Thirty leaders and master trainers converged at the Volta GNAT Conference Centre in Ho, Ghana, on 8 June, 2010, at the launch of a three-day workshop to evaluate the EFAIDS programme in Ghana.
Participants were drawn from across the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) and included provincial, deputy and assistant secretaries, district officials and school representatives, as well as head teachers who together make up the master trainers and administrators of the EFAIDS programme in Ghana. Other participants were from the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service.
In his opening remarks which demonstrated a deep commitment to the EFAIDS programme in Ghana, GNAT Chairman of the Volta Region, Alexander Muwasi Buadi, said the programme was of great importance because there were still knowledge gaps about the impact of HIV/AIDS on education. He noted that contrary to research that puts the HIV/AIDS prevalence rates at 1.7%, popular sources sometimes misquoted prevalence rates among teachers in Ghana as 9.2%. Mr Buadi emphasised the importance of promoting accurate information and stated: “There is need for GNAT to prove this assertion wrong through research”.
Helena Awurusa, the EFAIDS Coordinator in Ghana said that the programme had afforded GNAT great opportunities to work with a number of partners like the Ghana AIDS Commission, UNICEF, and Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG).
PPAG have offered a mobile van and two nurses to provide voluntary counselling and testing services to teachers. In her welcome to all participants, Awurusa said: “We hope that this exercise will provide a good basis for the evaluation of the programme the world over”.
The EFAIDS programme is coordinated by more than 80 Education International teacher union affiliates in almost 50 countries in four regions globally.