iv) Listening to each other
(v) No ridiculing or derogatory behaviour towards anyone.
(vi) No value judgements about a person’s position.
(vii) Freedom to speak
(viii) The right to pass.
(ix) Being positive and constructive to the group
(x) Punctuality

Do not list those rules for the class, but only ask whether any that they may have omitted would be important for their group.

· Ways of enforcing the rules may include showing a “yellow card” to an offending member. If 3 people in the group show the yellow card then the individual must alter his/her behaviour or stop the activity s/he was doing. This should be done with humour and fairness to emphasize the importance of the rules rather than punish. The group should see that the rules are important for their cohesion and facilitative of acquiring the skills they are learning.



Team building is a process which gradually transforms individual participants into group workers. A team has a common objective and a common strategy to achieve the objective.

Team building develops cooperation, builds good relations and makes learners active (Participants in pretest, Bushenyi).

The success of the team depends on each member being appreciated, building on their uniqueness and difference to enrich the variety of ideas, views or contributions for the general good.

For a team to function, every member should be given the opportunity to participate fully; learning to share, discuss, agree, disagree, persuade and adjust. Being a member of a team means looking beyond oneself and reaching out to others, and realizing that one has something to offer just like others. Life skills evolve around one’s ability to cope with the situations, circumstances, challenges of day-to-day life. Ability to get along with other people is one skill promoted through Team Building. The team spirit helps one to believe in oneself, boosting one’s self-esteem.

Some Team building Activities are described below. They can run through the whole session or workshops, varying in duration according to the purpose



Time: 20 to 30 minutes


Large sheets of paper, marker pens.



1. Randomly select participants in teams of 4 - 6 people.

2. Ask each team to choose a leader, moderator, observer, recorder and reporter.

3. Ask each team to draw the group shield with four parts (see below), under different titles, depending on topic.

4. Every member writes his/her name in the first compartment and says a little about their name e.g. why they were given that name.

5. Members discuss their hobbies/interests and the recorder draws or writes some of this in the top right hand compartment.

6. Members discuss what they can offer the group e.g. experiences, listening, support and these are written up by the reporter.

7. Group members agree on ground rules and write them down.

8. Ask each group to come up with a Group Name.

9. Lastly, the group must come up with a motto.

10. In turn, each group displays their shield. The facilitator draws out or asks the reporter to draw out some of the unusual or interesting points. Finally, read out and clarify/agree on the ground rules for the whole group.


· By writing one’s name in the first box, an individual registers as a member to the team, with a right to participate.

· Explaining what you have to offer:-

· Boosts self esteem

· Promotes self - awareness, as each participant looks into himself/herself to discover what s/he has to offer.

· Enforces active listening and positive contribution.

· Ground rules offer an opportunity for one to appreciate different perspectives, desires and concerns.

· Hobbies/interests: This allows one to express a part of oneself.

· Other alternatives could be included in the shield according to the group and the context.



The aim of this activity is to practise getting along using non-verbal communication and to appreciate its advantages and shortcomings. It improves negotiation skills, listening skills and critical thinking.

Time: 30 minutes


Objects such as children’s toy cube dismantled. One object needed for every group.


1. Divide participants into groups of 4 - 6 members.

2. Distribute objects such as a children’s toy cube, already dismantled.

3. Ask them to put the bits together without TALKING.

4. Ask groups how they felt working without verbal communication; and how easy or difficult it was for them to accomplish or fail to accomplish a given task.

5. Ask groups to exchange objects (if they succeeded in putting the first object together) or to continue with the current object if they failed to assemble it at the first attempt.

6. After 10 minutes, allow groups to use both verbal and non-verbal communication

7. Ask groups what are the advantages and disadvantages of utilizing both verbal and non-verbal communication.


· The trainer is encouraged to create his/her own team building activities as the need arises.



It is always possible that some of the participants work against the smooth running of the group. It is therefore important to be able to identify the types of behaviour that hinder the work of a group and strategies to cope with such behaviours.


Time: 45 minutes


Large sheets of paper, markers.


1. Whole group brainstorms on types of behaviour which hinder group work.

2. List the behaviours on a large sheet of paper

3. Divide participants into groups of six or seven.

4. Allocate an equal number of behaviours listed to each group and ask them to devise strategies/life skills for coping with the behaviours they have been assigned.

5. Each group summarises on a large sheet of paper and presents to the plenary for discussion.


· To start brainstorming, ask participants to describe actual example/incidents

· Difficult group member behaviour can include:

· People who talk too much
· People who challenge everything
· People who never contribute
· People who never stick to the point
· People who are critical of everyone and everything.

· There is no one strategy to cope with certain types of behaviour though there are certain suggested strategies.

· The actual behaviours, and the strategies to deal with them could take the form of a role play.

· Hopefully the team building activities, and in particular the introduction of ground rules, will avert many of the more difficult behaviours that certain individuals may display.



Communication experts observe that concentration span in a learning situation is initially high then gradually drops. To keep learners’ attention it is imperative that they are kept interested. Energizers help achieve this by breaking the monotony and stress of a learning session. They may be used to allow the participants a chance to stretch and move about. They are usually brief (3-5 minutes)



· Choose energizers that are conducive to your specific environment and situation; i.e. consider your age group, classroom size, how well you know the group and how well they know one other.

· Develop your own energizers for your group.

· Other energizers have been developed, look around for references that contain energizers.




Basket, baton, (stick).


1. Ask everybody to sit around in a circle.

2. Get a volunteer who shall start off as the policeperson.

3. The volunteer stands in the middle near the room, taps a person seated and runs and places the baton in the basket.

4. Policeperson should then run and occupy the place of the person that was tapped - referred to as a culprit.

5. The person who was tapped should aim at picking up the ‘baton’ from the basket and chase the policeperson and try to tap him/her before s/he sits down in the culprit’s chair.

6. If the policeperson sits down in the culprit’s place before the culprit taps him/her, then the culprit becomes the new policeperson and the game continues.


· The game is better if the circle is large so that there is a fair distance to run (3 to 4 metres).

· The ‘baton’ or stick should NOT be thrown in the basket but rather placed there.






1. Explain to the group that the floor area is really a map of Uganda, which direction is North etc. Agree with them where one or two towns/landmarks would be on the map.

2. Every participant should move to stand where their village/district is located.

3. The facilitator gives out the following instructions to the group who must respond appropriately in accordance with the perceived level of problem in their area.

· not a problem or issue - sit down,
· a small problem - kneel down
· rampant - stand up
· very serious problem - stand on tiptoe or jump

4. Facilitator reads out/presents a number of issues, problems:

· malaria
· Aids
· happy homes
· defilement/rape
· abstinence
· farming
· democracy
· good marriages
· drug abuse
· faithfulness
· equal rights for girls
· pre marital sex
· wife beating
· oppression of women
· condom use

5. The objective is to read the issues out quickly so that people have to move equally quickly.


· You may choose to stop the activity from time to time to foster discussion on a particular issue.






1. Participants stand up and space themselves evenly around the room in such a manner that will not collide or hit each other.

2. The facilitator does a trial to ensure the participants have understood the instructions. For example, the facilitator gives out the following key:

You should only follow the instructions if they start with ‘Nafuna says’. For example ‘Nafuna says, hop on one leg’. ‘Nafuna says turn round’ etc. If the instruction is just called out on its own, for example, ‘turn around’, ‘raise your right arm’ etc., participants should not follow the instruction.

3. People who carry out the instructions when they do not start with ‘Nafuna says’ should sit down.


· This activity may/could be made more interesting if one of the participants is asked to call out the actions.

· Pick a name that is easy to pronounce, fun and not the name of one of the participants



(Choose your own name)




1. Choose a popular song and select an energetic song leader.

2. Sing-a-long

3. In between the song/verses the choir/song leader may chant.



Participants should echo back with a loud clear answer “YES”

Suggestions for good songs

· Patriotic “Chaka muchaka songs”
· Football team slogans
· Nursery rhymes i.e. Old McDonald had a Farm.


· Actions could be added to it.


‘FISHERS OF MEN’ (A well known song)




1. Participants start off seated

2. Song leader starts the song

3 While the song is sung, males stand up at each word that starts with ‘M’ and females stand up at each word that starts with ‘F’.

4. Song gets faster and faster (in Tempo).


· Only use the song if you know and/or the participants know it.






1. Place enough chairs/benches in a circle for each participant to sit on

2. Facilitator stands in the middle, with no chair.

3. Facilitator calls out a task that gets people moving and swapping places. Nobody should return to the same chair/position. Examples of such statements could be:

· “all people putting on black shoes, change places”.
· “all people wearing T-shirts, change places”.
· “all people whose names start with the letter A, change places”.

4. As they move, the person in the middle also runs for a chair

5. The person who fails to get a chair stands in the middle and calls out the next instruction.


· To end the game the facilitator may consider ‘failing’ to get a chair so that s/he is deliberately left standing.

· This is a way of getting people into different pairs or small groups.






1. Facilitator explains that s/he wants people to demonstrate the activity called out. Participants stand up and walk slowly around the room. When the facilitator calls out “running shoes”, participants must imagine that they are running.

2. Examples of other statements to use with participants:

· walking shoes (participants demonstrate walking)
· slippery shoes (participants demonstrate slipping around)
· quiet shoes
· dancing shoes
· army boots






1. Participants stand in a circle facing into the circle

2. Participants pat their knees to make the sound of the type of rain mentioned.

Examples of statements - actions...

· a drizzle - (gently pat)
· a storm - (heavy patting)
· thunder - (a big clap etc.).


· This activity can be modified by you to be something else i.e. a dog and related statements; cow, horse etc.






1. Ask participants to pair up.
2. Ask one to volunteer to be a leader and the other a follower.
3. The follower should close his/her eyes and stretch out her/his hand and offer 1 finger.
4. The leader puts out his/her finger and places it on the follower’s finger.
5. Leader then takes the follower around the room without any collisions.
6. The follower should keep eyes closed at all time.
7. After 2 minutes ask each pair people to exchange roles.


· This activity can be used more than once in different sessions and include questions on how people felt as they moved around the room. Consider both perspectives, leader and follower.

· This activity should only be used after the participants have become familiar with each other since it can sometimes be quite threatening.






1. Divide the class into teams (two or three).

2. (Explain that the objective of the game is for them to bring objects to you. The quickest team gets marks.

3. Facilitator then calls for objects.

· bring me......... an ear ring
· bring me......... a belt
· bring me......... a leaf
· bring me......... etc.


· Make sure there is no physical damage to any individuals, or embarrassment at having to remove certain items of clothing!


2.1 Brainstorming
2.2 Questionnaires
2.3 Ranking
2.4 Case Studies
2.5 Role Plays
2.6 Drawing
2.7 Discussion
2.8 Buzz Group
2.9 Tableaux
2.10 Story Telling
2.11 Processing
2.12 Utilising the Creative Abilities of the Participants/Students


Since the aim of this initiative is to elicit, examine and develop life skills of the students, it is essential that participatory methods are used. They have several advantages:

· The more the students are engaged, the more they are able to develop their life skills. You cannot develop critical thinking by listening to lectures on the subject. Similarly you cannot develop the psychosocial skills without trying them out with others and practising them.

· Participatory approaches open up the syllabus in new ways because they start with the assumption that students already know many things. Thus, by eliciting what they know through different activities, the tutor is able to build on the knowledge they already have.



Brainstorming is a way of obtaining as many views as possible in a short space of time. Participants, in groups, or in a whole class are encouraged to give as many ideas as they can think of on a particular subject.

This can be done anonymously using cards, or on pieces of paper, or by students calling out their ideas which are all written on the board. In this first stage, all ideas are accepted and no challenges are allowed.

After all the ideas have been exhausted, the tutor can ask the groups to prioritise, or choose the most important 3 or 4 or 5 ideas. This is a good activity when introducing a new topic.


1. Draw a large ship on newsprint with lines beneath it to depict water. Label the drawing RelationSHIP.

2. Ask students to give ideas on what keeps a relationship afloat. Once all the ideas have been collected, each group will draw their own ship on a sheet of paper and choose the five most important things required to keep the boat afloat. These can be written round the water line of the ship.

3. Students brainstorm again on what leads to the sinking of relationships. They then prioritise the five most damaging aspects that can be drawn as rocks near the ship.

4. Groups stick their ships on the wall. Students move around looking at the different ships.

5. Class discussion on why priorities differ. Other processing questions might include:

(i) What do you notice about the positive things listed for the different relationships?

(ii) What do you notice about the negative things?

(iii) When you were working in your small groups, how similar or different were the responses of men from women? Why do you think this is so?

(iv) Which qualities do you think are the most difficult to find in a relationship?




These are different from normal research questionnaires since their aim is not to collect data but to give the students an opportunity to assess their own attitudes, feelings and emotions about a particular issue. Thus the questionnaires try to make provocative statements which will lead the students to confront truthfully what they think.


1. Give out the questionnaire to all students to fill in individually. If there are no duplicating facilities, write the questionnaire on the chalkboard and ask students to copy and fill in.


For each of the following statements write A (if you agree) D (if you disagree) or ?
(If you don’t know).

(i) Girls wearing short skirts are asking to be raped.

(ii) It is OK for a man to have more than one woman as long as he practises safe sex and provides for his children.

(iii) A wife is more likely to get AIDS than a prostitute.

(iv) Parents should talk to their children about AIDS.

(v) It is more important to send a boy to school than a girl.

(vi) To have sex with a girl before she reaches the age of 18 is defilement.

(vii) Women are more faithful than men.

(viii) Raising a child by yourself makes more sense than marrying a man you don’t love.


2. After filling in the questionnaires, students form groups and discuss their answers.

3. After reaching as much consensus as possible, groups present their answers to plenary.


· Because such questionnaires are very sensitive, the facilitator should be careful about how s/he introduces it and ensures that the ground rules for discussion are followed. The discussion, for example, should allow for tolerance of other peoples’ viewpoints.

· The facilitator does not have to go round finding out what each person believes. An atmosphere of confidentiality encourages participants to be honest in their answers.

· Some of the items in the questionnaire can also be connected to issues of knowledge e.g. the tutor can take advantage of this to provide the essential knowledge where necessary.


1. Give the following questionnaire to the students in groups.


· What would you do if:

(i) You won 20 million shillings in a lottery and you have to spend it quickly?
(ii) You have a free day with no responsibilities at all?

· What would you change if you could only change one thing:

(i) in your community?
(ii) in the world?

2. Students discuss in groups and present to plenary.


· These sort of open-ended questionnaires with no right or wrong, firm or fixed answers can enable students to discuss certain life issues and reach their own decisions from the choices available.



Ranking is another way of encouraging students to assess their own values and attitudes. They have to decide which aspects are more or less important to them and give reasons for their decisions.

This will allow them the opportunity to clarify their own values and attitudes.


1. Divide the students into groups and ask them to rank the following in order of importance.


(i) Popularity
(ii) Academic success
(iii) A good salary
(iv) To own land
(v) Marriage and a family
(vi) To enjoy life

2. Groups present their ranking to the plenary for further discussion.



Case studies can be true or imaginary descriptions of a situation, or a character. They can be used:

· To provoke thought and discussion on various issues
· To give the tutor a chance to assess how much the students know about a particular topic.


1. Divide the class into groups and distribute the case study.

Atieno comes from a poor family in Kampala. She went to school up to P7 after which she returned home to help her mother with her petty trading. When she was 16, a primary school teacher met her selling groundnuts on the street. He liked her and proposed marriage to her. He was quite young and handsome.

2. Ask the groups to answer the following questions.

(i) List the arguments for and against Atieno getting married.
(ii) If you were Atieno, what would you do? Why?

3. Groups report to plenary.


· It is vital that the case study does not give the answer, but rather provokes debate. If, for example, the case study showed Atieno getting married and dying in childbirth, there is no discussion, only a message.

· While this case study is directed at students’ attitudes to marriage and relationships, it can also be used by the tutor to find out the students’ knowledge on the law (defilement below the age of 18), the dangers of getting pregnant before the age of 18 and children’s rights.


Comparative case studies such as the one in the Unit on “Our Health” at the beginning of Section Four.


The case study could be in the form of a letter.

Dear Auntie,

We have started a health club in our school. We participate in child to child activities and try to advise people to keep their surroundings clean. The only problem is the local marwa bar which is always very dirty. It is owned by the LC1 and his wife is the main brewer. She just laughs when I try and explain to her.

What should I do in this situation as children often play in the dirt? Kato.

1. If you were the auntie, how would you reply to this letter?
2. Do you think that similar situations exists in your school/home area?
3. What do you think can be done to improve the situation?



Role plays are not dramas with fixed characters and dialogue. They are rather presentations of situations which the students can act out in order to explore situations, feelings towards situations and different strategies to cope with situations. They are very useful in providing students with a chance to react to simulated situations and test how effective or valid their reactions might be.


1. Explain the role play to the class.

Sara is a P7 girl preparing for the exams. When she goes to do her homework with her friend Mary, Mary’s brother, Michael who is S3 is always very keen to help her with her mathematics. One day, Sara finds herself alone with Michael. Michael reveals that he is interested in Sara.

2. Ask the class to divide into pairs and act out what they think would happen between Michael and Sara. Tell them to think about how each of them feels, what are their options, who is more at risk, what should they do.

3. Students discuss and act in pairs.

4. Ask for volunteers to act out in front of the class.

5. Students discuss on both the methods used by Michael to convince (or force) Sara and Sara’s different methods for coping with the situation.


· The situation could be linked to a lesson on STDs/HIV/AIDS to provide the knowledge element.


A ‘rolling role play’

1. Explain to the students that they are going to do a role play in several stages so that they can act out how they would behave at each stage.

2. Give stage one of the role play.

You live in with your mother, your stepfather and your two brothers and one sister. One day you are left in the house on your own. Your stepfather calls you into his room. What would you do?

3. Ask for one student to act the stepfather and another the girl.

4. After they act the scene, call for comments on the behaviour of both the characters. If someone disagrees with the way either behaved invite them to come and act how they think the uncle or the girl should have behaved. If they are too shy, they can ask someone to act on their behalf but they should be encouraged to try themselves.

5. After all possibilities have been explored and discussed, move the role play one step forward.

The girl enters the room and finds the stepfather on the bed. He calls her to sit on the bed.

What would you do?

6. Repeat as above.

Alternative scenario

Stage 1: You have agreed to go with a friend to a birthday party. When you arrive there, you find that several people are already drunk. Your friend immediately joins the drinking and calls you to join him. You don’t want to drink.


1. What would you do?

After possibilities have been explored, the role play moves forward.

Stage 2: You have agreed to join in drinking a bit to keep company with your friends. One of them introduces marijuana and uses the same arguments that were used to convince you to drink.

