The Fourth Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning (PCF4)
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Nokuthula Vilakati

Towards a curriculum innovation: HIV prevention at the Insitute of Distance Education, University of Swaziland

Nokuthula Vilakati
Institute of Distance Education, University of Swaziland

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     Last modified: October 16, 2006
     Presentation date: 11/02/2006 2:30 PM in NT Portland B
     (View Schedule)

This paper proposes an innovation on HIV prevention, in response to the United Nations Millennium Development Goal to combat HIV/AIDS. The curriculum innovation is through a participatory action research design of life skills based education course, involving both health faculty tutors and first year distance education students at the University of Swaziland. The innovation builds onto the strengths of previous HIV prevention interventions and argues that effective life skills based education targets the individual, peers and the wider community, since the same levels are crucial in HIV transmission. The innovation also recommends a rethinking of the content used to teach and learn life skills based education to prevent HIV and recommends that such content is to be co-constructed by the students and tutors through peers and wider community involvement. The content is to be delivered in a participatory way in order for the students to engage in critical action to prevent HIV. Because of the novelty of such an intervention, the innovation recognises that such an approach to the design and implementation of the curriculum initiative is complex and involves careful planning, monitoring and evaluation to yield desired outcomes. In conclusion, the innovation recommends that HIV prevention can be possible even in a country such as Swaziland, with the highest HIV prevalence in the world.

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