Piloting of HIV module in teacher education faculties in the higher education institutions in South Africa

OUTPUT TYPE: Research report- client
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2009
TITLE AUTHOR(S): K.Harley, N.De Lange, D.Donald, C.Mitchell, R.Moletsane, J.Stuart, L.C.Theron, T.Welch, L.Wood
KEYWORDS: HIGHER EDUCATION, HIV/AIDS, TEACHER TRAINING
Intranet: HSRC Library: shelf number 6100

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Abstract

It is not necessary to refer to the HIV/AIDS infection of some 60 million people world-wide in the past 30 years in order to introduce an account of the project? Piloting of HIV Module in Teacher Education Faculties in the Higher Education Institutions in South Africa (hereafter 'HIV Pilot Project'). It is, however, necessary to note that the HIV Pilot Project was conceptualised and mounted in response to that immense global humanitarian crisis with those accompanying threats to development and stability that leave the developing world particularly vulnerable. The HIV Pilot Project had its antecedents in former Minister Kader Asmal's 1999 call for concerted intervention along with well-informed leadership from the sub-sector in the Tertiary institutions against AIDS Conference. This conference clearly marked the beginnings of the sub-sector's response to HIV/AIDS. Debate around whether the education system had a role to play gained momentum when both the South African Vice Chancellors' Association (SAUVCA) and the Committee of Technikon Principals (CTP) began to dialogue around the issue and the comprehensiveness of its response. The sub-sector, under the leadership of SAUVCA and CTP, initiated its collective response in 2001 under the banner of the Higher Education HIV/AIDS Programme (HEAIDS) Phase 1. This mobilised institutions to respond sensitively, appropriately and effectively to the epidemic1 through their core functions of learning, research, management and community service. Phase 1 provided direct support to institutions, made key recommendations and produced tools to assist educator communities in the effectiveness of their response. The second phase of the HEAIDS Programme was constituted under the bi-lateral partnership between the European Community (EC) and the Republic of South Africa, with the Department of Education (DoE) as the beneficiary, and is based on the objectives of the South African European Community Country Strategy Paper and the Multi-year Indicative Programme for the period 2003-2006 in assisting South Africa in addressing the prevention, management and mitigation of HIV/AIDS in the Education sector. The purpose of the HEAIDS Programme Phase 2 was to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS in the Higher Education sub-sector, to mitigate its impacts through planning and capacity development and to manage the impact of the epidemic in a way that reflects the ethical, social, knowledge transmission and production responsibilities that are the mission of the Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in South Africa. Phase 2 was comprised of a grant scheme and several linked projects, including the HIV Pilot Project. The HIV Pilot Project was premised on the critical importance of the capacity of the education and training system to attract and retain well educated, highly skilled, competent educators who are equipped to deal with the challenges posed by teaching and learning in an HIV/AIDS affected and infected society. The objective of this project was to ensure sub-sector-wide engagement with these challenges, and to provide the necessary support and resources for the development of educators who are equipped to deal effectively with the HIV/AIDS epidemic and its impact as it manifests in their work environment. We use the term 'epidemic' to refer to the outbreak of HIV/AIDS amongst a group or population of a specific country and the term 'pandemic' to refer to a widespread epidemic that affects people in many countries. More specifically, the purpose of this project was to enhance the personal and professional competencies of teacher education graduates through: the provision of support for the piloting of an HIV/AIDS teacher education module in teacher education faculties, and the identification, evaluation and dissemination of effective strategies for incorporation of HIV/AIDS related education into teacher education and other curricula.