Ensuring an optimal environment for peer education in South African schools: goals, systems, standards and policy options for effective learning
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Peer education has long been seen as a key health promotion strategy and an important tool in preventing HIV infection. In South African schools, it is currently one of the strategies employed to do so. Based on both a recent research study of peer education across 35 schools and drawing on multiple previous studies in South Africa, this paper examines the key elements of peer education that contribute to its effectiveness and asks how this aligns with current educational and health policies. From this research, it summarises and proposes shared goals and aims, minimum standards of implementation and reflects on the necessary infrastructure required for peer education to be effective. In light of these findings, it offers policy recommendations regarding who should be doing peer education and the status peer education should have in a school's formal programme.