RHIVA (Reducing HIV in Adolescents) was a groundbreaking, school-based, HIV-prevention initiative that was implemented in 14 schools in the rural district of Vulindlela, KwaZulu-Natal. Targeting at-risk 15-20 year old boys and girls, it tested whether a cash incentive would serve as a catalyst for engaging young learners in healthy lifestyle behaviours.
The RHIVA trial was completed in KwaZulu-Natal in December 2012. It will be tested in three SADC Member States–Mozambique, Namibia and Zambia.
What we know:
Sexual abuse and violence against children and youth, especially girls, is unacceptably high in southern Africa (SAPS 2009, SAHRC 2007).
Intergenerational sex and gender-based violence are recognized as key drivers of the HIV epidemic, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa where the incidence of HIV infection is on the increase, particularly among young women (Leclerc-Madlala 2004, Shisana et al 2005, UNAIDS 2007, Pettifor et al 2005).
A 2008 study found that South African females aged 15 to 24 have an HIV infection rate four times that of males of the same age (Leclerc-Madlala 2008).
The Phongola Science and Mathematics Enhancement Programme is a three-year (2011-13) project that focuses on improving teacher skills and learner results in Science and Mathematics.
It is a partnership between MIET AFRICA and the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education, and is financially supported by the Sugar Industries Trust Fund for Education (SITFE). A key objective is to increase the number of learners from disadvantaged backgrounds who qualify for tertiary-level studies in Science-related fields. In 2012, 84 learners from 16 schools in the Pongola Education Circuit were initially enrolled in the Saturday and holiday class programme in Science and Mathematics held at the Phongola Education Centre. 79 of the learners completed the programme and sat for the Grade 12 2012 examinations .
The programme has already yielded some impressive results with regards to pass rates and distinctions achieved: all 79 of the learners who completed the programme passed both subjects according to Departmental pass criteria.
Lynn van der Elst, Development Associate at MIET AFRICA, was recently invited to participate in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD’s)Innovative Learning Environment’s (ILE) International Conference in Santiago, Chile from 7-9 January.
In response to the fact that many schools are still functioning as they did at the beginning of the century, the OECD’s ILE Project is an international initiative that responds to the question: “How can today’s schools be transformed so as to become environments of teaching and learning that make individuals life-long learners and prepare them for the 21st century?” The project focuses on innovative ways of organizing learning for young people and on evidence of what makes the environments in which this takes place effective. The project, which currently involves 26 countries, has been broadened to include non-OECD countries. MIET AFRICA has facilitated the participation of South Africa in this international project.
Lynn’s presentation at the conference included a discussion on the Dimensions of inclusive learning environments,
Human rights education is much more than a lesson in schools or a theme for a day; it is a process to equip people with the tools they need to live lives of security and dignity. Kofi Annan
From 2009 to 2012, MIET AFRICA, in partnership with the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education, implemented Phase IV of the LAHL project in 24 schools in the Nongoma Municipality.
With funding support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, LAHL IV aimed to strengthen the capacity of the education system and school communities to respond to and provide care and support to vulnerable children, improving their education outcomes. But what distinguished LAHL IV from its antecedents was that, for the first time, MIET AFRICA implemented the project within the framework of a Human Rights-Based Approach (HRBA).
To share its implementation experience and the lessons learnt from using the HRBA,
MIET AFRICA was commissioned by JET Education Services to develop Guidelines and Protocols for Continued Professional Development for SADTU’s Curtis Nkondo Professional Development Institute. Aimed at teachers, the guidelines discuss professional development, why it is important and how to undertake it, including strategies for establishing and running professional learning communities and communities of practice.
Initiated and funded by REPSSI, MIET AFRICA collaborated with REPSSI and the Children’s Institute on the development of an in-service distance education course for teachers entitled: Teachers’ Diploma in Psychosocial Care, Support and Protection. MIET AFRICA was responsible for writing two of the six modules and for editing the entire course.
MIET AFRICA is developing facilitation guidelines and training teachers on the Life Skills component of a high school extra-curricular sports programme being run by AmaZulu Football Club. Teachers will make use of Staying Healthy, an MIET AFRICA publication aimed at adolescents,