2. What would you do?

Obviously this particular activity could be linked to a component on alcohol and other drugs to provide the knowledge input.


· It should be stressed that with role plays, as with case studies, the aim is not to provide messages but rather to provoke (self-) questioning that will eventually lead the children to making their own decisions and adopting particular coping strategies in specific situations.



Drawing activities are another good way of encouraging students to represent their feelings. They can do this individually or in groups.


(i) One form of self introduction is to encourage students either to draw their lives the way they think they are heading and the way they would like to head.

(ii) Groups draw the health promoting/demoting school as explained in the next session.

(iii) Students could prepare a picture in groups on the roles and responsibilities of different members of a family, e.g. a boy child and a girl child.



Discussions and debates give children the opportunity to gain knowledge, check out their own myths and misconceptions, learn new skills such as listening (critically) and clarify their attitudes and values. Ground rules are needed to ensure that all individuals are allowed to express their viewpoints.



These are not as formal as group discussions. They normally involve a brief discussion of participants with their neighbours in the room. They are used to allow informal discussion on an issue so that people can relax and try out their ideas before they are put to the test in a more formal discussion.



Tableaux are a more stylised form of role play which encourage students to think and discuss certain issues within the context of working out how best to represent them.

1. Divide the participants into groups

2. Ask each group to prepare a ‘frozen statue’ that depicts, for example, the feelings and state of a pregnant schoolgirl, or the needs of an AIDS sufferer. You could either ask to each group to prepare a tableau on a similar issue or each group could take a separate issue and present it to the rest of the class for discussion.

3. After the presentation, the facilitator can ask several processing questions.

· Why did you choose such a tableau

· How did you feel when preparing the tableau

· How did you feel when you were the pregnant girl/angry father/AIDS sufferer etc.

· What could be done in real life to change the tableau to a more positive portrayal.



Story telling is part of our childhood and upbringing. Everyone can remember some stories they were told and they are an important source of learning about life. They can be used to illustrate and discuss a variety of life situations requiring life skills to deal with them. Stories can be presented in many different ways, through traditional tales using animals such as those in Hare and Hornbill by Okot p’Bitek which were in fact originally created as a way of commenting on the life of the community and teaching life skills to the children. Alternatively stories can be used from the Sara Communication Initiative or the teacher, or students can make up their own stories to suit different situations. Stories can be told in different ways such as this letter below.

Dear Auntie,

I really want to study so that I can escape from this life of poverty but what can I do when I don’t even have time to study. I have really struggled to get to secondary school but as the subjects get more difficult, I think I am going to fail. Just imagine, I wake up every day at 5.00am. I fetch the water, sweep the compound and wash the clothes for my little brother and sister before going to school. My brother wakes up at 7.00 am, prepares for school and goes.

At school I do my best to study but because I ate nothing before leaving the house, when it gets to midday, I start falling asleep. The teachers get angry with me but what can I do. In the evening my brother weeds the garden while I do the housework and help my mother cook. After eating, my brother can start doing his homework but I have to wash the dishes first. After that I try to study but within half an hour, I am falling asleep.

At the weekend we both go to the farm but when we get back my brother goes to play football after which he says, ‘he has the job of bathing’ while I start to do the housework. My brother washes his clothes when he feels like it, but he makes sure I realise that he is doing me a favour. To tell you the truth auntie, although I do my best to help my mother, sometimes I pretend to be sick because that is the only way I can get a chance to rest.

So what should I do so that I can study like the others? My brother tells me that I don’t do well in class because girls are not as intelligent as boys. He says that boys are more curious which is why they do better in science. Sometimes I am tempted to believe with him because he always makes fun of the way I enjoy cooking. But then I remember that while he is playing with batteries and making his own little radio or torch, I am washing the dishes or fetching the water. When do I have the time to study like him? And if I was not so tired, wouldn’t I be as curious as he is?

Yours fed up,



1. If you were the auntie, how would you reply to this letter?
2. Do you think that such a situation exists in relation to your school/home area?
3. What do you think can be done to improve the situation?
4. Why do you think boys tend to do better in science than girls?



As with the introductory activities, it is important that individuals have the opportunity to say how they feel about particular activities or situations and how it affected them. In this way the facilitator can assess her/his activities and to what extent they are being effective in engaging the participants and challenging them to think about the issues and life skills being raised through the activities. One part of such assessment is always observation of how participants are reacting, but processing questions allows a more reflective assessment and also encourages the participants to think about the purpose and value of activities rather than just participating in them.

Some questions that may be asked are:

· How did you feel about the activity?
· How (much) did it challenge your thinking/attitudes?
· How have you changed? (Or not?)
· How do you think the group has changed?
· What helped?
· What hindered?
· How might you apply this activity in training/teaching?
· Which life skills are promoted in this activity?



It would be a mistake for a facilitator to think that s/he has to produce all the material her/himself. Very often it will be the task of the facilitator to produce the preliminary activities but, after that, s/he can draw on the creativity and experience of the participants/students to produce supplementary activities.

This can be done in several ways.


· After presenting a case study, students can be asked to prepare case studies of their own which reflect different situations/dilemmas/problems they face.

· Students will act the role plays and, in cases where the tutor requires one participant in a role play to have a clearly defined or very persuasive role, instead of acting it him/herself can coach a student to do it on her/his behalf.

· If the tutor is not confident of her/his drawing skills (and for the purpose of teaching they do not have to be good) s/he can ask one of the students to prepare the drawing required in advance.


Workshop A: How to Identify the Needs of a 13 Year Old Ugandan Child
Workshop B: What Are the Priorities for the Education of Children?
Workshop C: Introducing Life Skills Concepts
Workshop D: Attitudes to Life Skills
Workshop E: The Aims of Life Skills
Workshop F: The Health Promoting School
Workshop G: Promoting Self-esteem in School.



· Make sure that you, as the facilitator have read thoroughly and understood Section 1 of the manual (you may wish to photocopy or write some of the information on a large piece of paper for reference during the training).



By the end of the session, participants will be able to:

1. Identify the needs of a 13 year old Ugandan child, the influences on him/her, the factors around him/her and the current provisions made for him/her

2. Demonstrate the need for life skills education in response to his/her needs

Time: 45 to 60 minutes


Markers, large sheets of paper, cello-tape.


1. Divide the participants into small groups of approximately 4-5 people

2. Give a large sheet of paper, markers and masking tape to each group.

3. Allocate tasks to be discussed to every group as shown below:

(i) The needs of a Ugandan child
(ii) The influences on the child
(iii) The factors to consider for a Ugandan child.
(iv) The current provisions for a Ugandan child.

4. Allow 15-20 minutes for the groups to discuss and draw up their findings

5. In plenary discuss and summarize the participants findings.

6. Discuss the following processing questions on the whole activity

(i) What has been learned about the Ugandan child?
(ii) How do you think schools are currently meeting the needs of the Ugandan child?
(iii) In what ways are schools currently not meeting the needs of the Ugandan child?
(iv) How might a school work towards meeting some of these needs?
(v) How will a life skills approach help the Ugandan child?
(vi) Any other comments?

Ugandan Child

Learning points

· Examples of some of the answers from participants in the pre-test workshops were:

(i) Needs

· Parental love and guidance

· Absence of conflict in a family

· Security, shelter, protection

· Education (formal and informal)

· To be trusted and respected

· Freedom of speech, expression

· Lifeskills such as self awareness, self esteem, decision making, problem solving, ability to withstand negative pressures and to communicate and negotiate their position and feelings..

· Ability to weigh and analyse situations

· Ability to take initiatives and be responsible

· Equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities etc.

(ii) Influences on the 13 year Ugandan child

· At home: Parents influence the training, discipline, responsibilities, love, financial support, education, values and attitudes.

Brothers and sisters - playing, sharing responsibilities
Aunts/uncles - counselling, cultural and traditional practices, financial support, accommodation, feeding etc.

· At school: Curricula - objectives, methods, contact teachers, resource materials, assessment. Students/pupils, support staff, school environment.

· Community: Neighbours, clan civic leaders, religious leaders.

· Social services: Health centres, schools, roads, Churches/Mosques,

· Culture: Beliefs, practices, ethnicity, dressing.

· Economic: Income generating activities

· Media: Newspapers, radio, TV, Videos,

· Environment: Social, physical, biological

(iii) Factors to consider

· Religion

· Cultural practices, beliefs,

· Level of education of parents and children

· School

· Boarding or day
· Mixed or single
· Rural, urban or semi urban
· Registered or not
· Private or Government

· Peer pressures

· Environment - Urban or rural, slums, outskirts, highclass residential areas.

· Economic, Social, Political factors.

· Constitutional/Legislature

· Economic policies - stability, peace, nutrition, social status, food security.

(iv) Provisions for 13 year Ugandan child

· Academic content
· Vocational skills
· Political Education
· Health Education
· Politicization/military training
· Programmes on radios, TV, Newspaper, Magazines
· Religious activities
· Parental and family guidance, including delegation of family responsibilities
· Cultural socialisation and initiation
· Health services



In order to have an effective lifeskills programme, it is crucial that we start by understanding the needs and priorities of children. This is not always easy because our own experience as adults often form the basis of what we would like our children to know.


By the end of the session, participants should be able to:

1. Identify the lifeskills needs for children in terms of knowledge, attitudes and skills.

2. Prioritise the needs of children as a basis for a life skills programme.

Time: 30-45 minutes


Pieces of paper, each with a value, skill or knowledge, large sheets of paper, markers target board such as the one below.

What are the Priorities of Children


1. Prepare packs of cards of knowledge, skills and values. Use a different colour for each component (i.e. blue for knowledge cards, yellow for skills and white for attitudes)

2. Explain to the participants the purpose of this activity: identifying the needs of children.

3. Divide the participants into groups of 4/5 and give each group a pack of cards.

4. Ask the group members to draw a target board with 3 circles (see above).

5. Ask participants to read each card and discuss where to place it on the target depending on how important they think it is. If there are other cards that they reject, they should place them outside the target. If there is any disagreement on where a card should be placed, they should discuss until agreement is reached or leave turned over. Some ‘blank’ cards should also be provided to allow participants to write their own.

6. Ask the groups to reconvene. Get some feed back on which colour or cards were placed where. What was the mixture of knowledge, skills and attitudes in the central area?

On the basis of their answers, discuss:

(i) What they feel would be priority areas for a life skills programme for children, and why?

(ii) What are/is the role of knowledge attitude and skills vis-a-vis this exercise?

(iii) What they would consider to be the four most important knowledge, skills and attitudes components?


· Make sure you have prepared enough sets of cards in advance.

To be put on the cards

Statements on knowledge and understanding:

· Sources of legal information and advice.
· Similarities and differences between themselves and others.
· Decision making in a democracy.
· Rights and responsibilities of citizenship.
· Nature of relationships in families, peer groups, friendships and work.
· How they can cause changes for better or worse.
· Legal and moral aspects of sexual relationships and marriage.
· The nature of rules and law.
· Nature of work/career opportunities.
· Human growth - awareness of emotional, psychological and social development.
· Their own personality, needs, abilities, interests.
· Healthy living.
· How to deal with situations if they are bullied or abused.
· Drink.
· Drugs.
· Driving.

Statements on attitudes/qualities:

· Independence of mind
· Self-knowledge.
· Sense of humour.
· Self-criticism.
· Rationality.
· Determination.
· Patience.
· Perseverance.
· Empathy.
· Commitment.
· Self-reliance/self-discipline/self-respect.
· Self-esteem.
· Sense of fairness/respect for processes of law and legal rights of others.
· Honesty.
· Consideration for others.
· Tolerance.
· Respect for ways of life, opinions and ideas of others.

Statements on skills:

· Cope confidently and effectively with unfamiliar people or situations.
· Being actively involved.
· Present coherent arguments.
· Goal setting and action planning.
· Teamwork.
· Asking for help.
· Creativity.
· Managing information including taking instruction.
· Making and taking decisions.
· Communication.
· Use available evidence to make sensible choices.
· Learn from mistakes.
· Imagination.
· Take initiatives and act responsibly.
· Behaving assertively in appropriate circumstances.
· Leadership.
· Take initiatives.



Explaining the concepts of life skills to a group of trainees can become a dull and boring chalk and talk affair. In order to prevent this, it is suggested that the facilitator engage the participants with an activity so that most of the concepts can be elicited from them.


By the end of the session, participants should be able to:

1. Identify the life skills present and lacking in the role play.
2. Explain the importance of life skills.
3. Explain the interrelationship between life skills and culture.

Time: 30-45 minutes


Large sheets of paper, markers or chalk and chalk board.


1. Ask for 6 volunteers to act in the role play ‘Mutonyi’s dilemma’, Mutonyi, her father, her uncle, uncle’s friend and two children.

2. Volunteers act the following role play:

Mutonyi finds her father lying on the bed with a very severe attack of malaria. She tries to rouse him but he can hardly speak. She runs to her uncle’s house to get help. Her uncle is talking with a friend. Mutonyi fears to interrupt them so she sits some distance away. Uncle notices Mutonyi is uneasy and looks at her inquiringly but Mutonyi just looks down nervously. At the same time she keeps on moving nearer to the uncle whenever she thinks he isn’t looking at her.

Finally the uncle turns and asks her in a firm voice what the problem is. Mutonyi reveals that her father is seriously sick. The uncle is shocked and asks Mutonyi why she didn’t tell him at once. Mutonyi just looks down at the ground. The uncle runs with his friend to see his brother.

3. Ask participants to form groups and write the following questions on the chalk board.

(i) Why did Mutonyi go to her uncle’s house?
(ii) What problem did she face when she arrived there? What did she do? Why?
(iii) Do girls in your area behave like Mutonyi? Why?
(iv) If you were Mutonyi what would you have done in that situation?
(v) What qualities does Mutonyi have? What qualities does she need to develop?

4. Group leaders present their answers to the rest.

5. Facilitator wraps up by discussing the life skills identified and the way they interact with cultural issues.

Learning points

· Mutonyi’s lack of assertiveness was a definite drawback in this situation.

· Her lack of assertiveness is connected with cultural norms and socialisation. For example, girls/women must not look into the eyes of men when talking, as a sign of submission.


· Ensure that you have read through Section 1 of the manual, especially the sub-section on ‘what are life skills’.

· Participants may not use the life skills terminologies used in this manual. This does not matter as it is the underlying concepts, not the terminologies that are important. The terminologies can come later.

Extension activity

1. If there is time, the role play can be repeated with slight changes in roles. Mutonyi now tries desperately to tell her uncle what has happened but he glares at her and tells her to keep quiet when he is talking to his friend.

2. Facilitator leads the discussion on the role of culture and its effect on life skills with the aim of finding a marriage between the two.



By the end of the workshop, participants should be able to:

1. Express their opinions on life skills
2. Analyse reservations to life skills
3. Reach a consensus about the role and place of life skills education

Time: 30 minutes


Copies of the ‘Attitudes to Life’ questionnaire. (Alternatively the facilitator can write the questionnaire on the chalkboard/large sheet of paper.


1. Give each participant a copy of the following questionnaire. For each statement ask them to write (A) if they agree, (D) if they disagree and (?) if they are not sure or are neutral.


Attitudes to Life Skills Questionnaire

(i) Life skills education goes against Ugandan culture

(ii) The most important life skill is passing examinations

(iii) We should base our teaching on the experiences and knowledge children already have.

(iv) The problem with life skills is that they only talk about sex.

(v) Life skills should be learnt in life, not in school.

(vi) Using the cane should be banned in school.

(vii) Life skills should be the basis of the school curriculum.

(viii) Knowledge by itself is like uncooked maize flour, potentially good and nutritious, but only if cooked with other ingredients.

2. Divide the participants into groups of five or six in order to discuss their answers.

3. Groups report back to the plenary and final discussion is carried out.



By the end of the session, participants should be able to:

1. Explain the main aims of life skills education
2. Prioritise the different life skills needed
3. Develop a ‘mission statement’ on the direction and focus of life skills education.

Time: 30-45 minutes


A set of statements for each group, ‘diamond’.


1. Divide participants into groups of three to five. Handout sets of statements on the aims of lifeskills to each group.

2. Participants discuss the aims in their groups ranking them as most important, important, least important.

3. Participants arrange the aims (or their corresponding numbers) in a diamond pattern as shown in the diagram.


4. Participants are asked to write one more aim to make a total of 9 and fit it in their ranking.

5. Participants go round looking at how the other groups have ranked their aims.

6. Facilitator summarizes groups views and makes conclusive comments basing them on what the participants have come up with.

7. Groups try do decide upon a statement that captures the main aim of life skills education. This can then form the ‘mission statement.


(Photocopy/Write and Cut to Make a Set)


(i) To provide knowledge and information about human relationships and lifestyles.


(ii) To promote positive attitudes towards cultural, ethnic and religious diversity, gender equality and people with special needs.


(iii) To promote an individual’s self confidence, self esteem and self worth.


(iv) To explore feelings and emotions in order to create a greater self awareness and to develop the skills to manage them.


(v) To create an ethos in which self discipline and respect for others are important values.


(vi) To provide equal opportunities for each student to fulfil their personal, social and academic potential.


(vii) To teach pupils how to behave.


(viii) To make pupils aware of the social, economic and political influences on their behaviour.


(ix) Write one of your own.



By the end of the session, participants should be able to:

1. Explain the concept of a health promoting school.
2. Identify those aspects which make a school health promoting or vice versa.
3. Identify those steps that can realistically be taken to make their schools more health promoting.



Time: 60 to 80 minutes.


One copy of the handout ‘Moving from traditional health education towards the health promoting school’ for each participant, large sheets of paper, marker pens.


1. Divide participants into pairs and distribute the handout, “Moving from traditional school health education towards the health promoting school”

2. Explain that each pair will study the handout. It has two columns, one entitled “TRADITIONAL HEALTH EDUCATION” and another, “THE HEALTH PROMOTING SCHOOL”.

3. Explain that there are 3 dimensions to health, illustrate this on the board or a large sheet of paper, as shown below:


4. Ask each pair to study the handout and reflect on the kind of health education that is most common. Explain that they are free to suggest any additions to either columns. They should discuss and record observations. (20 minutes)

5. Ask each set of three pairs to merge to form groups of 6.

6. Ask half the groups to discuss the characteristics of a ‘health demoting school’ and the other half to discuss the characteristics of a ‘health promoting school’.

7. Handout a large sheet of paper and markers to each group and ask each group to represent their findings pictorially on the paper provided. (30 minutes)

8. Each group presents their findings through showing and describing their pictorial representations.

Moving from traditional school health education towards the health promoting school




Considers health education only in limited classroom terms.

