Sameer Lakhani and Karl Gernetzky Report on Old Enough to Know Launch
The Aga Khan University recently hosted a workshop to mark the launch of Old Enough To Know: Consulting children about sex and AIDS education in Africa. Sameer Lakhani from Aga Khan University and Karl Gernetzky of Business Day reported on the event, where AIDS education amidst cultural, religious and moral restraints, was one of the issues discussed:
The Aga Khan University, Institute for Educational Development (AKU-IED), East Africa held an event and workshop to launch the book “Old Enough To Know: Consulting children about sex and AIDS education in Africa, which is the culmination of a joint research project between the AKU-IED in Tanzania and the Commonwealth Education Centre, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, UK.
This book describes a compelling study concerning children’s knowledge about sex and particularly in context of HIV and AIDS. It was conducted with a sample of eight public secondary schools in three countries in sub-Saharan Africa – Kenya, South Africa and Tanzania. The book has been jointly written by Shelina Walli and Mussa Mohamed (Aga Khan University, Institute for Educational Development, Tanzania) and Colleen McLaughlin and Susan Kiragu (University of Cambridge).
PRIMARY school pupils were far more willing to talk about the risks and role of sex in their communities than adults realised, but teachers lacked sufficient preparation and confidence to deal with the issue, experts in education, children’s rights and HIV/AIDS said yesterday.
While sex education in schools is controversial, due to cultural, religious and moral restraints, many point to SA’s HIV/AIDS rate. Statistics such as the 24,4% pregnancy rate among girls in grades 8-11 shown by the 2008 South African National Youth at Risk Survey were a reason for schools to tackle the issue.