Recent surveys of youth in South Africa indicate troubling increases in the prevalence of HIV and pregnancy rates. But with over 94 percent of South African youth between the ages of 7 and 18 participating in the education sector, schools may provide a useful platform to reach a majority of these learners with health programs and support.
EDC and its partners—the U.S. Agency for International Development and the South African government’s Department of Basic Education (DBE)—are implementing the South Africa School-Based Sexuality Prevention Education activity to address high HIV and STI acquisition and pregnancy rates. Using a variety of school and community activities, the activity provides children and adolescents with the knowledge and skills to make informed decisions about their sexuality, their reproductive health, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and their lifestyle in a world affected by HIV.
As the lead partner of this activity, EDC’s objectives include the following:
- Developing scripted lesson plans in comprehensive sexuality education for grades 4–6 and 10–12
- Training educators and officials on the lesson plans as well as training officials to be able to conduct the trainings themselves
- Creating an educator coaching and mentoring program
- Working with school administration and parent groups to build awareness of and advocacy for comprehensive sexuality education
- Establishing linkages between school and health services for children and youth within communities
Society for Family Health, an affiliate of Population Services International; Health Economics and HIV and AIDS Research Division