Encourages school and community collaboration for a common good, e.g. protecting water sources.


Emphasises personal hygiene and physical health to the exclusion of wider aspects of health.

Also promotes the spiritual, mental and social well-being of the children


Concentrates on health instructions, acquisition of facts and their application in passing exams.

Emphasises that children practise what they learn, using a wide range of methods and developing skills.


Lacks a coherent, coordinated approach which takes account of other influences and deals with children collectively.

Recognises the wide range of influences and attempts to take account of children’s pre-existing experiences, beliefs, values and attitudes, recognising children’s needs.


Tends to respond to a series of perceived problems.

The school follows a life skills promoting curriculum.


Takes limited account of psychosocial factors.

Views the development of a positive self-image as central to the promotion of good health; also views individuals as taking increasing control of their lives.


Recognises the importance of the school and its environment only to a limited extent.

Recognises the importance of the physical environment of the school in terms of aesthetics and direct physiological effects on children and staff.


Does not consider actively the health and well being of staff - measures their worth by the number of children who pass exams.

Views health promotion in the school as relevant to staff well being and recognises the importance of staff as a role model.


Does not involve parents actively in the development of a health education programme.

Considers parental support and cooperation as central to the health promoting school.


Views the role of school health services purely in terms of health screening and disease prevention.

Takes a wider view of school health services which includes screening and disease prevention but also attempts actively to integrate services within the health education curriculum and helps children to become more aware as consumers of health services.


The following are examples of some of the factors that were highlighted in the pretest.


· The only school structures available are dilapidated with hardly any seats or desks for the learners who sit on pieces of wood, logs, mats or even bare floor for seats.

· While it is only the teacher who has a proper desk and chair, s/he demands that every learner must observe maximum cleanliness.

· Within the classroom, the teacher is physically distant from the learners. S/he keeps a bundle of sticks for disciplining offenders. S/he does not refer to this pupils by name, but uses her/his stick to point at them as “You”.

· There are only two classroom blocks on the compound which are built very close together and allow no air to circulate to their occupants who are tightly packed inside them.

· The school meals are cooked in the open, a few paces away from the teachers’ toilet facility, while the pigs feast on the rubbish heap by the cooking site.

· The school has no water supply on the compound. Water is collected from a river, a mile away. Animals drink out of this river, while people wash themselves and their clothes in the same water source. Others defecate or urinate near the river bank.

· The teacher for lack of better recreation, carries a bottle of potent local brew and a few sticks of cigarettes, to the staff room for company as he marks the children’s homework.

· There is no proper playground. The children play on bare ground, with sharp protruding stones and other objects. If they get hurt, they only rub a little saliva into the cuts.

· There is a box labelled “First Aid” but it has been empty and locked for the last twenty years.

· There is only one toilet facility for the whole school. Pupils commonly walk around and do their business behind the latrine. The latrine is full and overflows but the children have no alternative, even when they have to hold their noses against the stench and wade through swarms of flies.

· The headmaster only appears to give directives which the teachers must execute with no question. There is nothing like staff meetings where discussions can take place.


· The school is well set up with adequate space, buildings and sufficient sitting/learning facilities.

· The classes are not crowded, and the teachers are concerned with the individual child. They know them and refer to them by their names.

· The Headmaster enjoys a warm relationship with his staff. Staff meetings are held on a regular basis to discuss possible ways of improving their school.

· The teachers are show exemplary behaviour to their learners.

· There is an open communication between the school and the parents concerning the welfare of their children.

· The school designs instructional materials that encourages to participate in helping their children to practice what they learn from school. The parents send their feedback to the school with suggestions about improvement of the school activities.

· The children have well - maintained pitches and fields for various games. Teachers participate in these games too.

· The school encourages child-to-child health activities.

· The school collaborates with the health committees of the community and other organizations to carry out a number of activities such as protecting water sources, road maintenance and construction of health, and toilet facilities.

· The school participates in inter-sectoral link activities such as courses, seminars, workshops and projects.

· The school works hand in hand with the parents to emphasize immunization of all their children.

· The school has a well maintained rubbish pit and holds cleaning sessions to ensure a healthy environment.

· Trees have been planted around the school and flower gardens.

· There is an agricultural project to promote the good nutrition of the children and staff, and also for practical demonstrations.

· The school uses a lifeskills promoting curriculum.

9. Conclude the activity with the following discussion points.

(i) How do you feel about the health situation in your own school?
(ii) What dangers or advantages do you face in such a health situation?
(iii) What are some of the reasons why your school is what it is?
(iv) What role can you play as a member of your school to improve your environment?
(v) Do you share the health information you learn from school with your family why? or why not?

Learning Points

· Participants (Adolescents) need to know that the school is another bigger family where individual has responsibilities and privileges.

· The school reflects what individuals who attend it are in reality. It is contradictory to look smart in a filthy environment.

· Individuals can resolve to ensure a clean environment and can determine to do it.

· The skills emphasized in the above activity are critical and creative thinking and decision making


· The facilitator is free to use or add whatever may be missing to the descriptions of both the health promoting and demoting schools.



Time: 30 to 45 minutes.


Large sheets of paper, marker pens.


1. Participants brainstorm on ways of making their school more “health promoting”.

2. Write their responses on the board or large pieces of paper. (20 minutes)

3. Explain to the participants that no change or improvement can happen overnight. A number of stages have to be followed which calls for prioritization or putting the most important or urgent items or activities first, followed by those of lesser importance.

4. Participants prioritize the suggestions listed previously.

5. Since it is impossible to deal with all the items at once, ask the participants to pick the first 3 - 5 items on the list and prepare practical aims and strategies for turning them into reality.

6. Write the following on the board/large sheet of paper.



1. ..........


2. ..........


3. ..........


4. ..........


5. ..........


7. Lead the participants to determine their own aims. The following may be some of their responses:

· to plant flowers around the school.
· to maintain a clean and hygienic toilet environment.
· to keep our compound free of litter. (10 minutes)

8. Lead the participants to brainstorm on possible strategies to achieve their aims.

The following may feature as some of their responses:

· each one of us should carry a flower seedling from home every Monday morning.
· each of us should clean and disinfect our toilet facility.
· we should prepare ground rules to ensure that no rubbish is thrown around our compound.

These are just examples. The facilitator is free to adapt them.

9. Conclude the activity by taking the participants through the following discussion points.

(i) What did you learn from the activity?

(ii) What responsibilities do you think you have towards developing a health promoting school?

(iii) What do you hope to do about it?

(iv) Can you come up with your own action plan to take up a specific responsibility? (Explain that each individual will have to make their own action plan which they will carry out throughout the term - pin these action plans at the back of the classroom with their names. The plan may be in just one sentence).

Learning points

· It takes individual determination to effect a change. So each individual must play their part.

· The efforts of improving health needs a lot of voluntarism. No body should be forced, but will need motivation.

· Some of the skills encouraged in this activity are critical thinking, creative thinking, problem solving and decision making.



Self-esteem is an important factor in developing and promoting self-confidence in the students. Students high self-esteem usually tend to behave positively and feel secure and confident.

In school self-esteem is usually developed in the students by the teachers and adults there. When students come to school their self-esteem may be supported and made secure by the teaching and non-teaching staff of the school. This is only possible when the behaviour of members of staff towards students is supportive and warm. However when staff behaviours towards the student are destructive, their self-esteem becomes battered and damaged.


By the end of the session, the participants should be able to:

1. Identify teacher behaviours which are destructive or constructive to the students’ self-esteem in class and school.

2. Analyse the implications of the school rules, regulations and practices

3. Identify and practice some of the practical activities which will promote self esteem of the students.



Time: 30 to 45 minutes.


Large sheets of paper, marker pens.


1. Introduce the objective of this session and explain the concept of self-esteem in students and how important it is to health related behaviour (See introduction to this workshop and the subsection on what are life skills in Section One of this manual)

2. Divide the group into pairs using an appropriate method

3. Ask the participants in each pair to recount to one another some of the experiences which they underwent as a result of their teachers’ behaviour towards them. These experiences may have been destructive or constructive to their esteem.

4. Ask pairs to join together to form groups of four. Each group should list teacher behaviours in two columns as given in the sample below:

Constructive teacher behaviour

Destructive teacher behaviour

· Kindness - being friendly, listening to students, motivating students.

· Supportive - showing concern about student lives, wishing them success, acknowledging their efforts, encouraging discussion

· Fair and impartial - avoidance of discrimination on sex, tribe, religion, socio-economic background, home location, political affiliation.

· Keeping time and promises made to students.

· Respect for child rights.

· Beating, bullying, using bad language towards student.

· Sarcasm, belittling, ridiculing, favoritism, finger pointing, victimization and use of ‘you’ instead of names.

· Sexual abuse, flirting in class, use of degrading, impolite language.

· Drunkenness, shabbiness, lateness, telling lies to students.

· Bad handwriting, being unprepared.

· Making unfair demands on the students.

5. Each group displays and explains their list

6. Process the results with the participants by asking:

(i) Which of the two lists was difficult to compose and why?
(ii) Which items on their lists are part of school rules?
(iii) Which items did not match their expectations?
(iv) Which items went contrary to child rights?
(v) How do these teacher behaviours affect student’s self esteem?
(vi) How will they apply what they have learnt in this session to boost the self esteem of their students?

Extension activity

Ask participants to discuss:

(i) How they could apply what they have learned to their own family and community members.

(ii) How they could encourage parents to promote the self-esteem of their children who are still at home i.e. pre-school kids.



In the light of Section 1, this chapter analyses the current Health Education Syllabus for Grade III Teachers’ college from different points of views.

Firstly, it identifies problem areas within each Unit which could the basis for discussion and life skills education.

Secondly, it addresses the Rights of Children in relation to the topics and life skills required for development of self, family and community.

Thirdly, the Sara communication Initiative (ESAR) and other initiatives and surveys are used to identify girl/Gender issues which are also a basis for discussion and life skills study.

Finally, potential life skills that can be highlighted in each topic through using interactive methods have been identified.









Concept of health

Concept of Life Skills and health

Childrens rights concerning health

Promotion of good health

Environment factors influencing health

Growth and development in relation to health

Role of individual, family and community

Inadequate concept of health

Environment and health

Role of individual, family and community

Beliefs and practices i.e. use of latrines

To grow up in a peaceful, caring and secure environment and to have the basic necessities of life including food, health care, clothing and shelter (NCC for children - Uganda)

State to ensure to the maximum extent possible the survival and development of the child (Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) Article, 6)


Son preference

Early marriage

Child parent

Interpersonal relationship

effective communication

To develop functional concept of health for self, family and community

Role plays


Case studies

Observation and recording


Poor sanitation

Poor ventilation in living houses and kitchens

Inadequate provision of clean and safe water

(As above Article 6.)

Right to grow up in a peaceful, caring and secure environment (NCC)

Extra work load

Son preference

Problem solving

Decision making

Critical thinking

Ensuring wholesome environment for self, family and community

Flash cards with statements for discussion

Practical activities

Observation and recording










Coping with growing up

Coping with disabilities

Appropriate care for the body

Cultural beliefs and practices

Health protection through immunisation and proper health care (NCC)

Disabled children to be treated with the same dignity as other children (NCC)

To refuse to be subjected and to be protected from harmful initiation rites, social and customary practices (NCC)

To be protected from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse (CRC Article 19)

Sexual abuse

Violence and abuse

Female genital mutilation

Other initiation rites

Self awareness





Proper growth and development

Care and protection for the body

Care for the disabled

Case studies


Role plays


Need for food

Food availability, production, security and utilisation

Inadequate knowledge on foods and nutrition

Cultural beliefs and practices

Basic necessities of life including food (NCC)

Son preference

Access to food

Extra work load


Problem solving

Self awareness

Develop health feeding habits for self, family and community



Role plays


Dietary surveys


Unsafe environment

Managing and coping with accidents

Right to grow up in a peaceful, caring and secure environment (NCC)

Right to be protected from economic exploitation and from performing any work likely to be hazardous or interfere with child’s health (CRC, Article 32)

Right to be protected form all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse (Article 19)

Access to education

Accidents related to gender roles


Coping with stress

Critical thinking

Creative thinking

Self Confidence

To ensure safety for self, family and community

Case study

Story telling

Role play





Concept of disease


Communicable and non-communicable

Prevention and control

Lack of knowledge

Socio-economic factors

Right to protection through immunization and health care (NCC)

Sexual abuse


Lack of access to health care


Problem solving

Interpersonal relationship

Peer resistance

Promote healthy living for self, family, and community

Case study



Role play

Story telling





Modes of transmission

Pre-disposing factors

Signs and symptoms

Prevention of AIDS

Patients and Orphans

Moving from knowledge to behavioural change

Socio-economic context

Beliefs and cultural practices

Coping with people with HIV/AIDS and orphans

Right to refuse and be protected from harmful initiation rites and other harmful social and customary practices (NCC)


Sexual abuse

Wife inheritance

Lack of vocational skills/career options

Limited expectations

Peer resistance

Problem solving


Decision making

Friendship formation

Coping with emotions

To discourage risky behaviour

Role play

Case studies


Flash cards

Life line



Story telling

Songs, poems


Mouth structures and their functions

Types of teeth

Tooth decay and tooth and gum care

Mouth problems and remedies

Cultural beliefs and practices

Lack of awareness

Beliefs and practices

Right to have basic necessities of life including health (NCC)

Right to refuse to be subjected to harmful initiation rites and other harmful social and customary practices (NCC)

Access to health care

Initiation rites

Self awareness

Peer resistance


To develop the concept of Oral Health for self, family, and community

Story telling



Role play

Dialogue Letters

Case study

Observation and recording


Immunisation and Immunisable diseases

Promotion of immunisation

Incomplete immunisation

Beliefs and lack of awareness e.g. girls of child bearing age to go for tetanus injections

Right to health protection through immunisation and appropriate health care (NCC, CRC)

Lack of family life Education

Self awareness

Decision making

Critical thinking

Effective Communication

To ensure health protection through immunisation for self, family and community

Role play

Field trip

Songs and Rhymes



Case Study



The mother and safe motherhood

The child and child care

Role of father

Coping with parenthood

Lack of family life Education and family planning

Right to grow in a peaceful, caring and secure environment and also to have the basic necessities of life including food, health care, clothing and shelter. (NCC)

Right to name and nationality (NCC)

Right to have his/her basic interests given priority in any decision made concerning the child (NCC)

Right to enjoy the highest attainable standard of health and facilities (CRC Article 24)

Right to be protected from all forms of physical, mental violence (CRC Art. 19)

Both parents have common responsibility for the upbringing and development of the child (CRC Art. 18)

Access to health care

Family life Education

Early marriage and pregnancy

Female genital mutilation


Coping with emotion

Coping with stress

Interpersonal relationship


To develop skills for coping with demands of parenthood

Case study

Role play



Survey field trip



Story telling


The concept of essential drugs and disease patterns

Drug use education

Misuse of drugs e.g. Over/under dosage and drug dependence

When ill, a child should have the right to receive proper medical care (NCC)

Right to be protected from illicit use of drugs or to be used in illicit production and trafficking of drugs (CRC)

Right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health and to facilitate for the treatment of illness and rehabilitation of health (CRC Art. 24)

Access to health care


Access to education

Self awareness

Coping with stress

Decision making

Effective Communication

To ensure proper use of drugs and avoid use of narcotics or harmful drugs



Role play survey



Story telling


Family type and members

Social Problems e.g. Juvenile delinquency, alcoholism, drug abuse

Marriage relations

Social economic

Poor parenting

Juvenile delinquency

Violence Drug abuse

Alcohol taking


Poor marriage relations

Same rights irrespective of sex, religion, custom, rural or urban background, nationality, tribe, race, marital status of parents or opinion (NCC)

Right to refuse and to be protected from harmful initiation rites and other harmful social customary practices (NCC)

Right to leisure which is not harmful. To play and participate in sports and positive cultural and artistic activities (NCC)

Both parents have common responsibility for the upbringing and development of the child (CRC, Art. 18)

Protection by the State from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse (NCC, CRC Art. 19)

Right to be protected from all forms of sexual abuse and sexual exploitation (CRC Art. 34)

Push out from school


Lack of counselling

Child exploitation

Sexual abuse and incest

Early marriage

Early pregnancy


Son preference

Limited expectations and opportunities

Peer resistance

Conflict resolution

Friend-ship formation

Coping with emotion

Coping with stress


Interpersonal relations

To ensure positive behaviour and relationships for the benefit of self, family and community

Role play




Devil’s Advocate


Case study



Myths about diseases

Traditional medicine

Traditional healers and birth attendants

Witch craft

Beliefs and Practices

Efficacy and dosage

Right to be protected from customary practices which are prejudicial to a child’s health (NCC)

Female genital mutilation



Human sacrifice

Critical thinking

Decision making

Effective Communication

Peer resistance

To discourage harmful traditional practices of medicine

Role play


Case studies


Observation and recording


Concept of PHC

Elements of PHC

Promotion and implementation of PHC

Participation of individuals, family and community participation

Right to enjoy the highest attainable standard of health and to facilities for treatment of illness and rehabilitation of health (CRC Art. 24)

Rights of a child to have a standard of living adequate for the child’s physical, mental, spiritual, moral and social development (Art. 27)

Extra work load

Lack of family life education

Sugar daddy/mummy complex

Critical thinking


Problem solving

Decision making

Conflict resolution

Coping with stress

To ensure adequate participation of individuals, family and community in promotion of health.

Case study


Role plays



Observation and recording


Part One of this section provides an introductory unit on health in which a few activities are provided and suggestions are given as to how to begin integrating the Sara Communication Initiative and Children’s Rights issues into the training programme from the outset. Part Two then provides sample lesson formats for some of the units, in line with the analysis of the syllabus in Section Three. Each activity has been prepared with emphasis on life skills education through interactive/participatory methodology. The activities have also taken into account the rights of children in Uganda, the needs of the Ugandan girl child and gender issues. The units covered are those on AIDS; and Family Health and Social Problems because they address key issues which require immediate intervention through life skills education.

The lessons are mainly aimed at student teachers, although with some modifications they may be used with other groups. It is up to the facilitator/tutor to decide which activities are most relevant to his/her group and what other activities s/he might use.

4.1 Unit One - OUR HEALTH

A clear understanding of health and how children perceive health and illness is very important for the student teachers. Therefore, student teachers should realise and appreciate that health is influenced by self awareness, beliefs, myths, attitudes, environment and finally the action taken by the individual, family and community as a whole.

Teachers are the custodians of our children in the 6 to 14 years age bracket at a time when they are amenable to change, and therefore, they should have a clear understanding of health at the earliest opportunity.


