Universities and Schools - what is a fair engagement?

  • Cal Volks University of Cape Town
  • Sianne Abrahams University of Cape Town
  • Lucina Reddy University of Cape Town


Just as HAICU were reflecting on making changes to the programme on working with teachers, changes at Department of Education (DOE) made it difficult for NGOs and Universities to work within schools in the way they had previously done so. The new National Policy changes indicated HAICU would need a new method of working with schools which would be limited to working with teachers only, connecting teachers to knowledge around HIV/AIDS, gender and stigma and supporting teachers in their multiple roles of addressing HIV prevention and education. A number of HIV/AIDS prevention projects were then aimed at after school sites such as youth centres where education could be combined with testing, and service provision at schools was limited to nurse visits (but no HIV testing in schools). In 2013 HAICU developed and implemented a programme working with educators who teach Life Orientation and who could implement the learnings in the schools. An initial needs assessment with the teachers showed that stigma continued to prevail in school contexts, gendered roles were still practiced and educators play support roles for HIV positive students. Based on this assessment HAICU developed a four session intervention. The topics included HIV school policy and implementation, rape, HIV treatment and HIV social behavior change communication. The topics chosen addressed the primary needs identified by the educators in the programme. By engaging with the topics, the educators identified that they would need to continue learning about these topics beyond the initial four sessions. After the training HAICU conducted a focus group with the educators to ascertain what kinds of progress, if at all the educators had made in implementing the learning. The following paragraphs detail the discussion in the focus group.
How to Cite
Volks, Cal, Sianne Abrahams, and Lucina Reddy. 2016. “Universities and Schools - What Is a Fair Engagement?”. South African Journal of Higher Education 29 (3). https://doi.org/10.20853/29-3-497.
Section B