The Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) and Children In Crisis (CIC), both advocating for the welfare of children in their fight against HIV/AIDS, on Monday launched the Teachers’ Learning Book (TLB) for primary schools.
Speaking at the ceremony the programme manager of CIC, Gladys Carrol, said her organization seek to ensure that children had access to education so that they would live a positive and healthy life for the development of the societies they live in.
She said so far 30 teachers were involved in the training exercise and that she was proud to say that they had produced the first comprehensive manual for teaching HIV/AIDS, stressing that they had started teaching these topics in Kissi and Kambia.
The programme manager said she was hoping that by the next four years they would have trained 650 teachers in their units in Kissi and Kambia, and that adequate finance be raised in support of this programme.
Penny Bardsley, a consultant of CIC UK, disclosed that the programme was a challenge to produce such a manual although it was fun in designing the pictures.
She added that the manual was piloted in schools and that in April 45 teachers and school children were interviewed and the pupils demanded that lot of pictures be included in the book.
On the issue of the training, the consultant said though it was not easy they were able to achieve their goal.
The national coordinator of FAWE, Eileen Hanciles, highlighting the work of her organization said the “goal is to increase and ensure the access the education of a girl child but that HIV/AIDS is a barrier when it strikes a family the child suffers”. She said the relationship between FAWE and CIC started in 1999 and that in 2003 a two-pact HIV programme started which were the “peer to peer and the vulnerable group who are between the ages of 8 -18”.
Mrs Hanciles said they decided to target children when they were young as it would be easy, and that they would be informed and would gain awareness at an early age.
She stated that she “is happy that a first teaching manual has been produced by FAWE and CIC. I am hoping that the future be bigger than the first phase.”
In launching the manual, which will be used in classes 3, 4 & 5, Dr Brima Kargbo, the Director National Aids Secretariat (NAS), said “children are the future though it is sad that the 11 years war left children more vulnerable to AIDS”.
Education, he stressed, “is a matter of right not favour and that is why it is of importance that children get information about things of importance to them”.
The NAS director said, “recent survey released showed that the knowledge of HIV is very low and it is necessary that people have knowledge on HIV/AIDS at an early age”.