The Fourth Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning (PCF4)
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Reuben Aggor

Addressing the HIV Epidemic in Ghana through Open and Distance Education

Reuben Aggor
Institute of Adult Education, University of Ghana

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     Last modified: August 1, 2006
     Presentation date: 11/02/2006 2:30 PM in NT Portland B
     (View Schedule)

Abstract
When the first person was diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in Ghana in 1986, it was seen as a health problem. This conception has since changed into a development issue pregnant with grave consequences. The government, development partners and civil society organisations teamed up to tackle the problem before infection rates went beyond the 3.7% recorded in 2003. The face-to-face educational approach benefited only a limited number the population at risk, and at specific locations and times.

This became a concern to the Institute of Adult Education, University of Ghana, so in partnership with UNFPA, Ghana AIDS Commission, Police Hospital and the West African AIDS Foundation, it decided to adopt the ODL methodology to address the issue. A six module ODL course was developed and delivered to four batches of 1,756 learners between October 2003 and March 2006.

Outcomes include:
*increased participation than when the Institute used the face-to-face approach
*participants ranged from secondary school leavers to PhD holders
*teachers and pastors were the two groups most represented
* graduates from the programme have been engaged on HIV projects to educate others, especially in rural communities
* community groups and NGOs have sponsored participants on the programme.

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