New Delhi, December 01, 2006: In a unique initiative to felicitate school teachers towards their efforts for implementing Adolescence Education Programme (AEP) and imparting knowledge on HIV/AIDS amongst young school students, the Hon’ble Minister of State for Education awarded 25 teachers from 10 states of India - New Delhi, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Chattisgarh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan, acknowledging their contribution.
Applauding teachers for their efforts, M.A.A Fatmi, Hon’ble Minister of state for Education and Literacy, said “It gives me immense pleasure to recognize teachers who are making this significant contribution to the cause of HIV/AIDS. India has growing young population as well as growing number of HIV/AIDS cases. Therefore, it is important to educate the young school students on issues pertaining to HIV/AIDS and provide them with correct information on the same. And who would be better than Teacher/Guru to impart this knowledge.”
The Adolescence Education Programme is positioned by the Department of Education and the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) in partnership with UNESCO, UNICEF & UNFPA, as a key intervention in preventing new HIV infections and reducing social vulnerability to the infection. The programme is implemented in all states across the country through the Department of Education (DoE) in collaboration with the State AIDS Control Societies (SACS).
Excited on the success of the Adolescence Education Programme, Mr. Eimar Barr, Deputy Director (Programmes), UNICEF, India, said, “The basic idea behind implementing the programme was to help fight the HIV epidemic and change people’s attitude towards those living with HIV. The objective was to provide adequate and accurate knowledge about HIV in the context of life-skills. The programme aimed at educating young people about themselves, their sexuality and adolescence. The program also encapsulates facts on HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, enabling them to protect themselves, dispel myths and clarify misconceptions. Emphasis was also laid on life skill approach program, where the session focused on ways to contribute to the well being of the young and empower them meet many challenges of life. ”
The programme was conducted by teachers of Government schools across the country, who were trained to understand the issues pertaining to the subject and address them accordingly. According to the study conducted, there was an increase of 86% in coverage target in 2005 –06, equipping more than 10 million adolescents with information and skills in HIV prevention.
To facilitate the Teachers Awards/Recognition system, UNICEF contracted ORG Marg to assess teachers from 8000 schools across 10 states. The assessment survey consisted of anonymous questionnaire that was circulated amongst students. The key parameters on which teachers were assessed: innovativeness in their practices in classroom, confidentiality with students on their queries, thorough knowledge on the subject and the most approachable teacher.
Providing details of the Teachers Awards/Recognition system, Ms. K. Sujatha Rao, Director General, National Aids Control Organization, said, “The incidence of HIV/AIDS is increasing among young people. We recognize that working with and helping them understand issues pertaining to HIV/AIDS, is critical to arrest this disease.”
“Based on the preliminary analysis conducted in 2005, it was found that teachers are the most effective communicators of information regarding HIV prevention, as students are still reticent in speaking on Sexuality and Growing up Issues. Keeping these findings in view, we decided to liaise with teachers across school in India to facilitate the same.”
Note to the Editors –
The Adolescence Education programme is positioned by the Department of Education and the National AIDS Control Organisation as a key intervention in preventing new HIV infections and reducing social vulnerability to the infection. The programme was implemented in all states across the country through the Department of Education in collaboration with the State AIDS Control Societies.
The Adolescence Education programme is being conducted by teachers, where they educated students about different aspects of HIV, i.e., growing up & Adolescence, Sexually transmitted Infection & HIV/AIDS and skills for HIV protection.
Emphasis was also laid on Life Skill Programme. The life skill approach/Programme addresses young people ages 14 onwards and aims to strengthen their knowledge and life skills to enable them to effectively cope with risky situation they encounter in their daily lives. The life skills program was designed to enable youngsters to make positive health choices, make informed choices, develop supportive relationship with trusted caregivers (parents, community members), practice healthy behaviours and recognize and avoid risky health situations
The Adolescence Education programme also aims to support Young People’s Right to know about themselves, their adolescence and their sexuality, basic facts on HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, develop and reinforce life skills that enables them to protect themselves, dispel myths and clarify misconceptions and find ways where they can help fight the HIV epidemic and encourage positive attitudes towards people living with HIV.