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Botswana : Ministry of Education moves to integrate HIV and AIDS into curriculum

Every Tuesday in Botswana a new television programme on HIV and AIDS is aired in schools across the country. This is good news for both teachers and learners.

The Teacher Capacity Building Project is implemented by the Ministry of Education in cooperation with the UNDP and aims to ensure that teachers are prepared to promote the prevention of HIV infection among youth. As part of the programme, a new curriculum based on remote learning has been developed to communicate knowledge and skills on: - prevention methods - the difference between HIV, AIDS and other STIs - developing attitudes to live positively - myths and prejudices which contribute to the spread of the virus Televisions have been installed in schools – primary, secondary and tertiary - so that both students and teachers have the opportunity to watch the programme. Approximately 95% of schools have a television, even using generators where there is no electricity. The EFAIDS coordinator in Botswana, Ronald Ketshabe, has been a panelist on the programme on a number of occasions and has spoken about the intervention of the BTU (Botswana Teachers’ Union) in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Botswana. ‘Linking the Government’s initiative with the EFAIDS Programme is very significant,’ he says. ‘As far as we are concerned, it fills in the gaps, where they exist.’ Nonetheless, the new programme still does not reach its full potential. HIV/AIDS is not yet a separate, examinable subject in the school curriculum in Botswana. Instead, HIV and AIDS issues are integrated into most school subjects. In the exams, there are some related questions only. EI and the BTU would welcome further efforts to make HIV and AIDS a stand-alone and examinable subject in the school curriculum. For more information, please contact us at efaids@ei-ie.org.

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