Life skills-based HIV and sexuality education: orientation process for parents or guardians
To assess the proportion of schools that inform/consult parents/guardians of students as stakeholders, when introducing life skills programmes.
To ensure the acceptance and successful integration of life skills-based HIV and sexuality education in the curriculum, in many contexts parents/guardians as critical stakeholders need to be consulted on, and orientated to, the programme offered to their children in schools.
As teachers introduce aspects of the life skills-based HIV and sexuality education into the curriculum, it is advisable to provide an orientation for parents/guardians. The ministry of education has a responsibility to ensure that parents/guardians are made aware of the proposed content of the curriculum, key messages and the methodology of delivery of the life skills-based HIV and sexuality education programme. The orientation session should target all parents/guardians of students and could take the form of general meetings, notices or newsletters calling for comment, or broad public consultations. The orientation sessions should be repeated on an annual basis.
Where a good foundation has been laid for the introduction of the subject, which deals with behaviour and developing appropriate life skills, the schools are sure to reap the benefits over time. The inverse holds true, if schools introduce the subject without the knowledge of the parents/guardians, or without allowing them to review the intended outcomes and messages to be used, this could have dire consequences.
Therefore, it is important that the education sector monitors that these critical orientation sessions are offered on an annual basis.
This indicator aims to determine the proportion of schools that provide an orientation session for parents/guardians of students regarding the life skills-based HIV and sexuality programme and content at different levels.
Principals/heads of schools (to include both private and public), offering primary and secondary education, are briefed on what constitutes an orientation process for parents/guardians regarding life skills based-HIV and sexuality education programmes. Principals/heads of schools are to be provided with the list of subject topics that are to be addressed at the orientation session as follows:
1. Generic life skills (e.g. decision-making/communications/refusal skills);
2. Sexual reproductive health/sexuality education (e.g. teaching on human growth and development, family life, reproductive health, sexual abuse, transmission of STIs); and
3. HIV transmission and prevention.
They are then asked the following questions.
■ Did your school organize orientation session(s) regarding life skills-based HIV and sexuality education programmes for parents and/or guardians of students in the previous academic year?
Calculated as a percentage:
Number of schools that have organized at least one orientation session regarding life skills-based HIV and sexuality education programmes open to all parents and/or guardians of students in the previous academic year.
Number of schools surveyed.
EMIS annual school census.
The indicator should be presented as a separate percentage for:
■ Private/independent and public/state schools or institutions
■ Level of education: primary and secondary
■ Geographical location: urban, rural and peri-urban.
Parents/guardians are considered key stakeholders in ensuring that life skills education is adopted and effective, especially in countries where parents/guardians have a significant role in school decision-making and management. However, as the influence of parents/guardians on schools may vary across different countries with different education systems, the desirable target for this indicator should be set based on the country’s specific context. For example, in countries where the education system is highly centralized, parents or guardians of students usually have very limited influence over the school programmes and curriculum content. This indicator is a measure of coverage. The desirable coverage of schools should be decided by education stakeholders based on the national context. Comparison with data collected from the previous years (if available) should be made to show if and how much progress has been made. The findings for this indicator could also be reviewed in conjunction with data collected for Indicator No. 3 included in the Guidelines (percentage of schools reached with life skills-based HIV and sexuality education) for further exploration of the possible correlations and linkages between the two indicators. For example:
■ A low/high percentage of schools that have provided an orientation process for parents or guardians of students may have contributed to a low/high percentage of schools that provided life skills-based HIV and sexuality education;
■ If these two percentages are not positively correlated, it suggests either that the orientation process provided by the schools was irrelevant or ineffective, or that parents or guardians had minimum influence on the school programmes.
■ The indicator was field tested.
■ The method of calculation of the indicator is simple.
■ The indicator allows for easy comparison over time.
■ The indicator considers whether schools have consulted with parents/guardians on a critical issue related to the introduction of curriculum.
■ The indicator does not reflect on the nature of the consultation or the outcome of the consultation.
■ The indicator does not consider any issues of quality or extent. It does not prescribe minimum standards and measure actions against these.