Education International
Education International

EFAIDS project ends but EI’s drive to achieve the MDGs goes on

published 31 March 2011 updated 18 October 2011

EI’s EFAIDS Programme is ending after five successful years of activity in Education for All (EFA) and HIV and AIDS education. Life-saving skills training has been implemented by 80 member organisations in 48countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.

An independent evaluation of the five-year programme is being conducted and findings will be shared at an EFAIDS closing conference which takes place in mid-May.

Over its lifetime, the response to the programme has been that it made a positive impact on thousands of teachers and students. Through the EFAIDS Programme, teacher unions have strengthened their role in policy dialogue on quality education and HIV and AIDS; they have increased their capacity to lobby governments to institutionalise HIV and AIDS training and to provide quality public education for all (EFA).

Thousands of teachers have been trained on HIV and AIDS prevention to limit new infections, and those teachers have, in turn, trained thousands of their students. Meanwhile, union support groups have been established to ensure teachers living with HIV continue to work without fear of discrimination, and teachers’ unions are widely regarded as leading actors in the fight against HIV and AIDS, and the achievement of EFA.

Health promotion is the key

The EFAIDS programme would have not been as successful without support of its partners, the World Health Organisation and the Education Development Centre, with who EI was jointly responsible for developing EFAIDS training materials during the programme.

Several training manuals were developed on HIV and AIDS education to build gender-friendly schools and supporting teachers living with HIV. The collaboration ended with the publication of the final EFAIDS resource book, entitled Healthy Action for teachers and learners. The activities listed within that aim to help teachers and learners adopt healthy behaviours and make choices to better teach and learn. The topics covered in the book include tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs; nutrition and physical activity; hygiene and sanitation, as well as injury and violence prevention. They are all connected through the premise of preserving overall good health. With this approach, health promotion is favoured rather than only disease prevention, which was the main focus of previous EFAIDS materials.

The activity book is available in English and French online at: www.ei-ie.org/go/c

By Delphine Sanglan, Education International

This article was published in Worlds of Education, Issue 37, April 2011.