By the end of the unit, students should be able to:

1. Describe and list the ways children perceive health and illness.

2. Identify and explain life skills that promote health.

3. Explain children’s rights concerning health.

4. Explain how children’s mental development affect their learning of health concepts.

5. Explain the concept of health and health education and how it can be promoted.

6. List various types of environment and describe their effects on health.

7. Describe different problems that may affect proper growth and development of a person at various stages.

8. explain the role of the individual, family, and community in the promotion of health.




By the end of the topic, student teachers should be able to:

1. Learn and work with their fellow students on common tasks on a basis of mutual understanding and team work.

2. Explain the meaning of health in relation to the individual, family and community.

3. Adopt and demonstrate healthy behaviours.



Life Skills to be developed

Friendship formation, interpersonal relationship, effective communication.

Time: 40 minutes


Large sheets of paper, markers, pieces of cards with halves of towns in Uganda printed on them.


1. Ask each student to pick one card which contains half the name of a town and tell them to find the person with the card with the other half of the name.

2. Each student sits with his/her partner. They tell each other the information about themselves:

· Name
· Age
· Place of Origin

· Favourite Musician
· Biggest Dislike

3. 3 pairs join together to form a group. Each member of the pair introduces her/his partner to the rest of the group.

4. Each group draws its own shield as demonstrated by the tutor on a large sheet of paper with a name and motto. Inside, the shield is divided into four parts:

(i) Names of student in the group,
(ii) Reasons for joining the teacher’s education.
(iii) Concerns, hopes and fears of the group and
(iv) Ground rules for effective class interaction.

5. Each group put up its shield on the wall and explains to the rest.

6. In plenary, discuss the importance of the activity bringing out the life skills such as friendship formation, interpersonal relationships and effective communication.

Learning Points

· This first session is an introductory lesson which aims at building up the students’ knowledge of and trust in one other as an essential pre requisite to later interaction throughout the year. It also introduces from the start the participatory nature of the course.

· It is important to know each other so that you work together effectively.

· Knowing each other helps to improve relationships by appreciating other peoples’ ideas, concerns, hopes and fears.

· Effective communication promotes good relationships.


· Prepare cards of different towns in Uganda before the activity. Cut the cards inhalf.
· Cards should be of the same size.
· Draw a sample of the shield as shown below:


Extension Activity

1. Encourage student teachers to continue learning about one another outside the class.



Life Skills to be developed

Self awareness, decision making, critical thinking.


Handouts containing pictures and descriptions of the four characters, case studies.

Time: 40 minutes


1. The students are divided randomly into groups of 8 students.

2. In groups they discuss the four characters shown in the pictures using the questions below:

(i) Who is more healthy and why?
(ii) How could each character improve her/his health?
(iii) What factors lie within the control of each character and what factors do not?

3. Groups present their answers to the whole class for discussion

Learning Points: Some definitions of Health.

· Health is a complete state of physical, mental and social well-being and not simply the absence of disease or infirmity. (WHO, 1964).

· Our bodies are very complicated structures made of many parts each with its job. As long as each part performs its job correctly, at the right time, we are healthy. School Health Text (1984).

· A process of adaptation.... the ability to adapt to changing environments, to growing up and ageing, to healing when damaged, to suffering and to the peaceful expectation of death. Illich (1976).


· The aim of the first activity is to evaluate the perspectives from which me students view health in its broadest sense and to use the examples to build on that knowledge. Therefore, the tutor should bring out issues of mental, social and spiritual health if the students fail to do so.

Extension Activity

1. Ask students to work in their groups to define health and what is needed in order to maintain good health.

Picture 1: Mr Kizito: He is a fat man, obviously rich wearing expensive clothes. Although he is fairly old, a young woman is hanging on to his arm.

Description: Mr Kizito is 45 years old and he works in a parastatal. He is rich and lives with his family in a big house he has built just outside Kampala. In the morning he has no breakfast but when he gets to work he orders some well salted mchomo which he eats while he reads the newspaper. In the afternoon he usually has a leg of chicken and one beer. In the evening he drops into the local bar for ‘a few beers’ and discussion before going home. Sometimes he takes another girl but he insists on wearing a condom. On Sundays he goes to church and tries to stay with his family the whole day. At work, Mr Kizito is not popular because he always like to command the other workers. He has even been known to hit one of them.

Picture 2: Mrs Kaggwa: She is a peasant woman wearing a long colourless dress and a headscarf. She is not wearing shoes.

Description: Her husband was killed during the liberation war. She has a small farm of bananas, sweetpotatoes, beans and green vegetables. She has four children who alt go to school. Although Mrs Kaggwa works very hard, the children have a sweetpotato before going to school and then the main meal is in the evening. In the middle of the day they cannot eat.

The family eats green vegetables every day but Mrs Kaggwa keeps a few hens so that they can eat chicken on Sundays after going to church. She feels very lonely and abandoned without her husband. She gets her strength from her faith in God and her faith in her children who are all doing well at school.

Picture 3: Mr Okello. About thirty years old, well dressed and thin.

Description: He is the LC1 in his village. He used to work hard for the village but he has changed recently, since he believes that he has not received recognition for all the hard work he does. So he has taken to pocketing some of the village contributions for himself. He doesn’t drink but, ever since he was in the liberation war he has been smoking 20 cigarettes a day. Recently he divorced his wife and married a young girl in the village.

Picture 4: Martina: She is dressed in a secondary school uniform. She looks very smart.

Description: Martina is in S3. She is one of the best students in the class and everyone expects her to go to high school. She hates boys and refuses to go to any dances or other social activities. She spends all her time with the books. Maybe one reason why she hates boys is that she has a twisted leg which makes her feel that she looks ugly and so she is afraid that all the boys are laughing at her.

Picture 1

Picture 2

Picture 3

Picture 4



Life Skills to be developed

Self awareness, decision making, creative thinking.


Case studies for role plays, large sheets of paper, markers.

Time: 40 minutes


1. Students brainstorm on all the factors in the physical and social environment that affect health.

2. In the same groups as in activity two above, students analyse which factors lie outside their control (NC), which they can partly control (PC) and which they have a great amount of control over (LC)

3. Tutor explains that life skills are those skills that enable individuals to have more control over their health and their lives

4. In groups, students prepare role plays on the following situations (one role play for each group).

(i) Paulina is in S2. She was Richard’s girlfriend for one year before agreeing to have sex with him when she realised that Richard was going out with one of her friends. Now she is pregnant with Richard’s baby. He is in S4. She goes to confront him.

(ii) Kato has been rejected by his girl friend, Rose, because he drinks too much. As a result, he starts drinking even more. He meets Rose on the road and tries to convince her forcibly to come back to him.

(iii) Mariamu is in S3. She comes from a poor family and has been going to discos every weekend in the hope of finding men to give her money. Her best lover was a 45 year old manager. She meets him on the street and he is very thin and obviously very ill.

(iv) Atieno left school in P7 to get married to a rich young man in the village who paid a big bride price to her father. She was soon pregnant. On her last visit to the clinic she was told that because she is still very young, she is in danger of losing her baby. She goes home to tell her husband (and her/his parents)

5. For each of these role plays, the students should discuss the following:

(i) What are the health or health related problems outlined?

(ii) To what extent are the problems caused by the situations in which they live?

(iii) What measures could they have taken to avoid their problems?

(iv) What life skills will be needed by each of the characters in order to improve their health and/or behaviour.

Learning Points

· A health problem is the actual illness e.g. malaria.

· A health related problem is an adverse/undesirable situation, which is not prevented or dealt with effectively will lead to actual illness e.g. in an under-five child, shortage of an adequate balanced diet is a health related problem.


· Each role play should not be more than 5 minutes. The aim is to start the students thinking themselves into the situations, not produce full dramas.

Extension Activity

1. Groups develop plays around the situations they role played, for later presentation to the class/college/community.




By the end of the topic, students should be able to:

1. Analyse differences in health problems facing men and women and the reasons for them.

2. Analyse their own feelings in relation to gender roles and how they are changing/may change.

3. Identify ways in which current imbalances can be addressed in their own lives.

4. Explain how the environment influences health.

5. Identify and adopt life skills for confronting and coping with external influences on health.



Life Skills to be developed

Self awareness, creative thinking, empathy.


Questionnaires, large sheets of paper, markers, handouts.

Time: 30 minutes


1. Hand out the following questionnaire. Each student places their answer on a scale of 1 -5. 5 means that they fully agree and 1 means that they don’t agree at all.


(i) Boys are stronger than girls.






(ii) Cooking is a girl’s job.






(iii) Girls don’t have time to study because of all their chores.






(iv) Girls wake up before boys.






(v) At school, girls do more work than boys.






(vi) Boys are more intelligent than girls.






“Girls don’t have time to study because of all their chores”

“Boys are stronger than girls”

2. Each person shows her/his answers to her/his neighbour and discusses it with her/him.

3. Students divide into groups according to sex and write down the different activities they do:

· on schooldays
· at weekends
· in the holidays

4. Each group presents a list of what each does.

5. Tutor asks the followingup questions.

(i) What do we learn from these lists?
(ii) What does it tell us about the health of boys and girls?
(iii) The Convention on the Rights of the Child, it states that:

States should ensure that no child is discriminated against on the basis of status, ethnic origin, religion, sex etc. (Article 2)

How is this relevant to the above discussion?

Learning Points

· In Uganda, men are generally considered heads of families and decision making is largely dominated by them.

· There are gender disparities in access to education, economic opportunities and health care in the country.

· There is bias in favour of education for boys coupled with issues of early pregnancy resulting in the high drop-out rate of girls from school.

· There are imbalances in employment by sector and sex. Within the agriculture sector, women are the major food producers.

· Women perform most of the household chores and are concentrated in low paying jobs.

· As a basic human right, there is need to improve women status, raise the level of income of individuals and family.

· People are born female or male, but learn to be girls or boys who grow into women and men.

· They are taught what the appropriate behaviour and attitudes, role and activities are for them, and how they should relate to other people. This learned behaviour is what makes up gender identity and determines gender roles


· Gender issues are sensitive and therefore the ground rules should be strictly observed in order to ensure that it is not just a fight between the boys and the girls.

Extension Activities

1. Ask students to identify the gender issues that affect the health of an individual, family and community.

2. Ask students to suggest types of communication activity which promote the behaviour change towards healthy living.



Life Skills to be developed

Empathy, problem solving, critical thinking.


Large sheets of paper, markers.

Time: 40 minutes


1. Prepare a few students to do the role play before the class

2. Ask the students to do the role play.

Mr Byakika is busy cleaning the house. He is carrying a baby on his back and a small child is pulling at his legs wanting something. He is obviously tired but dinner is also cooking on the fire. He talks about his problems as he works, that there may not be enough food when his wife comes home from work in the council.

After his situation is made clear, his wife returns. She is a little drunk and is angry that dinner is not ready. The children hide behind their father.

3. Students discuss in groups the following questions:

(i) What do you think about this situation?
(ii) How did you feel when you were watching the role play? Why?
(iii) What do our feelings show about how we view roles of men and women in society?
(iv) If the role play were the other way round, would we have felt differently? Why?

Learning Points

· Gender describes those characteristics of men and women which are socially determined in contrast to those which are biologically determined.

· The distinction between sex and gender is made to emphasise that most of the so-called differences in roles are socially determined.

· Many of the students’ reactions come from the way they have been socialised which leads to an unconscious gender stereotyping

· Many aspects of division of labour change from one place to another and one time to another. For example, men do cook when it is paid employment or the food is not regarded as traditional (such as roast meat and chips).

· Women and men must be given equal opportunity at all levels of health and development activities because it is both a matter of justice and a recipe for faster development.

Hints to Tutor

· Gender roles are very sensitive and therefore ground rules should be strictly observed.

· Avoid reinforcing stereotypes of men and women

· Be aware of your own, as well as your students’ assumptions about gender.

Extension Activities

1. Students read the dialogue from the beginning of The Special Gift:






2. In groups, discuss how Sara and Amina could convince their relatives to allow them more time for homework.

3 Role play the discussions.

4. Plenary discussion:

(i) How did you feel trying to convince your mother/uncle?

(ii) How easy is it to do so? Why? What other methods could they have used to convince their relatives? (e.g. calling in another adult, the teacher etc.)



Life Skills to be developed

Self awareness, interpersonal relationships, problem solving.


Large sheets of paper, markers, portable boards, chalk.

Time: 40 minutes


1. Divide the students into six groups.

2. Each group answers the following questions.

(i) What are the physical environmental factors that can adversely affect health?
(ii) How do these factors affect health?
(iii) How can children participate in minimising these factors?
(iv) What are the social environmental factors that can adversely affect health?
(v) How do these factors affect health?
(vi) What is the role of children, the school and the family in minimising these factors?

3. Each group writes down their answers on large sheets of paper for presentation to plenary.

4. Each group chooses one of the factors and prepares a tableau to depict both the factor and how children can participate in minimising the factor.

Learning Points

· This activity is intended to remind students that the environment plays a major role in determining the quality of health. Improving the environment should improve the health of those who live in it.

· The increasing population and demand for natural resources has led to a marked destruction of the environment especially the forest cover.

· The environment influences the individual from conception to death.

· Air pollution strikes the young more harshly than the old, affecting their respiratory system.

· Active participation of the individual, family, school and community is required in the promotion and maintenance of a healthy environment.

· Some diseases/conditions have hereditary/congenital bearing.


· Guide the students to explain what Health Education is in relation to environment.

· Emphasize that Health Education should be integrated with everything that we do because basically all that we do is for sustaining life; which can only happen if we promote health.

· The groups discussing biological factors should come up with among others, how they affect health.

· The group discussing social factors should come with amongh other dindings behavioural factors such as knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, adversely affect health.

Extension Activities

1. Ask students to visit various communities to find out the following:

(i) Their water source

(ii) Health facilities in terms of types, use/attendance and common illnesses

Protected spring

Piped water source

2. Ask students to visit primary schools look into the conditions of:

(i) sanitation and water sources.
(ii) buildings.
(iii) feeding.
(iv) school health services.
(v) common illnesses.




By the end of the topic the students should be able to:

1. Explain what a health promoting school is and how it affects the pupils and teachers who attend it.

2. Analyse schools and colleges from the perspective of a health promoting school and identify problems which need to be addressed.

3. Identify behaviours which they as teachers should have in order to facilitate a health promoting school.

4. Prepare materials for use in class that build on the knowledge the pupils already have.

5. Explain the Sara Communication Initiative and how it relates to them as future teachers.

6. Explain the role of the individual, family, school and community in the promotion of health.



Life Skills to be developed

Self awareness, decision making, creative thinking, problem solving.


Pictures of Ms Matata, Sara, Amina and Juma, brochure on Sara Communication Initiative.

Time: 40 minutes


1. Groups discuss how they would teach about environment and health to a P7 class.

(i) What do they want to teach the pupils?
(ii) How will they teach it? (i.e. what methods will they use?)

2. Two groups present their answers to the class. Facilitator writes main points on the board.

3. Facilitator presents materials on Sara and her friends.

4. Students read and discuss the following questions in groups.

(i) What picture do you get of these three children?

(ii) What do you think they know about health?

(iii) In the light of having such pupils in your class, would you like to revise the way you would teach your lessons?

(iv) How does Sara contribute to the promotion of Health?

5. Groups revise how they would teach their lessons. Plenary discussion.

6. Facilitator points out that Ms Matata’s class will be the class they will be learning about and interacting with throughout the course, especially Sara and her two friends, Amina and Juma. S/he explains the Sara Communication Initiative and says that, if the students are interested there are stories, comic books etc. S/he also explains that, as they are student teachers, Ms Matata is a good role model in the way she tries to discover and develop her students’ talents by using participatory methodology. That is one reason why Sara and her friends already know so much.

Ms Matata handout

Hello. My name is Ms Matata and I am the class teacher for P7. I am very happy that you have come to join us as trainee teachers for the whole of this year. I am sure you will want to know about the pupils you are going to teach.

Sara handout

Sara is 14 years old. She lives with her mother and younger brothers and sisters in the compound of her uncle who is a farmer. Her father is in town where he is trying to save money to buy a farm and build a house. He sends money home for the education of his children. He is very proud of Sara because she is his first daughter and she is doing so well in school.

Sara wants to be a scientist and she has already shown that she can be. Together with her friends, Amina and Juma, she has built a smokeless stove which has become the model for the whole village because it improves the kitchen environment by reducing the amount of smoke and also reduces the amount of time women and girls have to spend looking for firewood. She says that her aim it to be either a doctor or an animal doctor so that she can help her village in the future.

Amina handout

Amina is an orphan. Both her parents died three years ago and she lives with her sister who works in the local bar. Amina is very good at mathematics but she sometimes get discouraged at school because of her home problems. Recently she decided to go to town to look for a job as a domestic worker but she was cheated by a lorry driver and, if Juma and Sara had not arrived in time to save her, she was in danger of being raped. Since then, she helps Juma’s brother with his accounts for which he helps her with her school fees. At the same time, she has set up a health club, together with Sara in order to discuss how they can best grow up.

Juma handout

Juma lives with his parents and his elder brother Themba who drives a pick up truck. His mother also runs a shop. He is very good at languages and is one of the best footballers in the school. Some students say that he wastes his time playing football but he argues that people who are fit or who have healthy bodies can study better.

Maybe because Juma does not have a sister, he and Sara are like sister and brother and they do most of their homework together. Last year they did a joint project on the jobs done by different members of the family which won first prize at the school.

Learning Points

· It is important to know your class, what they need to learn and how they effectively they should be taught.

· Sara is a good role model for girls.

· Every individual, family, school and community has a role to play in the promotion of Health.

· Environment influences the health situation of the individual, family school and community.


· In teaching this activity it is important to promote the linkages between health, the environment, life skills and the Sara Communication Initiative.

Extension Activity

1. Ask your students what they want to learn in various topics in Health Education.



See Section Two of the manual for this activity.



Life Skills to be developed

Critical thinking, self awareness.


Picture of an empty head.

Time: 30 minutes


1. Draw a picture of an empty head on the blackboard. Discuss what is in that head (e.g. experiences, religion, father’s attitudes, education etc).

2. Ask each student to draw a similar head and write down or draw what is in their heads and where it came from.

3. Students show their heads to one another in groups. An example of what such a drawing may appear is shown.

4. Ask the class:

(i) How can we find out what is in other people’s heads?

(ii) How do you know that you have really found out (eg many people do not like to tell the truth about sensitive issues or ones that they know might regard others to look down on them).

(iii) What is the relevance of this to teaching children about health? How much do they know already? How do we get them to express their real ideas and concerns?


Learning Points

· Our heads store a lot of information and experiences etc.

· It is important to use appropriate methods to generate students/pupils ideas and experiences for discussion.

