South African Officials Propose Making HIV/AIDS Education Part of School Curriculum for 6- to 16-Year-Olds
Several delegates to a conference convened to revise sex education in South African schools on Monday called for HIV/AIDS education to be integrated into all eight subject areas for students between the ages of six and 16, South Africa's Business Day reports. Education Minister Kader Asmal said that the rising rate of HIV/AIDS "proved there was a need to educate children about the disease." The National Curriculum Statement currently mentions HIV/AIDS in two subject areas -- language instruction and health promotion, a subcategory of the subject Life Orientation. However, teachers are not required to incorporate HIV/AIDS education in language instruction, and health promotion only receives a half hour of classroom time per week, of which information on HIV/AIDS only receives a fraction of time. Wayne Alexander, a life orientation teacher, said that the subject is the "home" for compulsory instruction in HIV/AIDS, but added that the disease should receive attention in all eight subject areas. MP Albertina Luthuli, a doctor, added that although HIV/AIDS is "directly related to biology," it is "about much more than science; it is about much more than just sex." She said that HIV/AIDS education could easily be worked into the curriculum for math and statistics, as well as literature, gender and social studies. "This is about our very survival as a nation," she added (Jones, Business Day, 8/21).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.