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HIV/AIDS education in Southern Africa

Posted on: July 17, 2002 11:17 AM
Related Categories: Southern Africa

What can we do?

Teachers, researchers, activists and policy makers from five countries in Southern Africa will meet together with partners from the UK on 18 July in London, at a conference in Senate House, University of London to assess what can be done to overcome HIV/AIDS in the education sector.

In Southern Africa, the region worst-affected by AIDS/HIV in the worst-affected continent, teachers and educators are facing up to the daunting challenge of raising awareness and changing sexual behaviour, while seeing colleagues, students, children and parents succumb to AIDS/HIV.

Kader Asmal, South Africa's Minister of Education, told a conference in Pretoria on 31 May 2002 that education must be placed 'at the heart of the entire national response to HIV/AIDS because education represents the only hope for an AIDS free South Africa.'

'HIV/AIDS AND EDUCATION IN SOUTHERN AFRICA - What Can We Do?' seeks to encourage educational sector partnerships to exchange skills and resources in the fight against AIDS/HIV.

Conference participants will hear from the president of South Africa's Medical Research Council, Professor William Makgoba, who is playing a prominent role in the development of South African policy on HIV/AIDS; from Professor Michael Kelly of the University of Zambia who will widen the debate by looking at the challenges facing education in Malawi and Zambia; Zimbabwe and Mozambique's experience will be represented by Dr Sunanda Ray, SAFAIDS Zimbabwe, and Mark Thorpe of Voluntary Service Overseas.

The delegation of visiting speakers and resource people from the region also includes David Mbetse, a headmaster from Acornhoek, South Africa; David Dennis from the multi-media group Soul City who have pioneered a highly successful public awareness campaign; Duncan Hindle from the South African Education Department; Dr Nono Simelela, South African Department of Health; and Promise Mthembu from the International Community of Women Living with AIDS.

Sally Keeble MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development, and Barbara Payne of DfID will give perspectives from the UK, and there will be contributions from UK trade unionists Steve Sinnott, National Union of Teachers, Ed Sweeney, UNIFI and John McFadden, UNISON.

The programme includes break-out seminars on strategies for teacher survival; sexual violence, HIV/AIDS and gender equity in education; HIV/AIDS and higher education; using mass-media and popular culture; learning and teaching materials; mainstreaming action on HIV/AIDS; changing attitudes and addressing stigma; and corporations as partners.

It will be held at the Senate House, University of London, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU, from 9:15am to 5:30pm on Thursday 18 July. It is open to all interested individuals and organisations.

Registration for the conference, including lunch and refreshments, is £60 for corporate bodies, £40 for individuals and £20 for students and unwaged attendees, payable to CCETSA.

For further information and registration forms contact the CCETSA:

Canon Collins Educational Trust For Southern Africa,
22 The Ivories, 6 Northampton Street, London N1 2HY
Tel: +44 (0)20 7354 1462 Fax: +44 (0)20 7359 4875

The conference is organised by The Canon Collins Educational Trust for Southern Africa and supported by Action Aid, Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO), UNISON, the Catholic Institute of International Relations (CIIR), the National Union of Teachers (NUT), One World Action, the United Nations Association, the Institute of Education, the Times Higher Educational Supplement (THES) and Christian Aid