· The body needs to be well protected.

4.2 Unit Nine - HIV/AIDS


The HIV/AIDS scourge is most prevalent in the 15 to 45 years age group to which the student teachers belong. There is a notable gap between knowledge and behaviour with particular reference HIV/AIDS, hence the need for a life skills oriented approach to facilitate and reinforce behaviour change even among student teachers and to prepare them to equip their future pupils with the life skills required. They will be expected to be role models who will provide a good example and guidance to their pupils.


By the end of this unit, student teachers should be able to:

1. Identify their level of knowledge, beliefs, attitudes and practices concerning HIV/AIDS.

2. Explain HIV/AIDS transmission and the role of the individual, family and community in its prevention.

3. Explain and highlight the rights of children and the problems of the girl child in relation to HIV/AIDS.

4. Identify cultural and social practices that may promote or prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS.

5. Explain the socio-economic and political implications of HIV/AIDS to the individual, family, community and nation.

6. Identify the needs of people with HIV/AIDS and ways of helping them.

7. Explain the possible consequences of personal behaviour and life styles in relation to HIV/AIDS.

8. Continually assess their own life styles and goals and display appropriate life skills in view of the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

9. Facilitate the acquisition of appropriate life skills in student teachers and school children with reference to HIV/AIDS.




By the end of the lesson, students should be able to:

1. Identify their level of knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, and practices concerning HIV/AIDS.

2. Explain HIV/AIDS transmission and prevention

3. State Life skills critical for avoiding or preventing the spread of AIDS.

4. Describe and counteract dangerous myths concerning HIV transmission and prevention

5. Identify and risk taking behaviour, the reasons for such behaviour and the effects in relation to HIV/AIDS

6. Recognize risk situations and develop strategies on how to cope with them.

7. Examine critically the process of choice and decision making in relation to HIV/AIDS and identify the most healthy choices.



Brainstorming the level of knowledge, beliefs, attitudes and practices concerning HIV/AIDS.

Life Skills to be developed

Self awareness, decision making, and critical thinking.


Statement cards, flash cards, chalk board.

Time: 30 minutes


1. Tutor places cards labelled AGREE, DISAGREE, NOT SURE in three different corners of the room.

2. Tutor reads and flashes a statement card and tells students to make quick decisions and move to the corner of their choice.

3. While in the comers of their choice, student teachers and tutor discuss the reasons for the choice.

4. After the discussion, tutor asks students to change their positions if they so wish.

5. Tutor repeats steps 3 and 4 with other statement cards.

6. In plenary, tutor summarizes the salient points on each of the statements given.


(i) HIV/AIDS is a disease in which the body’s defence mechanism against infection has been damaged.

(ii) HIV/AIDS is curable in the early stages but not in the later stages.

(iii) HIV can be transmitted through sexual intercourse with an infected person.

(iv) HIV can be transmitted by sharing facilities such as toilets, glasses and sheets.

(v) Insects (e.g. mosquitoes) transmit HIV/AIDS.

(vi) There is no danger in sharing razors with others

(vii) HIV/AIDS can be transmitted by an infected mother to her baby during pregnancy or at birth.

(viii) You can get HIV/AIDS by donating blood.

(ix) HIV/AIDS can be transmitted by bewitching.

(x) It is dangerous to play sports with people who are HIV+

(xi) If a person tests positive for the HIV they are infectious for the rest of their life.

(xii) If a person tests positive to the virus that causes AIDS it means that the person has AIDS.

(xiii) It is possible to avoid the virus that causes AIDS by getting married.

(xiv) Even if people test negative once for HIV, it is possible they have the virus.

(xv) You cannot get or transmit HIV/AIDS if you use a condom during sexual intercourse.

(xvi) Asking a partner to use a condom shows lack of trust.

(xvii) You can get HIV/AIDS if you have one boy/girl friend.

(xviii) You can’t get HIV if you are a virgin

(xix) HIV/AIDS education is a waste of money and other resources.

(xx) If a person has TB or chronic diarrhoea, it means that s/he has HIV/AIDS

(xxi) It is okay to have sexual intercourse with a girl below 15 years of age because she is free from HIV/AIDS.

Learning Points

· AIDS is caused by HIV.

· HIV/AIDS is an infection which attacks and damages the body’s defence mechanism and makes it too weak to fight infection. AIDS is the end result of the breakdown of the body’s defence mechanisms which makes it vulnerable to a combination of illnesses.

· AIDS is one of the sexually transmitted infections (S.T.I). In addition, the presence of an STI increases the risk of catching HIV.

· You cannot tell whether somebody has HIV/AIDS just from their appearance. A blood test taken at officially recognized centres is the only reliable indicator.

· A person is said to be having AIDS when s/he has characteristic signs and symptoms of the disease.

· There are many diseases with characteristics similar to those of AIDS e.g. Tuberculosis (T.B), meningitis, diarrhoea, etc.

· HIV is mainly transmitted through sexual contact with an infected person. It is also transmitted through receiving infected blood, being cut/pierced with unsterilised instruments such as needles, syringes, and razors that have been in contact with the blood of an infected person and from a mother to her baby. Women with the HIV virus have about a 50% chance of giving birth to a baby with the virus.

· There is no known cure for AIDS at the moment, although some drugs in current use can relieve some of the signs and symptoms and prolong life.

· It is possible to avoid catching HIV/AIDS or infecting others by abstaining, sticking to one faithful partner or being assertive and saying No in situations of risk.

· Where people find they cannot avoid sexual contact, they should practice safer sex by using protectors/condoms..


· Give a chance to each participant to state why he/she make that choice.

· Encourage participants to be influenced by their own feelings and not those of their friends.

· Choose statements (or create new ones) which you think are the most relevant to bringing out the knowledge, beliefs, myths, attitudes and practices of the students concerning HIV. Avoid too many statements of the same type as the activity can drag on for too long.

· Prepare enough flash cards, statement cards.

Extension Activity

Ask students to:

1. List down at least three main ways HIV/AIDS can be transmitted.

2. List down at least three ways in which HIV/AIDS can not be transmitted.

3. Explain how life skills such as assertiveness, negotiation, peer resistance etc. are related to AIDS prevention at individual and community level.



Life Skills to be developed

Critical thinking, decision making, negotiation.


Statement pieces of paper, chalk board.

Time: 30 minutes


1. Choose 2 students and inform them in secret that they have a disease called Barantaga which is spread by bodily contact. Each time they shake hands with someone they tell him or her “Barantaga, pass it on”. You could be the third one infected to show that you are part of the situation.

2. Inform the class that there is a competition to see who is the most popular. The more people one shake hands with the more points they get. The one with the most points is the winner. Each time you shake hands you must whisper something to them. If anyone tells you to pass something on you must do so.

3. When you see that the disease has spread to nearly everyone, stop the game and ask the following questions:

(i) How many times did each of you shake hands?
(ii) How many have Barantaga?
(iii) Can someone explain to the others about Barantaga?
(iv) Why was it so easy for people to get Barantaga?
(v) Who is the winner?


4. Educate your class that Barantaga is a disease that is spread by bodily contact. When you play the game again, 2 students in the group will already have Barantaga.

5. Students choose a statement pieces of paper. All the cards say. “I hope you enjoy the game” except three pieces of paper.

A You have Barantaga. But you don’t care. Try and convince others to shake hands with you.

B You don’t have Barantaga. But you are determined to win the competition. Try and convince others to shake hands with you.

C You have Barantaga. You are not happy. Don’t try to convince others but don’t refuse to shake hands with others.

6. Tell the students to play the same game.

7. After a few minutes, stop the game and divide the students into groups. Giver each group the following questions.

(i) How did you feel playing the game this time?
(ii) Did your behaviour change? How? Why?
(iii) How did you feel when you got Barantaga this time?
(iv) Did you still try to shake peoples’ hands? Why?
(v) How is this connected with HIV/AIDS?

Learning Points

· People must develop life skills such as critical thinking, decision making and negotiation in Relationships to enable them avoid the risk of being infected with the HIV.

· It is possible to avoid catching HIV/AIDS or infecting others by abstaining, sticking to one faithful partner or being assertive and saying No in situations of risk.

· Where people find they cannot avoid sexual contact, they should practice safer sex by using protectors/condoms.

· The more sexual partners you have, the greater the risk of being infected by one of them.

· The more partners your partner has, the greater the risk you will be infected.

· Apart from protecting yourself and your partner, you can also help to protect others against HIV/AIDS by making sure they know the facts and can practise the life skills to avoid spreading the infection.

· If infected with HIV/AIDS, one has a responsibility not to pass it on to others but, when some people know they have HIV/AIDS they react differently -fear, denial, or even a determination to infect others.


· Make it very clear that Barantaga is an imaginary disease which does not exist. It has been used to provoke the students into thinking about their behaviours. You cannot catch HIV/AIDS through handshaking

· Make sure that the game is played twice. The second time is directed at the students assessing their own behaviour in a situation of risk.

· Read current books on sexually transmitted life infections including HIV/AIDS.

Extension Activity

1. Ask the students to write down life situations/scenarios related to HIV/AIDS transmission and prevention in their local community in which they have to think critically and make appropriate choices and decisions.




By the end of the topic students should be able to:

1. Identify cultural practices which contribute to the spread or prevention of HIV/AIDS

2. Demonstrate life skills to overcome practices that promote the spread of HIV/AIDS.

3. Explain the meaning of the term negotiation and its application in every day life, especially in relation to HIV/AIDS

4. Identify some common principles which promote effective negotiation.

5. Identify positive and negative influences from peers..

6. Put into practice different ways of resisting peer pressure.



Life Skills to be developed

Peer/social pressure resistance, assertiveness, decision making, critical thinking.


Case study about Musa and Rehema paper, pens/pencils.

Time: 30 minutes


1. Divide students into four group and give each group the following case study:

At the age of sixteen, Musa is strong, active and still at school. His elder brother dies leaving Rehema, the widow, 3 children, a car, cattle and a well stocked shop. During the last funeral rites, the elders decide that Musa should inherit the widow, children and the property.

2. Give two of the groups the (A) questions and the other two the (B) questions [write the questions on a large sheet of paper] for discussion.

A (i) If you were Musa what would you do?

(ii) What problems are you likely to face?

(iii) How would you deal with the problems?

B (i) If you were Rehema what would you do?

(ii) What problems are you likely to face?

(iii) How would you deal with the problems?

3. In plenary, each group presents its findings for discussion.

4. Tutor summarizes the issues of inheritance.

5. Students brainstorm on other cultural practices that may promote or prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS. Tutor writes down the practices on the board.

Learning Points

· Inheritance of widows can promote spread of HIV/AIDS
· The need for critical thinking on the part of the widow and the inheriting in-law.
· The need to pay attention to the children’s rights so that they are not abused.
· The development of life skills to cope with cultural pressures.


· The tutor should prepare the case studies on papers before hand.
· Tutor should monitor the group discussions.
· Tutor should not show bias.
· It may be better sometimes to have single sex groups to discuss these issues.

Extension Activity

1. Students explore examples of practices that may promote or prevent spread of HIV/AIDS in their communities.



Life Skills to be developed

Critical thinking, negotiation, decision making, assertiveness.


Copies of Jane’s letter, paper, pens and pencils.

Time: 30 minutes


1. Tutor reads the following letter to the students:

Dear Auntie,

I am a 15 year old girl. I always used to get a lift to school from an old man who comes from my home area. Last week he stopped the car before we reached school and said I must pay him for the lifts. I had no money so he made me have sex with him.

What do I do now Auntie? I have always been told that in our culture you must marry the first man you have sex with. But I don’t love him and I never wanted to have sex with him.

Now I have started having some vaginal discharge. I think it is AIDS.

Please help me.


2. Ask the groups to discuss the following questions:

(i) Why did Jane accept the lifts from the old man?

(ii) What cultural issues are shown in this story?

(iii) What were the potential danger points which ended in the girl being raped? Why did Jane not realise they were danger points?

(iv) How do you think Jane could have avoided this situation? How easy is it?

(v) How do you think she could have saved herself?

3. Groups present their answers to the plenary for further discussion.

Learning Points

· Some people take advantage of cultural norms for their own selfish ends.
· Students and pupils need to develop their life skills to cope with potentially dangerous situations


· Tutor should bring out the relationship between cultural norms and life skills and how life skills can be developed in this.

Extension Activity

1. Prepare a role play where a young person has to use appropriate negotiating skills with our elder person.



By the end of the topic, students should be able to:

1. Explain the possible consequences of personal behaviour and life styles in relation to HIV/AIDS.

2. Set realistic, personal goals for themselves, particularly in areas of keeping themselves safe and healthy.

3. Put into practice the life skills needed to achieve those goals.

4. Identify the choices and decisions they make each day and what influences them.

5. Identify and risky situations and behaviours that minimise the risk.



Life Skills to be developed

Negotiation, self awareness, decision making, resistance to peer and society pressure.


Copies of case studies, large sheets of paper, markers, chalk board. 15 cards each of Red, Blue and Green.

Time: 40 minutes


1. Ask students to pick one card (red, blue or green. Divide the class into groups according to the colour they have chosen.

2. Give each group a situation and ask them to prepare a role play.

A. Naigaga (30 yrs) is married to a junior civil servant in Kampala. They have 3 children and they find great difficulty in making ends meet. Naigaga works in a bank. Her manager offers to promote her to manager if she agrees to make love to him.

(If she agrees) her husband finds out later.

B. Maggie is in S2. Her parents have great difficulty in paying for the school fees and she doesn’t have any nice clothes to wear, so her fellow students laugh at her. One day, she meets an older man who is already married. He is very nice to Maggie and for the first time she begins to enjoy life and have some good things of her own. After giving her several dresses, the man asks her to go with him to a lodge.

C. John is quite a shy person in S4. Recently a young widow has befriended him saying that John is like a son to her. She often gives him a little money to go to school with. One day, she invites him to her house. When John enters the house, he finds her sitting on the couch, almost naked.

3. Students present their role plays.

4. After each role play discuss with the students:

(i) What would be the reasons for accepting the offers in each situation?
(ii) What would be the reasons for saying no.
(iii) What would be the most important factors to consider in making that decision?
(iv) What pressures did the each person face? How easy was it resist them.

5. Explain to the students that there is no simple answer to each of the situations. Even in terms of negotiations, the person being pressurized can either refuse (and stick to his/her refusal), delay the decision (by changing the subject, etc) or bargain (by negotiating a more acceptable alternative. In some cases the best solution is to withdraw as quickly as possible (or run away).

6. Ask the students to draw in cartoon style examples of refusing, delaying or negotiating in each of the above situations.

7. Students show and explain their cartoons for discussion.

Learning Points

· Economic well-being is a very important part of life skills. Youth, parents and communities must do their best to ensure that the basic necessities are covered as far as possible.

· Sometimes our wish for immediate gain (or acceptance of favours) can lead to dangerous situations).

· Negotiating skills go hand in hand with assertiveness, critical and creative thinking.

· People need to predict risky or dangerous situation and avoid them.

· People need to appreciate and value what they are and what they have.

Hints to the Tutor

· It is very important that the tutor does not moralize or take a position in these situations. S/he should rather ensure that the students’ real feelings come out first, by playing devil’s advocate if necessary. Economic pressures should not be underestimated.

· In looking at negotiating strategies, the Tutor should also ensure that all possibilities are covered.

· The tutor could also find other situations for the students depending on the most pressing issues in that community.

Extension Activity

1. Ask the students to imagine other situations where one might either refuse, delay or negotiate and present them in cartoon form.




By the end of the topic, students will be able to:

1. List the specific pressures and risks facing men and women in relation to HIV/AIDS.

2. Identify gender stereotypes and myths and explain why they are false or true.

3. List ways in which women and girls can overcome the specific problems facing them in relation to HIV/AIDS.



Life Skills to be developed

Resistance to peer and society pressure, empathy, assertiveness.


Questionnaire handout.

Time: 30 minutes


1. Give the following questionnaire to the students and ask them to fill in A if they agree, D if they disagree, and? if they are not sure against each of the statements. Tell them that you are not interested in who gives what answer but rather to find out what the group thinks as a whole.


(i) Girls are more likely to get HIV than boys.

(ii) Girls get themselves into trouble because they are always wanting men to give them money.

(iii) Girls wearing mini dresses or who put on a lot of make up are asking to be raped.

(iv) Girls who carry condoms are prostitutes.

(v) Below the age of 18, the sexual organs of a girl are not fully developed and can easily tear.

(vi) When a girl/woman says no, she really means yes.

(vii) It is wrong for a girl to refuse a man when he wants to make love.

(viii) To have sex with a girl below the age of 18 is defilement and is against the law.

(ix) If a girl accepts a man’s gifts/drinks, it means she has accepted to have sex with the man.

(x) Rape is usually carried out by a relative or a friend, not a stranger.

2. Divide the students into single sex groups (girls together and boys together) and ask them to discuss their answers and come to a group consensus where possible.

3. Each group presents its answers to the plenary for discussion.

Learning Points

· Girls are 6 times more likely to get HIV than boys between the ages of 10 and 24.

· Stereotypes about girls (and boys) may have an element of truth but they are not helpful in understanding why people behave the way they do.

· The sexual organs of a girl are not fully developed before the age of 18. She therefore runs a much greater risk of tearing the lining of the vagina, thereby exposing herself to HIV/AIDS.

· The law in Uganda states that having sex with a person below the age of 18 years is defilement and can be punishable by the courts.

· Parents must talk to their children about AIDS and how to avoid it.

· If an HIV positive woman becomes pregnant, her condition tends to deteriorate.

· Women in marriages are especially vulnerable as their socialization, and the general expectations of society, make it impossible for her to raise the question of her own protection in the light of her husband’s infidelity. This needs to be brought into the open.

· Some other factors leading to women being more vulnerable to HIV infection include:

· women have less access to education and therefore jobs

· women often do jobs that cannot be evaluated economically. Even where a woman generates an income this is in many instances taken away from her.

· socialization from birth has meant that women tend to be less assertive and less self-reliant.

· Women have the same right as men to determine when, whether, why and with whom they express their sexuality. Sexual and social relationships between women and men must be governed by principles of equity, non-coercion and mutual respect and responsibility.


· You can use the questionnaire to explore attitudes, discuss stereotypes and their origin (e.g. socialization) and also ensure that the students have correct factual information (e.g. that girls are more liable to get HIV/AIDS than boys, and that sex below 18 is defilement according to the law).

· While emphasizing the gender aspect of AIDS, it is important not to make the boys feel that they are somehow not involved. It can be discussed with regard to their feelings about girls etc. rather than being a sermon on gender.

