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Life skills

Priorities for HIV/AIDS prevention education

© UNICEF/ HQ02-0320/ Pirozzi
A member of 'Moving On', a network of clubs that provide counselling and other support services to anyone who has taken an HIV test, regardless of the test's outcome. Harare, Zimbabwe.

Below are the key areas in which UNICEF is aiming to provide policy and guidance with regard to life skills-based education for HIV/AIDS prevention. These "priority actions" were identified from an analysis of UNICEF work around the world, indicating new emphases in skills-based health education (and life skills). While many more actions and local priorities are possible, these actions are considered critical success factors. Some countries are already implementing one or more, and others are at earlier stages in achieving the goal of high quality, full scale HIV/AIDS related efforts in all schools.

Expanding to National Scale
Away from... Small scale pilot projects. 
 Expanding effective and promising approaches to national scale.

Effective School Health Programs
Away from... Education programs delivered in isolation. 
Comprehensive and effective school health programs which combine skills-based health education with supporting policies at the school and/or national level, clean water and sanitation as a first step in a healthy environment, related health services, and school-community partnerships.

Placement in Curriculum and the Case Against Integration
Away from... Attempts to integrate HIV/AIDS thinly across many subjects.
Teaching the necessary knowledge, attitudes and skills together in one (existing) subject in the context of other related issues and processes.

High Quality Teaching and Learning Materials
Away from...
 Creating new materials from scratch.
Better distribution and adaptation of the many existing high-quality materials.

Promoting Behavioural Change
Away from...
 Generic life skills programs that are not attached to specific outcomes.
Combining skills-based approaches with the development of knowledge and attitudes that can promote specific behaviour, such as avoiding HIV/AIDS risk.

Training and Support for Teachers
Away from...
HIV/AIDS and related issues treated as an add-on with little (or no) teacher training provided through poor quality cascade training models.
 Key staff units identified within ministries and dedicated to teacher training, implementation support, and related strategies such as policy and evaluation, over time.

Other important areas where UNICEF is aiming to provide guidance include:

Gender Resonse to HIV/AIDS

Education Sector Response to HIV/AIDS


Priority Actions

Priority Actions (french)




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