HATEC: HIV/AIDS Teacher Education Course for Primary Colleges of Education (CHANGES2) - Student-Teacher Guide
Recognizing the importance of teachers in stopping the spread of HIV/AIDS in Zambia, the Ministry of Education requires that HIV/AIDS be integrated into classroom teaching at all levels. MOE, along with many partners, are implementing in-service training for teachers to give them the skills to do this. However, in order to be sustainable, HIV/AIDS needs to be an integral part of the COE curriculum.
A survey of COE student-teachers and staff conducted by MOE and CHANGES2 in 2006 showed that student-teachers do not feel comfortable or well-prepared to teach HIV/AIDS prevention in the classroom. All those interviewed said that HIV/AIDS Education should be part of the COE curriculum. Based on this information, MOE has been working closely with college Tutors, student-teachers and Teacher Education and Specialized Services in MOE to develop an HIV/AIDS Teacher Education Course (HATEC).
This draft Handbook is for student-teachers to use as they move through the HATEC. It includes activities which your tutor may or may not do in your class. Regardless, you can use them in your classroom when you go to teach.
HATEC is designed to be activity based, with the Tutor acting as a facilitator. When student-teachers implement these activities in the classroom they should also be done in an interactive manner which involves young people and gets them to discuss openly and honestly. Studies have repeatedly shown that in addition to knowledge, people need skills in order to avoid HIV/AIDS infection. Most young people in Zambia are aware of how HIV is transmitted and how to protect themselves. Yet, every day more people are infected. Among young people, girls and young women are up to five times more likely to be infected than their male counterparts.
While bolstering knowledge and dispelling myths, young people must also have life skills for prevention and a supportive environment. These life skills include self-esteem, assertiveness, problem solving and decision making. It is hoped that through HATEC, student-teachers will be equipped with such skills and will be able to pass the skills on to pupils in the classroom. Furthermore, it must be remembered that people do not make decisions which put them at risk in a vacuum—there are cultural, economic and social factors which may cause people to engage in risky behaviour, such as unprotected sex, even when they are aware of the risk.
In order to begin to address the complex array of factors which lead to HIV infection and stigma and discrimination, HATEC is designed to be broad-based. The course is broken down into four general competencies:
- Student-teachers will use accurate scientific information on HIV and AIDS to enhance development of positive values, attitudes and practices in learners and the community.
- Student-teachers will demonstrate best practices of HIV/AIDS prevention.
- Student-teachers will apply information, skills and strategies to bring about behaviour change and promote healthy living among the infected and affected.
- 4. Student-teachers will apply skills of research, teaching (including integration) and developing materials for schools and communities to HIV/AIDS education.
- Student-teachers will demonstrate management and coordination skills through the development and implementation of HIV/AIDS programmes.
Teachers are in a unique position to influence young people in Zambia. Referred to as the Window of Hope, young people are largely uninfected. In order to stop the pandemic, they must remain HIV negative. However, due to cultural and other constraints, many young people are not receiving the information and skills they need to protect themselves, to care for those who are ill, to confront the misperceptions and stigma which surround HIV infection and to take the lead in battling the spread of the disease within their communities. Teachers can begin to change that by opening up dialogue with their students, openly discussing all the factors which put people at risk of infection and ensuring that students have the skills, support and confidence to avoid infection.