Papua New Guinea is the latest country to join the EI EFAIDS Programme. The Papua New Guinea Teachers’ Association, which represents half of the country’s 40,000 teachers, recently held its first training workshop. Twenty-one participants from across the union structure met in Port Moresby for three days of discussion and debate on HIV/AIDS and EFA themes to support them to launch a successful programme of EFAIDS activities.
Govind Singh and Sagar Nath Pyakuryal of the EI Regional Asia Office participated in the workshop, and assisted the PNGTA to work out an EFAIDS Programme suitable to their context, as well as contributing to a draft union policy on HIV and AIDS. PNGTA expressed their commitment to the EFAIDS Programme and undertook to establish a HIV/AIDS desk as a step towards linking it to their union activities.
In terms of HIV and AIDS, Papua New Guinea is one of the region’s most affected countries, with an estimated 1.6 percent of the population currently living with HIV. Since 2005, the Department of Education has included life skills education in the curriculum and set about training teachers in all provinces. To complement this, PNGTA aims to build upon the success of national peer educator style programmes in recent years, and hopes to assist teachers in overcoming obstacles associated with teaching about HIV prevention in the school setting.