Education Sector

The HIV epidemic has had a significant effect on the education sector over the past thirty years. High sickness and mortality rates of teachers and students disrupted classes and has led to a shortage of teachers in parts of the country. The economic costs on families (early retirement of teachers) and on the state (training of replacement teachers) have been significant. However, the education sector has successfully initiated a number of policies to manage the HIV epidemic. The Ministry of Education has implement four broad strategies related to HIV:

1)    Management commitment to promote direction and effective implementation of HIV & AIDS programme activities;
2)    HIV education through schools for primary and secondary students, including life skills based comprehensive sexuality education;
3)    Teachers, support staff and pre-service students will continue to be trained in comprehensive,  evidence-based SRH and HIV interactive methodologies; and
4)    Linkages built to collaborate with other services providers related to impact mitigation and treatment and care and support of HIV and AIDS in the education sector.

The Ministry of Education has committed to ensure that all Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) are able to access and complete a programme of basic education (grades 1-9).  Female students will be encouraged to pursue higher education (secondary and tertiary) through a quota system that allocates 30% of places to girls and strategies to improve enrolment of girls as well as retaining them in schools, especially at secondary level.