n South African Journal of Higher Education - Universities and schools - what is a fair engagement? : part 2

Volume 29, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



Just as HIV/AIDS, Inclusivity and Change Unit (HAICU) was reflecting on making changes to the programme on working with teachers, changes at the Department of Education (DoE) made it difficult for non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and universities to work within schools in the way they had previously done. The changes to the National Policy (DoE 1999) indicated that HAICU would need a new method of working with schools which would be limited to working with teachers only, connecting teachers to knowledge around HIV/AIDS, gender and stigma and supporting teachers in their multiple roles of addressing HIV prevention and education. A number of HIV/AIDS prevention projects were then aimed at after school sites such as youth centres where education could be combined with testing, and service provision at schools was limited to nurse visits (but no HIV testing in schools). In 2013, HAICU developed and implemented a programme working with educators who teach Life Orientation (LO) and who could implement the learnings in the schools. An initial needs assessment with the teachers showed that stigma continued to prevail in school contexts; gendered roles were still practiced; and educators played support roles for HIV-positive students. Based on this assessment, HAICU developed a four session intervention and the topics included : HIV school policy and implementation; rape; HIV treatment; and HIV social behaviour change communication. The topics chosen addressed the primary needs identified by the educators in the programme. By engaging with the topics, the educators identified that they would need to continue learning about these topics beyond the initial four sessions. After the training, the HAICU conducted a focus group with the educators to ascertain what kinds of progress, if any, the educators had made in implementing the learning. This article details the discussion in the focus group.

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