Extension Activity

1. Ask the students to write songs, plays and poems related to gender and HIV/AIDS.



Life Skills to be developed

Self awareness, empathy, assertiveness.


Poster of a woman washing clothes, chalk board.

Time: 30 minutes


1. Show the students a large picture of a woman washing clothes. She is holding the trousers of her husband in one hand, and in the other she is pulling a condom out of the back pocket.

2. Divide the students into single sex groups again to discuss the following questions:

(i) Does the man love his wife?
(ii) What should the woman do in this situation?
(iii) How can the woman protect herself against HIV/AIDS?

3. Students give their answers in the plenary for discussion.

4. Ask the students ‘suppose the trousers belonged to the woman’s son (or daughter), what should she do as a mother?’

5. Ask students to identify other situations where a man/boy or woman/girl is especially at risk and discuss how such situations can be dealt with.

Learning Points

· Women in marriages are especially vulnerable as their socialization, and the general expectations of society, make it impossible for her to raise the question of her own protection in the light of her husband’s infidelity. This needs to be brought into the open.

· Men also have a personal and social responsibility, for their sexual behaviour and fidelity for their behaviours affect the lives and well being of their spouses and children.

· Parents also need to be open with their children about love and sex.

Extension Activity

1. Ask the students to discuss the consequences of personal behaviour and life styles with their families and communities in relation to HIV/AIDS.




Life Skills to be developed

Assertiveness, resistance to peer/society pressure, decision making.


Case study of a letter to SYFA, chalk board, large sheets of paper, markers.

Time: 30 minutes


1. Divide the class into groups and ask each group to read the letter to SYFA from Sara below:

I am in P7 and my classmate, Agatha, is a great friend of mine. She has a brother called Mukama in S2 at Ibanda Senior Secondary School. I often got to do homework with Agatha at her home and Mukama usually assists us. He is good at Mathematics and Science. But these days, he has started showing an interest in me and even Agatha says there is nothing wrong in him being my boyfriend. But I want him as a friend not a boy friend. I appreciate his help but my first aim is to become a doctor. Please, what should I do?



2. Ask each group to reply to the letter emphasising the kind of negotiation skills that Sara could use.

3. Each group presents their reply in the plenary for further discussion.

Learning Points

· A girl can be a friend to a boy without necessarily having sexual relationships.
· A girl should be assertive and know what to do in case of problems like Sara did.
· Students should have a goal in life and build confidence in themselves.
· Parents should be talking to their children about such issues.


· Reply should show empathy.
· Tutor should be conversant with guidance and counselling skills.

Extension Activity

1. Ask students to discuss with their families about personal behaviour and enlist their help in thinking critically.




By the end of the topic, the students should be able to:

1. Identify the socio-economic and political implications of HIV/AIDS with regard to the individual, family and community

2. Describe some of the life styles that promote the spread of HIV/AIDS and how they can be altered.

3. Identify the qualities of good friendship and explore the importance of good friends.

4. Examine their fears and anxieties about HIV/AIDS and PWAs and how they can overcome them.

5. Explain the concept of positive pressure and ways of helping and supporting each other.

6. Explain the importance of counselling and community based health care for PWAs

7. Adopt and practise healthy life styles.



Life Skills to be developed

Coping with stress and emotion, empathy, self awareness.


Copies of stories of Isaac paper, pens/pencils.

Time: 30 minutes


1. Divide the class into groups and give each group a copy of the story of Isaac. Ask them to read the story below and on the next page and answer the questions that follow:

A story: Isaac

Isaac was a married man with two children. He had a well paying job, many friends, relatives, a fleet of cars, and all the wealth you can imagine.

In the month of June, 1994, Isaac fell sick and was treated. The sickness resisted for some time and Isaac decided to take blood test. Doctors told him that he was HIV positive. After the results, Isaac begun to keep aloof. His friends and the wife begun to suspect that something had gone wrong with Isaac.

Isaac tried to share his secret first with a close relative who was shocked and cut off all contact with him. As a result, Isaac was afraid to tell his wife and children, which made the atmosphere in the home very tense. However, with time, the sickness intensified. Isaac finally told his family and made a will. By this time, much of the money was spent in visiting local doctors in search of a cure and he also became too weak to work. He started selling some of his properties.

The wife and relatives did all they could to save Isaac’s life but in vain. Finally, he died.

2. Questions.

(i) How do you think Isaac got HIV/AIDS? Do you think this is common?

(ii) Why do you think Isaac’s relative cut off the relationship? Was he justified?

(iii) How did Isaac getting HIV/AIDS affect him and his family?

(iv) List the positive and negative steps which Isaac took for his own benefit and that of the family?

(v) How do you think Isaac’s wife and children felt? Why were they able to continue helping Isaac until he died?

(vi) What are the needs for people who have HIV/AIDS?

3. In plenary, each group discusses their findings.

Learning Points

· We need to think of the consequences of our actions and life styles.

· Reactions from family and friends are a very important issue. Love and understanding are vital in the care and management of PWAs. While people may feel an instinctive emotional rejection, they have to try and overcome it.

· Importance of positive living for PWA’s

· Importance of making a will even for people without HIV/AIDS

· Taking a test for HIV/AIDS helps us to get the right treatment and support and to plan for our lives and families.


· Loss of parents due to HIV/AIDS is a sensitive matter and should be handled with care.

Extension Activity

1. Students identify and describe programmes assisting infected and affected persons in their communities.



Life Skills to be developed

Coping with stress and emotion, empathy, friendship formation.



Time: 30 minutes


1. Whole class brainstorm on the following questions.

· What would you do if you discovered that:

(i) Your best friend is HIV+?
(ii) A family member is HIV+?
(iii) Your boyfriend/girlfriend is HIV+?
(iv) You are HIV+?

· In (iv) above, what would you want from friends, neighbours etc?

2. Tutor writes answers on the chalk board and tries to find some commonalities in the answers for discussions.

Learning Points

· People have varied feelings towards people with AIDS but should try to be positive.
· Need for empathy
· Importance of positive living
· Determining one’s status by taking an HIV test.


· One question should be handled at a time.
· Topic is sensitive to those who could be infected or affected.

Extension Activity

1. Investigate and describe how HIV/AIDS counsellors carry out their work.




By the end of the lesson student teachers should be able to:

1. Explain the possible consequences of personal behaviour and life styles in relation to HIV/AIDS.

2. Examine their own life styles and goals

3. Identify and put into practice appropriate life skills in view of HIV/AIDS pandemic.

Life Skills to be developed

Effective communication, decision making, problem solving.


Video machine and tape.

Time: 40 minutes


1. Shows the film to students. Tell the students to note down issues raised concerning HIV/AIDS using the following guiding questions:

(i) What do you learn from the film?
(ii) What life styles are portrayed in the film?
(iii) From the film, what personal behaviour put you at risk of catching HIV/AIDS?
(iv) From the film, what personal behaviour prevent you from catching HIV/AIDS?
(v) What life skills do we learn from the film show?

2. At the end of the show, tutor and students discuss the film in general.

3. Tutor highlights and summarises the salient points in the film.

Learning Points

· The effect of HIV/AIDS on an individual is reflected in the family, the community and the nation as a whole.

· There is need to improve on socio-economic status of the people in the country in order to minimise further spread of HIV/AIDS.

· Some of the socio-economic and Political implications of HIV/AIDS on individual, family, community and nation include: Orphans, widows, widowers, stigmatization, loss of friends/relatives, loss of jobs, reduced man power;

Labour force adversely affected, reduced production; de-population and national programmes affected.

· Ways of coping with the socio-economic and political implications of HIV/AIDS include:

· Encourage female education
· Parents to talk to their children about sex and AIDS.
· Encourage correct and proper use of the condom (protectors).
· Encourage income generating and recreational activities for women and youths.
· Encourage the development of Health Club in schools and colleges and communities.
· Encourage life skills related to positive behaviour like peer pressure resistance, decision making, negotiation skills, assertiveness, coping with stress/emotions, friendship formation, Problem solving, self awareness and effective communication.

· It is easier for the HIV/AIDS virus to pass from a man to a woman than it is from a woman to a man.

· Some women who are HIV positive may pass the virus to their babies.

· Sometimes girls are defiled by men or boys and can be infected by HIV

· Tutor should encourage student teachers to use formal, non formal, and informal education in promoting behaviour change in view of HIV/AIDS endemic.


· Prepare the room for the film/video show in advance and ensure power supply.

· Film/video tapes can be obtained from video libraries; UNICEF, DMO’s office; Health Education Division, Ministry of Health.

· You may show the film in the evening if it takes more than one hour.

· Tutor identifies and collects different films/videos about HIV/AIDS e.g. Ndiwulira and Gampisi by Bakayimbira dramactors; The Lutaya film; and “It is not easy”.

· Tutor should view the films before the lesson while noting down the main points. S/he should also note the life skills and lifestyles portrayed.

Extension Activities

1. Ask students to choose one way of showing good friendship to a close friend and put it into practice at home.

2. Ask students to write a motto or slogan about caring for people with HIV/AIDS.

3. Ask students to find out how people affected with HIV/AIDS are being supported.

4. Ask students to think about the qualities of good friendship within family life and the community.

5. Ask students to write a code of friendship to display in class.

6. Ask students to write scenarios or stories about a lonely child who finds a new friend in the community.

Community Service

1. Through school health clubs, construct plays, playlets, poems, songs, stories about HIV/AIDS. Write, rehearse and act to the community and/or rest of the school. Discuss with the community members to bring out the salient points about HIV/AIDS and the life skills required to continue to lead healthy lives.

2. Through the school health club, identity people with AIDS (PWAs) to talk to the school and community about their experiences.

3. Students carry out a survey on personal behaviour and life styles of the people in their local community.

4. Students identify and explain how people affected with HIV/AIDS are helped or supported in the community.



The family is the basic unit of society. The state of the family greatly affects the growth and development of its members who depend on one other for their health i.e. physical, mental and social wellbeing. Therefore, it is important student teachers as individuals, generally understand their roles in promoting healthy relationships in the family.

On the one hand, they are youth facing a lot of pressure and influences from peers, relatives and community on how they should behave. They need life skills education. They are aged 18 years and have had at least 11 years of formal education. They have rich experience of facing challenges at home and in their schools and communities. They need to reflect and build upon these experiences in order to translate them into healthy life styles of their own.

At the same time, these student teachers are potential professional educators who can have a lot of positive influence on school children and youth in the community. They are potential agents of change in the entire education system and society. Therefore, they need skills and abilities to identify and cope with different social problems in the school and the community.


By the end of this unit, students should be able to:

1. Describe different types of families and their characteristics.

2. Describe the factors and circumstances that promote or inhibit healthy relationships in the family and community.

3. Explain the role of the individual, family, community and the school in promoting healthy relationships.

4. Explain the causes, consequences, prevention and management of:

· juvenile delinquency.
· alcohol and drug abuse.
· smoking.

5. Explain the children’s rights and the problems and challenges facing the girl child as well as her opportunities in the family and community.

6. Explain the importance of good marriage relationships in the family and community.

7. Identify and practice life skills that promote good relationships in the family, school and community.




By the end of this topic students should be able to:

1. Define a family
2. Describe the different types of families found in Uganda
3. Explain the advantages and disadvantages of different types of families.
4. Explain the effects of different family types on the individual, family and community.
5. Demonstrate their own life skills more effectively in real life situations.



Life Skills to be developed

Empathy, self awareness, critical thinking and coping with stress.


Papers, pens/pencils.

Time: 40 minutes


1. Tutor divides the students into 3 groups.

2. Tutor asks students to discuss and present in a diagram or picture form on a large sheet of paper the following:

Group A: “The family I would enjoy living in.”
Group B: “The family I would not enjoy living in.”
Group C: “The minimum requirements for a happy family”.

3. In plenary each group will present their work, identifying the people and the things/items found in the family they have drawn and why.

4. The tutor summarizes the activity by leading a discussion on the following:

(i) Family types and memberships identified.
(ii) Aspects that make certain families easier to live in them others.
(iii) Aspects that make certain families more difficult to live in than others.
(iv) Children’s rights and responsibilities in families.
(v) How common is the ideal family?

Learning Points

· It is difficult to define a family in the current Ugandan situation. The extended family has largely broken down, especially in the town leaving a wide variety of families including monogamous and polygamous families as well as single parent families, step parents, children living with their relatives permanently

· Aspects that make a happy family: love, fidelity, honesty, good character, education, adequate income, good goals, healthy life styles etc.

· Aspects that make certain families difficult to live in: large family size, inadequate income, poor character of members, poor hygiene, alcohol abuse, domestic violence etc.


· Drawings do not have to be elaborate

· Discussion should bring out the content.

· It will probably become clear from the drawings that students see families in a broader sense than mere family relationships. The quality of life of the family is essential.

· Emphasise that since the ideal is not common, all family types can be turned into relatively healthy and happy ones or vise versa depending on the behaviours of the family members.

Extension Activity

1. Discuss with your best friend the things that do not make you happy in your families and describe how you can improve them.




Life Skills to be developed

Critical thinking, decision making.


Paper, pens/pencils.

Time: 30 minutes


1. Divide the class into four groups.

2. Each group agrees upon the nine most important characteristics of a good family. The characteristics should be serially numbered (10 minutes).

3. Using the diamond ranking method groups, rank the characteristics they have identified to show their order of priority (10 minutes) The characteristics of highest priority are the ones that are most essential for creating a good family for example:


4. Groups present and discuss their work in plenary giving reasons for their ranking (10 minutes).

5. Tutor summarizes the presentations bringing out the salient aspects.

Learning Point

· The ideal family is not common, however, all types of families can be turned into relatively healthy and happy ones or vice versa depending on the behaviours of the family members.


· Refer to the diamond 9 ranking exercise in Section Two for a more detailed description of the methodology

· There is no single correct order of ranking the characteristics but the groups should be able to defend their rankings.

Extension Activity

1. Discuss with your friend how to build an ideal family. How do you think such a family would prioritise its use of the family income.




By the end of this topic students should be able to:

1. Explain the role of each family member in promoting healthy family relationships-
2. Identify barriers to happy family relationships and ways of resolving them.
3. Adopt behaviours that promote healthy family relationships.



Life Skills to be developed

Interpersonal relationship, friendship formation, decision making.


Copies of the story, paper, pens/pencils.

Time: 30 minutes


1. Divide the class in groups of eight and give each group copies of the story.
2. Ask groups to read the story and discuss the given questions.


Kato is a happily married man who lives with his wife and three children. The first born, Matata is a trained teacher, aged 23 years. The second, is a 16 year old boy in S.2 and the last one is a girl, aged 12 years in Primary seven.

Kato is a Ministry of Education and Sports employee. He doesn’t earn a lot of money but he managed to put up a house for his family and always provides clothing, protection and medical care to them. At the same time, his wife is innovative and very creative. Despite being a housewife, she started a poultry and tailoring project which supplements the husband’s income. She has trained some people from the community in tailoring and others have acquired more knowledge and skills on poultry keeping and tailoring. Besides, people from other villages near and far come to see the projects. They openly appreciate the projects and family relationships between the husband and wife and children.

Mr. and Mrs Kato love their children and always guide and direct them positively. This couple is free and open to the children and on several occasions Mr. and Mrs. Kato consult them on matters pertaining to home management, education, and lifestyles.

Once in a while the family organises outing to visit grand parents, aunts, uncles, friends, distant relatives and educative interesting places. The children love and respect their parents and all other elders in their village. Boys and girls help with domestic chores equally and they really confide in one another. Soon Matata is getting married to her fianchom she met at school. The whole family is involved in preparations. The aunts, uncles and grand parents have been invited to come and give advice and guidance to the bride. The whole family is happy and collectively looks forward to seeing Matata marry properly.


(i) How do Mr. and Mrs Kato relate to one another?
(ii) In your opinion what life skills do Mr. and Mrs Kato apply in their family?
(iii) How do Mr. and Mr. Kato relate to their children?
(iv) Why did Matata decide to get a fiancBR>(v) How does one arrive at getting a fiancianc

3. In the plenary, groups present and discuss their findings.

4. Tutor summarises important points in the story on good family relationships

Learning Points

· Responsibilities of each family member in promoting good relationship in the family. Parents/guardians provide love, security, shelter, care, clothing, financial support etc. Children provide love to parents and other people in the family, help on another etc.

· Importance of children’s rights in a good family relationship:

· a caring environment.
· they get basic necessities.
· they are involved in decision making.
· not discriminated against sex, origin etc.

· All children regardless of sex share chores equally.

· Some aspects that could promote good family relationship in a family.

· caring for one another
· working together
· interpersonal relationship
· accepting one another


· Tutor should avoid bias on matters pertaining to husband and wife relationship and nature of families. The story portrays one example of a good family; explore more.

Extension Activity

1. Students discuss contributions that parents and children can make to promote good family and community relationship.



Life Skills to be developed

Coping with stress and emotion, empathy, negotiation, interpersonal relationship.


Copies of the case study, paper, pens/pencils.

Time: 30 minutes


1. Divide the class in four groups.
2. Ask them to read the case study and discuss the given questions.

Case Study: Amon

Amon is a business man. He is married to Jane who is not employed. They have five daughters, aged between five and fifteen. Amon’s mother, Yunia, is a widow and stays with Amon. Amon enjoys going to parties and night clubs with friends. He normally comes home after midnight and wakes up his wife to give him warm water for bathing, food and news about his mother. He always leaves early in the morning before 6.00 a.m. Sometimes, Amon does not come home at all for days. He leaves some money with his mother who decides how to spend it for the family. Jane often attempts to explain to her husband the problems in the family but he does not listen. Occasionally, they end up fighting. The children too are not happy with their father.


(i) How does Amon relate to his wife?
(ii) If you were Jane, what would you do? Why?
(iii) If you were Amon, what problems are you likely to encounter?
(iv) If you were one of the children what would you do?
(v) Why do you think Amon gives money to his mother to run his family matters?
(vi) What do we learn from the case study?

3. In the plenary each group presents their findings for discussion.

4. Tutor highlights the salient points in the case study.

Learning Points

· Unacceptable behaviour of one family member leads to serious problems, e.g. distrust, alcohol abuse, infidelity.

· Consequences of abnormal family relationship to parents, children and community.

· Parents: separation of divorce, constant fighting, alcohol abuse, loss of weight, etc.

· Children: juvenile delinquency illiteracy, poor hygiene and nutrition etc.

· Importance of good family relationship in the family and community, e.g. poverty eradication, goals attained, healthy life styles etc.


· Tutor should avoid bias.
· S/he should create a free environment for discussion.

Extension Activity

1. Students discuss the cause and consequences of abnormal family relationship in their community.



Life Skills to be developed

Coping with stress and emotion, negotiation, decision making, interpersonal relationship.


