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Terms of Reference for an Individual Consultant: Situational Analysis on the Status of Teacher Training in sexuality education for Eastern & Southern Africa (ESA)
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) & United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

Application Deadline: 18 April 2013

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1. Summary

UNESCO and UNFPA regional teams for East and Southern Africa with support from USAID are seeking the services of a consultant to conduct a situation analysis on the status of Teacher Training in Sexuality Education for the ESA region. The situation analysis will feed into a regional consultation and it is expected that the consultant will also support this process as well as lead the development of a strategy for UN and their partners to support the scale-up of SE teacher training in the region.

2. Background

Since the launch of the International Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education (ITGSE) in 2009, countries in East and Southern Africa Region have taken strides towards the incorporation of comprehensive sexuality education in school curricula. The ITGSE and other documents demonstrate that investing in the sexual health and development of adolescents is key to achieving the millennium development goals, promoting public health and ensuring economic development. Sexuality education offers protection against unintended pregnancy and prevents sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV and AIDS.

In high HIV prevalence, high school enrolment countries of East and Southern Africa there are strong arguments for investing in and implementing school based comprehensive sexuality education programs. No other single avenue has the possibility of reaching so many young people with knowledge, skills and values that will stay with them when they leave school. Good quality, comprehensive sexuality education contributes to building the critical skills and attitudes that, combined with accurate knowledge, lead to the development of healthy behavior. This is necessary for all young people, including those already living with HIV. It also addresses some of the driving forces behind poor sexual health such as gender inequality. Effective comprehensive sexuality education starts young, in primary school, where core skills and attitudes around general health, relationships, gender equality and communication (among others) can be developed. The content is then expanded and developed through secondary level, in an age-appropriate approach that reflects the needs of the growing learner.

Effective HIV and sexuality education requires highly skilled and motivated staff. The International Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education argues that teachers need appropriate training, skills in the use of participatory methods, and ongoing support. In an environment where many topics related to sexuality can be culturally and religiously sensitive there are a range of challenges related to the preparation and capacity development of teachers to implement sexuality education. For many countries in the ESA region the capacity and performance levels of teachers with regard to the delivery of comprehensive sexuality curricula remains a significant implementation challenge.

One of the key tasks facing Ministries of Education in the region is how to conduct effective pre-service and in-service teacher training and sustain a programme of on-going in-service refresher training and mentoring. Effective training first has to have an impact on the teachers themselves, helping them examine their own attitudes toward sexuality, gender and behaviours regarding HIV prevention, understand the content they are teaching, learn participatory teaching skills, and gain confidence to discuss sensitive and controversial topics. Teacher training needs the support of national ministries, local school management, and local communities. It should also build on teacher training efforts for countries implementing a Life Skills curriculum as interactive teaching methods are essential for both CSE and LSE. Teachers need support after the initial training and need to be willing and motivated to teach reproductive health and HIV issues. Teacher training should emphasize the need for a safe and appropriate learning environment which reflects the learning content. This would include gender equality in the school environment and a policy of zero tolerance for sexual exploitation of students.

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