School-Based HIV/AIDS Education Program in Bali Hampered by Low Participation, Program Organizer Says
A school-based HIV/AIDS education program in Bali, Indonesia, is being hampered by low participation from schools on the island, Oka Negara, an organizer for the program, said Monday, the Jakarta Post reports. "Most schools are hampered by financial problems," Negara said, adding, "They can't finance the program."
The program was launched in 2006 and combines school-based education sessions on HIV/AIDS with extracurricular activities organized by the Students Care Group for HIV/AIDS and Drugs, or KSPAN. According to Negara, Bali's governor in 2007 issued a decree to establish KSPAN in every junior high and senior high school on the island, but not all schools have made it a priority. Of the 200 schools that have implemented the program and established their own KSPAN, about 50% regularly participate in activities organized by the Bali chapter of Indonesia's National AIDS Commission, according to the Post.
Elyas Pawelloi, a program coordinator for the National AIDS Commission, said that the commission "used to have HIV/AIDS prevention programs that [it] delivered through seminars or workshops, and the results were disappointing because there were only several students who attended the events and the information did not last long." Pawelloi added that the commission "decided to integrate the HIV/AIDS education program with the related curriculum, like biology or sociology." According to Negara, "Bali is quite lucky because [the] program is supported by the regional administrations." He added, "Now, we have to strengthen and expand this program." Negara noted that "[p]eople should realize that students are the spearhead of the HIV/AIDS prevention efforts, because they belong to one of the most vulnerable groups to HIV/AIDS."
According to the Post, the commission organized a three-day event that began on Wednesday and involves around 250 students. Anak Agung Ketut Sujana, head of the event's organizing committee, said, "The event aims at establishing a network of cooperation among different KSPAN, as well as providing a forum for the students to share information" (Wardany, Jakarta Post, 6/4).