This month Dorah Johnson of the BTU/Botswana gave her views to EI on the issue of integrating HIV and AIDS into the curriculum.
1. Should HIV and AIDS education be a special subject on the curriculum?
In my view, it should not be treated as a separate subject in schools because in Botswana, HIV and AIDS education is now mainstreamed into various subjects, such as religious and moral education, social studies and science. However, some of my colleagues take the view that it should be a separate and single subject, since HIV and AIDS are not dealt with properly at primary school level.
2. Should educating on HIV and AIDS be compulsory?
Yes, definitely and it is possible to do so by integrating the issues into all of the subjects mentioned above. Only making it compulsory will lead to all teachers really teaching on HIV and AIDS and guaranteeing a follow up.
3. Should educating on HIV and AIDS be made examinable?
Yes and it is possible to do so. It is imperative to show whether pupils have absorbed adequate information. This does not necessarily mean that they have changed behaviour. But by making HIV and AIDS examinable, you make sure that teachers and students take the issue more seriously.