XVIII International AIDS Conference


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Life skills education program for creating HIV/AIDS awareness among the school going children - an effective intervention in Tamilnadu

S. Vijyakumar1, M. Ganesh Kumar1, S. Alex Parimalam1, P. Perumalsamy2, R. Elango3

1Tamil Nadu State AIDS Control Society, Chennai, India, 2Directorate of School Education, Chennai, India, 3Teacher Education Research and Training, Education, Chennai, India

Issues: More than 22% of TamilNadu's population is between the vibrant age group 10-19 years, and vulnerable to HIV. Adolescence is a period of formative and dynamic transition in physical and cognitive. Life skills Education(LSE) formulate innovative cognition to channelize adolescent's energy in a constructive direction and makes adolescents think healthier and act accordingly.
Description: TamilNadu State AIDS Control Society implemented LSE Training in the name of School Adolescent Education Program(SAEP), in Collaboration with Directorate of Teacher Education Research and Training(DTERT) from 1997 to 2008. Since 2008 SAEP is renamed as Life Skills Education Program(LSEP) and extended to all the 9,870 High and Higher secondary schools, involving Directorate's of School Education(DSE) and Matriculation schools(DMS). Cascade method of training was adopted and trained 20 Academicians as master trainers, who in turn trained 500 DIET professors and 1 nodal teacher from all the 420 Educational Blocks, to act as district level Trainers (DLT). DLT have oriented 1,00,000 teachers comprises at least one male and female teachers from each school to impart 16 hour life skills module to the students of 9th and 11th standard and have created cadre of Peer Educators and Red Ribbon clubs in their school.
Lesson learned: SAEP is recognized as a successful intervention and a cost effective means of reaching a large number of school students. The number of trained adolescents also being very high, the program has large potential multiplier effect. Girl children are comfortable with women teachers while importing issues related to adolescents and reproductive sex. Involvement of DSE is mandate for effective implementation SAEP.
Next step: SAEP program should be included in school and Teacher training education regular curriculum activity. Linkages of High and Higher Secondary Schools with nearest Integrated Counseling and Testing Centre need to be ensured to avail HIV and other adolescents counseling services.

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