School and youth health

What is the EI/WHO/EDC teacher training programme to prevent HIV infection and related discrimination through schools?

Why is it unique and distinct from many other HIV/AIDS related efforts?

What health and education leaders need to know

The EI/WHO/EDC Teacher Training Programme to Prevent HIV Infection and related Discrimination through Schools is a programme that is based on research that shows:

  • programmes that most effectively influence risk behaviour help people practice and acquire skills for prevention.
  • the use of participatory learning experiences is recognized as one of the most effective ways to help people practice and acquire prevention skills.
  • teachers require training to most effectively implement participatory learning experiences aimed at building skills for the prevention of HIV/AIDS.

The partners

  • Education International (EI)
    Education International (EI), the largest global federation of teachers' unions, is a singular institutional means of reaching a major portion of the world's teachers. EI's 319 affiliated teachers unions in 162 countries represent more than 29 million teachers and workers in the education sector. EI is headquartered in Brussels with regional offices in Togo, Malaysia, Fiji, St. Lucia and Costa Rica.. E.I. provides unparalleled access to the world's teachers through its affiliates and their international and national administrative structures and communication channels.
  • WHO's School Health/Youth Health Promotion
    WHO's School Health/Youth Health Promotion is part of WHO's Department of Chronic Diseases and Health Promotion. It, along with WHO Regional Offices and Country Offices, provides the public health and science background, strategic and programmatic planning and access to Members States' ministries of health and education through its Regional and country representatives.
  • Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC)
    Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC) is a not-for-profit, international NGO with country offices across the world. Its Health and Human Development Program (EDC/HHD) serves as the WHO Collaborating Center to Promote Health through Schools and Communities. EDC/HHD provides technical expertise in behavior change, social science, teacher education and training, materials and curriculum development. It works to rapidly transfer the most up-to-date social science and educational research on effective behavior change strategies, as well as research on teacher development, to health and education agencies worldwide.

Since 1995, EI, WHO, and EDC have worked in partnership on school health and HIV prevention. Together UNESCO, UNICEF, and other partners, these organizations convened a Global Conference on HIV/AIDS Prevention for teachers unions followed by five inter-country workshops to build the capacity of teachers unions to work as full partners with their respective ministries of health and education. Throughout these efforts, in virtually every region, the need to train teachers to address HIV/AIDS and advocate for effective intervention dominated calls for action and support.

In 2000, in response to increased knowledge about what makes HIV/AIDS education programmes effective and the calls for training, the EI/ WHO/EDC Partnership began working with teachers unions in Africa and representatives from UNESCO, UNICEF and the World Bank to prepare the best possible training and support materials for teachers. That training is now going on in 17 countries, mostly in Africa, and is urgently needed in all countries to mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS. The EI/WHO/EDC Partnership is seeking funding to continue, expand and enhance the Training Programme and it will do so, to the extent of the resources. The more unions know about the Training Programme, and why it is unique among other HIV prevention efforts, the greater the possibilities will become to obtain the resources necessary to train teachers and address the pandemic with seriousness and urgency it clearly deserves.

HIV education in a school in Africa
HIV education in a school in Africa

A call to action

Read the information in this short handout, use it in talks with potential partners and donors in your countries and beyond, and create a partnership with your health and education ministries and other agencies interested in preventing HIV/AIDS. There is much you can do on your own, using this information. As resources become available, through the fund raising efforts of the EI/WHO/EDC Partnership or through your own efforts, the Partnership will strive to provide training and material support, as well as technical, administrative, managerial and assessment assistance, to ensure the highest quality and effectiveness of the Programme.