Where are the Gaps?

Where are the Gaps?

HIV and Gender Pre-service Teacher Training Curriculum and Practices in East Africa You do not have access to this content

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Iffat Farah, Caroline Kavuma, Mweru Mwingi, Orwe Onyango
01 Mar 2009
9781848590342 (PDF)

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Education, especially girls’ education, is seen as the most effective protection against the HIV epidemic that has severely affected the school systems in sub-Saharan Africa. Effective HIV and AIDS education in schools can be achieved through high quality teaching, along with targeted and specific information about HIV and AIDS as part of a robust curriculum. Effective teacher-preparedness is a must for high quality HIV education in the classroom.

This book examines how the curriculum and practices in pre-service teacher training institutions address issues of HIV and gender equality in three East African countries: Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. The authors argue that current practices are inadequate to educate future teachers about gender and HIV and do not deal with the issues in enough depth. Their recommendations include making HIV and AIDS education a separate examinable subject, with more teaching materials made available and stronger objectives laid out in the curriculum.

Education policy-makers, teacher trainers and anyone concerned with teacher education will find this a useful and informative book.
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  • Foreword

    HIV and AIDS has emerged as a major threat in many countries to the educational gains achieved over the last decades. The worst affected region is sub-Saharan Africa, and this includes a number of Commonwealth countries. More than 113 million children in the world are estimated to be affected by HIV through loss of one or both parents, increased family res - pon sibilities or through illness themselves. In Zambia and Kenya, for example, it is projected that there will be 2 to 3 million AIDS orphans by 2010. Girls particularly are at risk, with two-thirds of all children currently affected being girls. Girls and women also share disproportionate responsibility of care. However, it is important to note that girls and women are also more adversely affected by HIV in Africa and elsewhere simply because they have a secondary status in society.

  • List of Abbreviations
  • Introduction

    ‘Among health concerns, infectious diseases are having a devastating impact on school systems worldwide. …The situation is particularly critical in sub-Saharan Africa, which accounts for 63 per cent of the global HIV-infected population, 89 per cent of malaria-related deaths, and 12 of the 15 countries with the highest tuberculosis incidence rate worldwide ...). Women increasingly carry the burden of HIV and AIDS, either through infection or as caretakers’ (UNESCO, 2007b).

  • Review Methodology
  • The Context

    The Human Development Index (HDI) provides a measure of a county’s development on three dimensions: its people living a long and healthy life, being educated and having a decent standard of living. Countries in sub- Saharan Africa, which include East Africa and the countries within it (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and recently added Burundi and Rwanda), rank low on the index. Among the 179 countries for which an HDI is available, Kenya ranks 144, Tanzania 152 and Uganda 156. These countries show high prevalence of HIV and AIDS, although they also show some decline in prevalence since 2001. Nevertheless, the United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) warns that in Uganda, stable HIV trends are occurring alongside an apparent increase in behaviour that favours HIV transmission and a rapidly increasing population, which may increase prevalence levels. National population-based surveys in Tanzania suggest that HIV safe behaviours are declining in some sections of society (UNAIDS, 2008a, p.16).

  • Structure and Scope of School Education in East Africa
  • Structure and Scope of Pre-service Teacher Education in East Africa

    An appropriate level of pre-service training is normally required for appointment as a school teacher in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, and this is mostly delivered by government-funded teacher training colleges (TTCs) and universities. Privately funded institutions are relatively few and often affili - ated with religious organisations. Of the three countries, Tanzania has the highest number of teacher training colleges and also the highest number of privately owned institutions (46 public and 13 private). Uganda has 49 col - leges, only two of which are privately owned, and Kenya has 21 public and nine private teacher education colleges.

  • The Policy Context for HIV and Gender Education

    East African countries declared HIV and AIDS a national disaster during the 1990s; for Uganda this declaration was as early as 1992, while in Kenya and Tanzania it took place as late as 1999. These declarations were followed by a number of policies, plans and institutional structures to lead and coordinate prevention and care.

  • Teacher Education Curriculum

    In response to the policies discussed above, HIV and AIDS education has been infused and integrated into the teacher education curricula in each of the three countries reviewed. This integration is more explicit in Kenya and Tanzania, where the curricula have recently been revised (in 2004 and 2007 respectively) than in Uganda, where the current curricula (revised in 1994) does not explicitly include HIV education in its objectives or content. Uganda’s revised primary teacher training curriculum will become available in 2009. The following sections describe and discuss integration and infusion of HIV education and gender education into the curricula of each country and identify similarities and differences between them.

  • Curriculum in Practice

    As described above, pre-service teacher training curricula across the three East African countries considered in this report include some HIV and gender-related content in various subjects and units, particularly science, civics, social studies, development studies and religious education...

  • Gaps Between Policy, Curriculum and Practice Across the Three Countries

    The three countries in our review have a strong and encouraging policy context, and this encourages and indeed mandates the inclusion of HIV and AIDS education into the school curricula and by extension into teacher training. However, the gap between policy and implementation is wide. Although most training in HIV education for teachers is short and takes place in-service, the three countries have included HIV education in their school curricula. It is integrated or infused into the curricula of certifi - cate, diploma and degree courses for teacher preparation. Science, social studies, civics and religious and development studies seem to be the main carrier subjects. However, the objectives and the content on HIV and gender aim only at providing factual knowledge and raising awareness among teach ers. They do not reflect the aim of preparing future teachers to teach children and young adults to change their behaviour.

  • Recommendations

    A general conclusion from this review is that syllabus content, teaching materials and teaching practice in teacher education are inadequate to impact personal beliefs, attitudes and behaviours of future teachers significantly or to prepare them to influence and shape the beliefs, attitudes and behaviours of children and youth in schools about and towards HIV and gender. The syllabus and its implementation in the colleges seem to focus on raising awareness and reviewing trainees’ existing knowledge about modes of transmission and prevention, without going into depth. Perhaps there is an assumption that this awareness will lead to changes in behaviour. That this is an unwarranted assumption is underscored by the recommendations presented below. These emanate from our review and from the suggestions made by tutors and trainees in the colleges in our sample.

  • Appendix - HIV and AIDS and Gender Study Dissemination Workshop, 11–13 March 2008

    A three-day workshop was held to share initial findings from the curricu - lum review, to obtain responses from stakeholders, to broaden our under - standing of the issues around HIV and AIDS and gender in teacher educa - tion, and to obtain participants’ recommendations on how to improve the curriculum and its implementation. Representatives from the Ministry of Education in the three countries, principals and a tutor from each of the colleges in the sample attended the workshop. Here we summarise the workshop discussion.

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