Paper, pens, pencils, chalk board.

Time: 40 minutes


1. Divide the students into six groups.

2. Explain to the students that they are to produce a short role play which shows their feelings about different kinds of families. Give each group one family to role play.

Group One: “Growing up with mum alone.”
Group Two: “Growing up with dad alone.”
Group Three: “Growing up with auntie.”
Group Four: “Children growing up alone.”
Group Five: “Growing up with all our relatives.”
Group Six: “Growing up with the housegirl.”

3. Discussion of each group’s presentation in plenary using the guiding questions below:

(i) How realistic was the presentation?
(ii) How stereotyped was the presentation?
(iii) How do we ensure good relationships in all family type variations.

4. Tutor summarizes positive and negative points portrayed in the role plays e.g. over protection, over dependency, stereo typing, neglect, rejection, love, proper care etc.

Learning Point

· There will probably be a stereotyped presentation of most of the family types. The teacher should counteract this with examples of positive behaviours in all kinds of families.


· Tutor should be aware that this activity is sensitive. S/he should not show bias.
· Role plays should not take more than five minutes.

Extension Activity

1. Students identify two family type variations in their community and describe how the members relate to one another.




By the end of the topic, students will be able to:

1. Identify ways they can cope with emotions caused by problems at home

2. Explain the effects of bad relationships on children

3. Negotiate better in difficult family situations

4. Develop and demonstrate their self-esteem whatever family they belong to.



Life Skills to be developed

Critical thinking, decision making, self awareness, coping with stress and emotion, empathy.


Paper, pens/pens, task cards writing papers prepared before hand.

Time: 30 minutes


1. Divide students into groups of six to eight.
2. Give each group two tasks to discuss and write down their findings (10 minutes).


(i) Mother is drinking too much?

(ii) You never see your father because he always comes home late?

(iii) You stay with your mother/father and she/he won’t let you see your other parent?

(iv) You want to go out to a disco with your friend on Saturday night i but your parents won’t let you go?

(v) Your mother keeps taking you out of school to help at home?

(vi) You live with an orphaned relative but your father/mother is not treating her/him well?

(vii) Your mother is very unhappy and she tells you that your father has another woman?

(viii) One of our parents/guardians is terminally ill?

(ix) You are brought up by a stepmother?

(x) You are brought up by a stepfather?

3. Groups present their findings in plenary for discussion (10 minutes)

4. Brainstorm on factors that cause parents/guardians to be difficult (5 minutes)

5. Tutor summarizes the main aspects in dealing with difficult parents or guardians e. g. tolerance, negotiation, using a sympathetic adult, seeking advice etc.

Learning Points

· Factors that may cause parents or guardians to be difficult include:

· their nature.
· inadequate income.
· too many responsibilities or demands.
· large family size.
· poor relationships etc.

· Values for the children include:

· negotiation.
· assertiveness
· tolerance
· critical thinking

· Children’s rights related to safety and security at home.

· Specific problems of the girl child such as work load, son preference, early marriage, push out of school etc.


· Ensure participation of all students in the groups.



Life Skills to be developed

Critical thinking, decision making, empathy, creative thinking, problem solving, effective communication.


Paper, pens/pencils.

Time: 40 minutes


1. Tutor reviews the previous lesson on coping with difficult parents and guardians - what they do/don’t do and how children try to cope.

2. Whole class brainstorms on the meaning of the topic for the debate.

3. Divide the class into two groups; PRO and CONTRA. Each group chooses their two main speakers.

4. Each group prepares the speeches to be given by their main speakers.

5. The two groups debate in plenary by the chairmen presenting their points of view. Each side is given 5 minutes.

6. If there is time, speeches from the floor are allowed.

7. Tutor summarizes the salient aspects raised by the debate.

Learning Points

· Growing up with difficult parents or guardians can have terrible consequences which greatly outweigh some incidental seeming benefits on the child.

· “Training” the child for life does not mean or require creating very difficult conditions for him/her.

· Children’s rights, for both boys and girls.


· It may be necessary to allow a double class for this activity
· It is a debate - there is no right or wrong side.
· Tutor should use the opportunity to examine children’s rights.

Extension Activity

1. Visit a primary school and collect from teachers real life examples of children whole behaviour was affected by difficult parents/guardians.




By the end of this topic, students should be able to:

1. Explain some of the problems facing orphans and analyse the reasons for them.
2. List ways of improving the orphan situation
3. Act as responsible teachers to those who are orphans in their class



Life Skills to be developed

Empathy, coping with stress and emotion, self esteem.


Copies of the story about Musa, paper, pens/pencils.

Time: 40 minutes


1. Divide students into groups.

2. Give each group a copy of the story about Musa and ask them to read and discuss the given questions.


Evening always found Musa very tired at home. After school he had to fetch water, bring in the goats, sweep the court yard and heat bath water for the children.

However Dina would complain to her husband about Musa. “Musa is an eater and not a producer”, she said. “He doesn’t want to work, yet he doesn’t miss any meal!”

Musa always had tea without milk or sugar though the rest of the children had these. “If Musa wanted milk, why didn’t he come with a cow?” she retorted when her husband pointed out that Musa’s tea had no milk in it.

“Mother, please give Musa some sugar with his tea,” Jane implored her mother. “We don’t have a sugar depot!” Dina spat out.

Musa drank his brown hot water suppressing a desire to cry. He must do what brought him to Kyeera and not let food divert his aims. He was determined to abide by his father’s parting words.



(i) Draw the family diagram showing how Musa fits into the family.

(ii) Explain how Musa’s health is affected;

· physically
· mentally
· socially

(iii) How does Dina attempt to break Musa’s esteem?

(iv) Could Dina’s husband have done more?

(v) Could Jane have done more for Musa? If you were Jane, what would you have done?

(vi) Where has Musa’s father gone? What is meant by ‘parting words’? What do you think were his parting words?

(vii) How does Musa try to cope with his situation?

3. In plenary, groups present and discuss their findings.

4. Tutor summarizes salient points about caring for orphans and other extended relatives in a family.

Learning Points

· Problems of orphans:

· lack of basic necessities e.g. food, shelter.
· no proper medical care.
· no parental love.
· pushed out of school etc.

· Improving the orphan situation:

· provide love, shelter, education, clothing, medical care, food etc.

· Musa’s position in the family.



· The topic is very sensitive to students who are orphans. Tutor could help them cope up with stress and emotions.

Extension Activity

1. Students carry out a debate based on Musa’s story. One group supports Dina and the other oppose her.



By the end of this topic, the student teachers should be able to:

1. Avoid the habit of smoking if they have not already started.
2. Assist other non-smokers to avoid the habit of smoking.
3. Stop smoking if they already smoke.
4. Assist other smokers to stop smoking.
5. Promote and protect children’s rights against smoking.



Life Skills to be developed

Decision making, peer pressure resistance, friendship formation, negotiation.


Rolled papers to resemble cigarettes, match boxes, manila paper, markers.

Time: 40 minutes


1. Students are divided into two groups A and B.

2. Group A prepares arguments in favour of smoking and Group B prepares arguments against smoking. Each group chooses 2 members who will role play on their behalf in an argument about smoking.

3. Students role play the argument.

4. Students divide into small groups of six to eight participants to discuss the following questions.

(i) What have you learnt from the role play?
(ii) Who were more forceful in their arguments? Why?
(iii) Which side modified its position in any way? How?
(iv) Which side was most successful in arguing? Why?
(v) Which was more effective, confrontation or negotiation?

5. Groups present their findings to the plenary for discussion.

6. Tutor summarizes salient points.


Learning Points

· Smoking is a habit which has serious consequences to an individual, family and community. For example it is a health hazard and a financial drain on individual and family budgets.

· A person starts smoking due to several influences. For example, a child may get curious and tries to find out what her/his father/mother gets out of smoking. Another youth may take to smoking when s/he visits places where many patrons smoke, for example bars, night clubs and video cinemas. Being in the company of those who smoke may persuade a person to smoke just to keep up with them.

· Smoking is mostly started during teenage years.

· Breaking the habit of smoking requires a strong will to stop because nicotine is physically addictive. Guidance and counselling may assist.


· Encourage the role players to bring out, each of the intended life skills as much as possible.

Extension Activities

1. Ask students to identify and approach some smokers in the college or the local community ask them:

(i) When they started smoking.
(ii) How they started smoking.
(iii) How much they smoke everyday.
(iv) Whether anybody ever complains about their smoking.
(v) Whether they would like to give up smoking.



Life Skills to be developed

Effective communication, decision making, critical thinking.


Manila paper, markers, copies of a poem “Ring of Death”.

Time: 40 minutes


1. The students are each given a copy of the poem which they study on their own.


When I light up a fag,
I feel like a King
Among all my peers,
to smoke is the thing
I inhale and I blow
a lovely smoke ring
I whistle, I laugh
with joy as I sing
But the song is of death,
The death of the ring
The death of my cash
I blame on the ring
Family crash
I blame on the ring
Collapse of my lungs
was caused by the ring
Departure of breath
Death of the ring.

2. In groups discuss the following questions.

(i) According to the poem, what are the effects of smoking?

(ii) Do you think the poem has given a fair picture of the effects? Why?

(iii) What can be done:

· to encourage smokers to stop smoking?
· to discourage other people smoking?
· to reduce other people’s rate of smoking?

(iv) How can children be protected against smoking?

(v) Identify and explain life skills which can be used to prevent or control smoking.

Learning Points

· Smoking is a habit which has serious consequences for individuals, families and communities. For example it is a health hazard and a financial drain on individual and family budgets.

· Nicotine a chemical found in Tobacco is a drug that leads to dependence.

· Advertisements in support of smoking are just fallacies.

· Smoking constantly damages the lungs and other respiratory organs. This affects the body and functions and is especially noticed in sports or manual labour.


· If copies of the poem are not enough or available, it can be written on a chalk board.

Extension Activity

1. Each group is asked to compose a short poem conveying a particular message on a short poem.

2. The poems are written on a manilla paper/newsprint and displayed around the classroom.

3. The students go around the classroom identifying the major messages in each poem.



Life Skills to be developed

Peer pressure/resistance, friendship formation, assertiveness.


Manila paper, markers, a copy of the story.

Time: 30 minutes


1. Tutor reads the following situation to the class.

Richard was not a smoker. He used to spend a lot of his time with Maria. She was so charming and he really enjoyed her company. But his friends laughed at him and told him that if he wanted to remain friends with them, he had to smoke. So he smoked but when he went to see Maria later, she wrinkled her nose in disgust.

‘Richard, you’ve been smoking.’


‘I hate cigarette smoke. I’m sorry but if you want to be my friend, you’ll have to give up smoking.’

2. Students buzz with their neighbours as to what they would do if they were Richard.

3. In plenary, tutor asks the students to examine their own emotions on the issue by answering the following questions:

(i) Do you think Maria is being reasonable to Richard?
(ii) Who are more important, Maria or the other boys?
(iii) What is the best alternative for Richard?

Learning Points

· Non smokers can be affected by smokers.
· Smokers who give up smoking can gradually regain their health.
· The main causes of smoking are peer pressure, imitation, poor decision making and lack of critical thinking.


· The story may be read by one of the students.
· Making a firm decision gives a basis for negotiation.
· At times negotiation is difficult because it involves independence, trust and power.

Extension Activity

1. Students discuss the following questions:

(i) What are the causes and consequences of smoking?
(ii) How can smoking be prevented?

2. State and explain life skills which can be used to prevent and control smoking.

3. How can we promote/protect children’s rights in relation to smoking?




By the end of this topic students should be able to:

1. Explain the causes, consequences, prevention and management of juvenile delinquency.
2. Develop life styles that are beneficial to themselves, their families peers and the community.
3. Identify and develop life skills beneficial within peers, family and community.



Life Skills to be developed

Interpersonal relationships, self awareness, critical thinking.


Cards or newsprint cut in pieces of 10 x 20 cm, pens, pencils.

Time: 30 minutes


1. Divide the students into groups of 5 and distribute cards and markers to each group.

2. Ask each group to discuss and agree on the definition of “Juvenile” and “Delinquency”.

3. The agreed definitions of each team are written on separate cards.

4. Tutor collects the cards and pins them up for discussion, and an agreed definition of Juvenile delinquency is arrived at.

5. Each group discusses the causes of juvenile delinquency and agrees on the five most critical ones. These are then written on separate cards.

6. The groups pin up their cards for discussion.

7. After studying the cards, students group them according to the following categories.

(i) Those to do with physical causes of Juvenile delinquency e.g. lack of food.
(ii) Social causes of Juvenile delinquency e.g. need for independence.

8. Tutor summarizes the work pointing out the importance of catering for the physical and social needs of juveniles.

Learning Points

· Juvenile delinquency - anti-social behaviour of children below 18 years of age.

· Examples of juvenile delinquency can include:

· Lying.
· Truancy (avoiding school).
· Stealing.
· Violence.
· Arson.
· Alcohol/Drug abuse.
· Loitering.
· Sex offences.

· Causes of Juvenile delinquency can include:

· Standards which are too high.
· Standards which are too low.
· Inconsistency in rewards and punishments.
· Disturbed homes.
· Poor social environment.
· Conflicting values in social groups.




Life Skills to be developed

Empathy, critical thinking, peer pressure resistance, self awareness.


Copies of the story of the prodigal son.

Time: 40 minutes


1. Divide the class into groups and give copies of the story to each group.

The Prodigal Son

He asked his father for the share of the wealth that should go to him which his father did willingly. In a far off country he squandered this wealth merry making with friends. Soon he was without money and all the friends he knew had disappeared. Hunger drove him to look for work. He even ate what was meant for his master’s pigs.

When he came to his senses he returned to his father from whom he asked for forgiveness. There was a great feast in honour of his return.

2. Groups answer the following questions. Each group answers either A or B or C.

A What could have caused the son to ask for his share of the wealth from his father? Give as many causes as you can think of.

B Imagine you were the prodigal son, narrate your experiences in the far away country before your wealth dried up.

C Imagine you were the prodigal son and your wealth has dried up. Narrate how you would prepare an apology to your father.

3. The groups present their answers to the plenary for discussion.

4. Tutor summarizes the presentations.

Learning Point

· The reaction of the father shows one very positive way of reclaiming delinquents.

Extension work

The groups can write and perform role plays on delinquency involving boys and girl children delinquents.




By the end of this topic students should be able to:

1. Avoid taking alcoholic drinks, if they have not already started.
2. Assist other non-alcoholic drinkers to avoid the habit of drinking.
3. Stop drinking alcohol, if they already drink
4. Assist other drinkers to stop drinking.
5. Promote and protect children’s rights with regard to alcohol.
6. Explain the effects of alcohol.



Life Skills to be developed

Coping with emotions, critical thinking, decision making.


Manila paper/newsprint, markers, copies of the cartoon story.

Time: 40 minutes


1. Students are divided to groups of 5-6.

2. Each group is given a copy of the cartoon story below to interpret and later discuss the given questions.


A (i) What type of a family can this be?

(ii) Why can’t the man sleep without a drink.

B If you were the son:

(i) how would you have reacted to your father’s order to look for waragi?
(ii) how would you have found out good quality waragi?
(iii) how would you have reacted when the father fell asleep?

3. Groups present their findings to the plenary for discussion.

Learning Points

· The potent component in all alcoholic drinks is ethanol.

· Some distillates, e.g. crude waragi, may contain some toxic components, e.g. methanol, which have a dangerous cumulative effect on health.

· Alcoholic drinks, even those from which toxic components have been removed, are bad for health if their consumption is not carefully controlled e.g. damage to brain, sight, nervous system.

· Alcoholic drinks consumption may make a big drain a personal and family income.

· The children’s rights violated include

· exposure to night dangers
· exposure to alcoholics in the drinking places.
· tempting the child to drink to drink to determine quality.

· Alcoholics can be helped by counselling them to develop a will to stop on their own, first of all.


· Where it is not possible to reproduce the cartoon story, the situation could be presented in the form of a role play.

Extension Activities

1. Students should produce short stories in cartoon form, depicting how children’s rights and safety in families are abused.

A Drink to Sleep (Cartoon Story)



Life Skills to be developed

Critical thinking, decision making, negotiation, coping with emotions.


Copies of the play, newsprint, markers.

Time: 40 minutes


1. Divide the class into groups and give each group a copy of the following case study to read and later discuss the given questions.

Majala is a married man, with six children. He is employed in a big private company. He and his family stay in their family house in an electoral constituency. Majala stands for elections. He borrows and spends a lot of money buying alcohol, during the campaign period, to solicit for support.

(i) What are the likely effects of alcohol on the voters?

(ii) Do you think Majala will win?

(iii) If you were a voter, what would you feel about being given free drink? Would you vote for Majala?

(iv) If you were Majala,

· How else would you have solicited for votes?
· How would you feel before the votes were counted?
· How would you feel if you lost? Who would you blame?
· What would you do after losing the elections?

(v) If you were Majala’s wife, how would you react when Majala tells you that he is going to stand for elections? How would you feel if he lost the election? What would you do?

(vi) What problems do you think Majala is facing? How can you advise Majala to solve these problems?

2. Each group presents their findings to the plenary for discussion.

3. Summarise the main points.

Learning Points

· Events like elections raise a lot of feelings like expectations, hope, excitement, anxiety, joy, disappointment, despair among those participating in them.

· To win peoples’ support, one should rely on honest appeal, persuasion, negotiation and demonstration that you can assist them, using legal means, to overcome their problems. Bribing through such offers as alcohol should be avoided. Not only do bribes prevent people from assessing you objectively but their lives and productivity is impaired.

· All family members should be consulted and allowed to give their opinion on any activity where family resources are involved.


· To save some time, different questions on case study can be handled by different groups.

Extension Activities

1. Each group prepares a role play on case study which can be presented in next lesson.



Life Skills to be developed

Coping with emotions/stress, empathy, peer resistance.


Newsprint, markers.

Time: 40 minutes


1. The class brainstorms on:

(i) the dangers of alcohol abuse.
(ii) the signs of alcohol abuse
(iii) treatment of alcohol abuse

One of the students writes the points on the board.

2. The tutor divides the class in an even number group of groups of 5-6 students.

3. Each group designs an outline of an emblem and a motto.

4. Half of the groups write in the four corners of their shields how alcohol abuse can be prevented by the:

(i) individuals/self
(ii) family members
(iii) community members
(iv) government

These groups each compose a motto about prevention of alcohol abuse. The other groups write, in the four corners of the shields how a victim of alcohol abuse (an alcoholic) can be helped by the:

(i) individuals/self.
(ii) family members.
(iii) community members.
(iv) government.

