In December EI organised a round table meeting to raise awareness among its membership on the role of teachers and teachers unions in the fight against HIV and AIDS in the South Asian sub-region.
At a meeting which took place over three days from December 1-3 in Colombo, Sri Lanka, thirty eight leaders representing thirteen member organisations from India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka made solid commitments to spearhead the response to HIV and AIDS in their country. Mr. S. Eswaran, EI Executive Board Member inaugurated the meeting emphasising the importance of education in accelerating the fight against the pandemic. He particularly emphasised the importance of educating girls and women to empower them to adopt the behaviour needed to reduce the infection. Parents, he said, would have to be included in HIV AIDS education if it is to work. EI Regional Coordinator Aloysius Matthews appealed to the unions and teachers’ leaders to incorporate the response to HIV and AIDS in their union agenda. He reiterated the fact that teachers must be aware and have a role to play in making children and communities aware.
The union leaders also discussed the linkages between the pursuit of Education for All and HIV/AIDS. Finally they drew up concrete plans on actions to be taken. This will entail a combination of tasks including research, development of policies, advocacy, publicity/awareness raising and training on HIV and AIDS. The full report can be downloaded from the link below.