n South African Journal of Education - Implementing peer support in secondary schools : facing the challenges

Volume 25, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0256-0100
  • E-ISSN: 2076-3433



The implementation of a peer support programme in 13 secondary schools from a community with rising rates of high-risk behaviour is discussed. The programme was aimed at establishing support for learners with psychosocial problems in order to prevent and reduce high-risk behaviour related to HIV / AIDS, substance abuse, and various forms of crime. Peer supporters were identified, trained and supported to implement the programme in their schools with the assistance of a teacher and student facilitators. Peer supporters identified learners with problems, supported them or referred them to helping agencies. They also started awareness and information activities to prevent and reduce high-risk behaviour. Through the evaluation of the implementation process, crucial challenges were identified that need to be addressed for the programme to function optimally and to enhance its sustainability. The lessons learnt from this research can be applied to other schools in the implementation of similar programmes.

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