They then compose a motto about helping a victim of alcohol abuse (an alcoholic)

5. The groups present their shields and mottos for discussion.


Learning Points

· Dangers of alcohol abuse include:

(i) Tolerance - drinking more and more alcohol as time goes on.

(ii) Dependence - failure to function without having taken alcohol.

(iii) Developing diseases of the liver, the digestive system, the brain.

(iv) Family problems - family neglect, child and spouse abuse, maladjusted children, loss of income - e.g. losing a job.

(v) Community problems - one may become violent, rape and defile, damage property, cause accidents.

· There are children’s rights related to alcohol, e.g. children should not be exposed to:

(i) places where alcohol is sold and drunk
(ii) situations that may tempt them to take alcohol.

· Signs of alcohol abuse include:

(i) Physical appearance - e.g. red mouth, swollen cheeks,

(ii) Behaviour - e.g. loss of body coordination, loss of memory, loss of appetite, shaky hands

(iii) Mental change - e.g. impaired speech, loss of memory.

· Prevention of alcohol abuse can be achieved by the:

(i) Individual through self discipline, e.g. controlling emotions and stress, resisting peer pressure, having self respect, making the right decision.

(ii) Family members through advising and counselling the individual, listening to problems and suggesting better solutions, showing exemplary behaviour.

(iii) Community members - through immunizing situations that will make the individual an alcoholic, e.g. alcohol sellers to prefer an individuals well being then money, peers to resist pleasing the individual through offering excessive drinks; community leaders to counsel the individual.

(iv) Government to enact guidelines and laws to prevent alcohol abuse.

· Assisting a victim of alcohol abuse can be achieved by the:

(i) Individual - through convincing oneself about the need to stop drinking and developing a will strategy to do so and implementing the strategy.

(ii) Family members - through encouraging, advising and supporting the alcoholic.

(iii) Community - through encouraging, advising and supporting the alcoholic.

(iv) Government - through offering appropriate heath education and care to the victim.


· This activity should be based on the learners’ personal experiences.

Extension activity

1. Students could compose songs based on the mottos they wrote.




By the end of the topic, students should be able to:

1. Describe and explain the disadvantages and consequences of drug addiction on the health of the individual, family and community.

2. Practice decision making and assertiveness skills in order to prevent and control drug abuse

3 Identify and explain children’s rights with respect to the prevention and control of drug abuse and drug trafficking.



Life Skills to be developed

Assertiveness, self esteem, effective communication, empathy, critical thinking.



Time: 30 minutes


1. Divide students into four groups and give each group one of the following to discuss.


(i) What is drug abuse?

(ii) What factors encourage drug abuse?

(iii) How can drug abuse be prevented?


(i) List the practices that lead to drug abuse.

(ii) What are the effects of drug abuse on the individual, family and community?


(i) What is drug addiction?

(ii) What is drug dependence?

(iii) How can it be prevented and controlled?


(i) What is drug trafficking?

(ii) What are its consequences?

(iii) How can it be prevented and controlled?

2. In plenary groups present their findings for discussion.

3. Tutor highlights outstanding points and aspects on the topic.

Learning Points

· Drugs are medicinal substances that can prevent, cure or reduce symptoms of disease. However it is essential that they are prescribed and used properly.

· Differentiate between medical and illegal drugs.

· Drug abuse is when drugs are used wrongly whether they are legal or illegal. It does harm to body and cause many psychological and social problems to the individual.

· Drug dependence is a result of drug abuse and prolonged use of the drug. The body and mind become dependent on taking the drug, the taker feels s/he cannot live without it and s/he suffers withdrawal symptoms when s/he stops taking the drugs.

· Drug trafficking is the dealing or buying and selling of illegal drugs.

· The factors which influence drug abuse include the biological effect of the drug, pressure from the social group and the individual’s personality.

· The following life skills are useful in the prevention and control of drug addiction. Resisting peer pressure, self-esteem, decision making, critical thinking.

· Children have the right to be protected against drug addiction: for example drugs should help out of children’s reach, and they should be taught the effects of drugs and how to resist peer pressure.


· Ensure that discussion brings out the learning points and life skills.
· Bring out promotion and protection of children’s rights.

Extension Activity

1. Carry out a survey among adults and youths with regard to the use of illegal drugs in village.



The previous section of the manual has given examples of activities that a tutor can use for promoting the development of life skills in his/her students while teaching Health Education. They are just a few examples but every topic in the syllabus will readily accommodate Life Skills promoting activities as has been shown in the analysis of the syllabus in Section 3. Therefore, tutors are encouraged to be creative and resourceful in integrating Life Skills in all their Health Education topics/lessons.


The manual shows that the development of life skills requires active learning. The learner has to become actively involved in the lesson thereby participating in the discovery or acquisition of knowledge, attitudes and skills. It is suggested that while developing life skills promoting activities, the following points are kept in mind.

Ice Breaking

The group needs to loosen up. The learners may have been studying together for some time. They may know one another by name but may not have gone beyond that, except with close friends. The learners should be encouraged to mix in random pairs/groups. For example, each pair may tell each other something about themselves such as hobbies, dislikes, most valued childhood experience, most embarrassing moment with a teacher etc. The importance of the exercise is for the group to open up to one another. (See some of the icebreakers in Section Two of this manual).

Team Building

Most of the life skills activities require team work and sharing of sensitive feelings and ideas. It is therefore good to start with activities that build up a sense of trust, frankness and mutual respect among the learners. It is also good at this stage to encourage the learners to come up with their own ground rules that will guide the work. (Suggestions for these can be found in Section Two).


As the lesson progresses, learners may become fatigued. Afternoon lessons can be especially tough. Develop some short activities such as the ones described in Section Two of the manual that can be used as necessary.


As stated above, it is very important to use methods that promote full participation and enjoyment of the learners, and to use a variety of methods wherever possible in order to avoid monotony. Some suggested methods can be found in Section Two.

Identifying and Prioritising Life Skills

A number of life skills have been identified and described in Section One of the manual. In Section Three, under each topic, skills that can be developed have been suggested. You may not consider all those skills to be priorities for the target audience. It is also not possible to treat all the life skills at the same time. Select and prioritise those that best suit the needs of the learners so that they can be given the depth of treatment they deserve and the learners move beyond a superficial appreciation. By identifying the needs of the target audience in terms of skills development, activities may be produced to meet them.

How to prepare an activity

You can do it yourself by following these simple guidelines.

1. Unit..........................................................

2. Rationale.....................................................

3. Unit Objectives................................................

4. Topic.........................................................

5. Specific Objectives.............................................

These objectives should be SMART.

· Specific
· Measurable
· Attainable
· Realistic
· Targetted

6. Activity

7. Life skills (behaviours) to be developed

8. Learning aids

9. Time

10. Procedure

(iii) etc. Your topic will probably have more than one activity.

12. Learning points

13. Hints

These are points to remember so that the sessions are well arranged. Hints also caution the facilitator to be aware of factors which might hinder the achievement of targetted objectives.

14. Extension Activity

Since the development of life skills is closely linked to the way people see themselves in relation to their community, it is a good idea to encourage different forms of community service as much as possible so that students develop understanding of themselves and others and confidence to interact.


Below are some of the sample lesson plans based on participatory methods and learner’s experience. They also portray the organisation and location of the lesson.








Kyamaganda P.S



Basic Science and Health Education

30 minutes


TOPIC: Keeping Clean

Sub-Topic: Keeping our bodies clean - why and how?


By the end of the lesson, pupils should be able to:

1. State the importance of washing and cleaning parts of the body.
2. State children’s and parents’ responsibilities in promoting hygiene.
3. Demonstrate life skills that can lead to keeping clean e.g. self awareness, decision making and critical thinking.

Life Skills to Be Developed

Self awareness, decision making, critical thinking,

Learning Aids

A story card with illustrations and descriptions about Tika’s family, soap, water, basin


1. UNICEF/MOE (1992):

· Basic Science and Health Education for Primary Schools in Uganda.
· Teachers Guide Volume I page 102.

2. NCDC/MOE (1987):

· Basic Science and Health Education syllabus for Primary Schools in Uganda page 32.

3. UNICEF (1993):

· Children for Health, Child-to-Child Trust, page 87.

4. UNICEF/Government of Uganda (1996):

· Skills for Young Ugandans. Primary schools training manual page 107.


Discussion, brainstorming, story telling


Children identify soap, water, and basin and then tell use.


Children listen attentively to a story below about Tika’s family.

Tika’s Family

Tika has three children, Sara, Zandi, and Kato who go to school every morning. Zandi wears clean clothes but does not like to bathe, clean teeth and comb the hair. Kato, the youngest child of six years wakes up early and tries to clean his body. Sometimes he wears a dirty shirt because he can not wash and dry it at night. Sara, the eldest child checks and helps her brothers every morning before they go to school.


Pupils discuss the following questions:

(i) What do you think makes Zandi not like bathing or brushing his teeth?
(ii) If you were Kato what would you do to wear a clean shirt?
(iii) If you were Sara, what would you do to help Zandi and Kato get ready for school?
(iv) Why is it important to keep the parts of the body and clothes clean?
(v) When do you normally wash your hands, face, teeth, whole body and clothes?


Pupils in their exercise books answer the following questions:

(i) Give reasons why we wash our hands.
(ii) Give the three most important times to wash our hands.


Teacher uses questions...

(i) To what extent were the objectives achieved?
(ii) How was the pupils participation/involvement in the lesson?
... to assess the learning process.


1. The following lesson should be practical for children to learn how to wash parts of their body.
2. The teacher may use other interactive (participatory) methods.








Namukoge P.S



Basic Science and Health Education

40 minutes


TOPIC: Sexually Transmitted Infections

Sub-topic: Prevention of HIV/AIDS


By the end of the lesson, pupils should be able to:

1. Explain how the spread of HIV/AIDS can be prevented.

2. identify risk taking behaviour and explain the reasons for such behaviour and the effects of relation to HIV/AIDS.

3. demonstrate critical thinking and negotiation skills in protecting themselves from HIV/AIDS.

Life Skills to be developed

Decision Making, critical thinking, negotiation

Learning Aids

A role play card about Sara, the driver who is the Uncle’s friend, illustrations of Sara (13 years) and the Uncle’s friend (the driver), statement cards (5) about transmission of HIV/AIDS.


1. UGANDA/UNICEF (1987):

· Basic Primary Science and Health for Uganda.
· Teachers’ Guide Volume II page 228.
· AIDS kit for Primary school.

2. NCDC/UNICEF (1988):

· Health Education Pupil’s book seven page 27-30.

3. UNICEF (1993):

· Children for Health page 142.

4. UGANDA/UNICEF (1996):

· Skills for young Ugandans,

· Primary school training Manual.


Role play, discussion


1. Pupils sit in groups of 6-8 and listen attentively to the following statements based on knowledge, beliefs, attitudes and practices concerning HIV/AIDS transmission

2. Discuss briefly in their groups.

3. Teacher summarises their views.

· You can get HIV/AIDS if you have one boy/girlfriend.
· It is possible to avoid the virus that causes AIDS


1. In their groups, half the groups prepare Part 1 of the role play and half prepare Part 2.

2. Students act their role plays.


Sara (13 years old) is walking home from schools in the rain. A car stops and a driver who is the best friend to her uncle offers her a lift.


Sara agrees to get in the car and sits next to the driver. As they travel, the driver starts to talk words of love to her and put his arm round her neck.


Pupils discuss the following

(i) Which group showed the best response from Sara in Part 1 and Part 2? How else could she respond successfully?

(ii) Do you think the man’s behaviour is common in this area? How can it be confronted?


Pupils answer the following questions in their exercise books:

1. Give reasons why some people take risk behaviours.
2. Write down behaviours that can prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS?
3. List at least five ways in which HIV/AIDS can be prevented.
4. What children’s rights have been violated in the role play?


After the lesson the teacher gives reasons to what extent the objectives have been achieved.


· This lesson should be taught after teaching about the transmission of HIV/AIDS.
· The lesson could also be taught as a case study.
· Pupils may write stories/letters concerning prevention of HIV/AIDS.








Kyamaganda P.S



Basic Science and Health Education

40 minutes


TOPIC: Family Relationships

SUB-TOPIC: Characteristics of a happy family.


By the end of the lesson, pupils should be able to:

1. Differentiate between an extended and nuclear family.
2. Demonstrate life skills that can promote good relationships in an extended family.

Life skills to be developed

Self awareness, friendship formation, coping with stress, empathy.

Learning Aids

Paper and pencil/pens.


Basic Primary Science and Health Education for Uganda: Teacher’s Guide Vol. II, Family Health and Social Problems Kit.


From previous lessons pupils are asked to answer the following questions:

(i) What is a family?
(ii) Who are members of a family?


1. Divide the class is divided into groups of 8.

2. Half the groups discuss and draw a picture to represent the family they would like to live in. The other half discuss and draw a picture to represent the family they would not like to live in.


1. Each group presents and explains its drawings.

2. Teacher summarises with class the characteristics of a happy family and how to promote goo relationships in the family.


1. Pupils answer the following questions in their exercise books.

(i) What makes my family happy?
(ii) What can I do to make it happier?


1. Extent to which objectives are achieved.
2. Pupils’ participation and involvement.


· Teacher should ensure that different family types are mentioned in the discussion in order to avoid bias (eg single parent, stepparent, living with a relative etc)


Have you thought about?


· Be constructive and supportive in your interaction with the students

· Try to build up the self esteem of every child

· Use interactive/participatory methods

· Include childrens rights issues

· Include girl child problems

· Be sensitive to gender issues

· Be accepting of children’s answers even if you do not necessarily agree

· Be time conscious

· Bring out the necessary life skills clearly in each activity

· Make sure that materials are available, accessible and adequate

· Use clear and simple language

· Develop your lesson in a logical sequence

· Read the story, case study or letter, ahead of time

· Prepare activities that provoke discussion and thought rather than preach

· Distribute the questions and answers evenly among students

· Vary the activities and methods in your lesson.

· Give homework to your students

· Give assignments for community service


· Use destructive behaviour

· Always ask the same students

· Use one activity only to cover the topic

· Use one method only in a class

· Show a video/film which you have not viewed beforehand

· Design an activity needing materials and then not collect them beforehand

· Design an activity without thinking of the life skills to be developed

· Use difficult language

· Employ the same method every time for grouping the participants

· Forget to include children’s rights, gender and girl child issues

· Be judgemental

· Be frightened to change methods that have always seemed to work for you but maybe are not appropriate for the children

· Be afraid to try

You can do it !!


1. “When I am Grown: Life Planning Education for Grades 3 and 4”, The Center for Population Options, 1992.

2. “Life Planning Education. A Youth Development Programme”, Washington D.C. 1995, Revised Edition.

3. “Skills for the Primary School Child: Part 1 Foundation Programme.” TACADE.

4. “Skills for the Primary School Child: Part 2 Cross cultural Themes” TACADE.

5. “Energisers, Ice Breakers and Warm-Ups” TACADE.

6. “Talking With Children About Sex and Growing Up” Government of Uganda and UNICEF.

7. “Living With AIDS in the Community” TASO and UNICEF.

8. “The Adolescent Boy and Girl and Responsible Adulthood” ACFODE.

9. “Know Your Body” STD/AIDS Control Programme. Ministry of Health.

10. “Working with Young People. A Guide to Preventing HIVAIDS and STDs” WHO, Commonwealth Youth Programme and UNICEF.

11. “School Health Education to Prevent AIDS AND STDs. A Resource Package for Curriculum Planners” WHO/UNESCO 1992.

12. “Think about it. An AIDS Action programme for Schools” Curriculum Development Unit, Ministry of Education and Culture, Zimbabwe with assistance from UNICEF, 1995.

13. “The Socio-Economic Impact of HIV/AIDS on Youth” Daphne Topouzis Ph.D. Consultant, 1994.

14. “Life Skills Education in Schools” Division of Mental Health WHO, Geneva 1993.

15. “Sara Communication Initiative” UNICEF-ESARO, 1996.

16. Health Education Syllabus. P.T.C.

17. Health Education Syllabus. Secondary.

18. Health Education Syllabus. Primary.

19. Basic Science and Health Education. Teachers’ Guides Primary Volumes I and II.

20. Basic Science and Health Education. Pupils’ Books Primary 5-7.

21. “National Population Policy For Sustainable Development” Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning. Government of Uganda, 1993.

22. “Policy Guidelines” Ministry of Health, Government of Uganda 1993.

23. “Children For Health” Child to Child Trust and UNICEF 1993.

24. “White Paper on Education” Government of Uganda 1994.

25. The Curriculum Review Task Force on Education.

26. Teacher Development Management Systems (TDMS) - Modules.

27. Situational Analysis’ Uganda Government and UNICEF 1993.

28. Country Programme (1995 - 2, 000) Government of Uganda/UNICEF.

29. Children’s Rights. N.C.C./UNIPAC.

30. “First Call For Children” UNICEF 1990.

31. Education For All Jomtien Conference 1991.

32. “Into the 21st Century; Life Skills Manual” Ministry of Education/UNICEF 1995.

33. Life Skills Baseline Survey, 1996.

34. ‘“Life Skills Training” Hamburg, B.A. 1990.

35. “Facts for Life” UNICEF 1995/1996.

36. Life Skills Training Handbook - WHO.

37. “Life Skills Education for Behaviour Change among Youth of School Going Age. A Facilitators Manual” ACET 1995.

38. ACP Surveillance Report Ministry of Health 1993.

39. Uganda’s Children, Uganda’s Future - A strategy Paper.

40. Regional Life Skills Workshop 14-17 June, 1994, Uganda.

41. Uganda - The Socio-Economic Impact of HIV/AIDS on Rural Families with an Emphasis on Youth.

42. Community Health Education in Uganda.

43. Preventing AIDS -A Curriculum for Middle School and Junior/Senior High School Students.

47. Child Health, Nutrition and Education Participation.

48. Policies, Practice and Potential -Health Education with Special reference to HIV/AIDS Education, in Africa and Asia.

49. “Life Skills Teaching” Barrie Hopson and Mike Scally.

50. Reducing The Risk: Building Skills to Prevent Pregnancy, STDs and HIV.

51. When I’m Grown - Life Planning Education.

52. Draft for Field Trial Manual for Peer Educators - Life Skills for Youth.

53. A Study of the Sexual Experience of Young People in Eleven African countries -The Narrative research method.

54. Best Friends Programme Guide.

55. “Working with Uncertainty: A handbook for those involved in training on HIV and AIDS”, Hilary Dixon and Peter Gordon.

56. Adolescents, AIDS and HIV: The Center for Population Options Volume VII, January, 1994.

57. Stepping Stones, Alice Welbourn, 1995.