UNESCO, TIE revise life skills on SRH, HIV, GBV prevention syllabus 

26Jan 2022
Rose Mwalongo
The Guardian
UNESCO, TIE revise life skills on SRH, HIV, GBV prevention syllabus 

THE United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) under Education for Health and Wellbeing (EHW) in collaboration with the Tanzania Institute of Education (TIE)...

UNESCO Regional Director Professor Hubert Gijzen.

...have revised life skills-based Sexual Reproductive Health, HIV & GBV prevention curriculum support materials to curb the widespread and prevalence of GBV cases in schools.

 The Institute with support from the UN agency has managed to improve the quality of existing materials to align with the Tanzanian context.

The revised documents comprise of the teacher training manual and guide, classroom activities/syllabi to enable schools to teach life skills-based Sexual Reproductive Health Education.

The materials have taken heed recommendations received from piloting the said documents in 50 schools in Ilala and Sengerema districts under a slogan connect with respect where during the launching ceremony, various students shared their experience over how they had been able to change their perception on gender norms and roles and not to mention of being proactive to address and intervene domestic violence issues at home where possible.

“Connect with respect has helped me as a person to understand what GBV entails.  I came home once and saw my parents fight where I told them that I would in no way get inside until they settle their differences.

Efforts to convince me to get inside provide futile as I stood by my word until they made peace.  I now enjoy as my parents live in harmony where mum prepares some delicacies for my father,” recalls a primary school student from Sengerema district in Mwanza who was part of the pilot project while auditing that tranquility now reigns supreme in the house.

The connect with respect project has also helped teachers to change their teaching style where previously according to one of the teachers, the latter had been canning students on their back to shape them.

However, the program has helped them to befriend students and to use less canes, and he admits that students are now more comfortable when it comes to asking questions than was the case before. 

Speaking during the handover ceremony of the revised documents, Dr. Lyabwene Mutahabwa, the Director of Education and the Chief of Guest for the day said the revised documents are going to make a breakthrough through the education system in Tanzania and if shared with all primary and secondary schools, the syllabus will bring great and positive impact.

 The Director called upon the need for society to learn to love the people they work for and to inculcate the culture of respect regardless of their education or status.

 He said a family which relates to one another with respect is more likely to prosper unlike the one where there is none. According to the doctor, respect within each sector will help Tanzania to excel. For his part, UNESCO Regional Director Professor Hubert Gijzen could not hide his feeling than to hail the government of Tanzania for its move to allow students who drop out of school due to pregnancy to resume school after delivery.      UNESCO believes that education is a vehicle for transforming individual behaviors and broader social norms around sexual and reproductive health, violence, gender equality and discrimination.     The move has come timely taking into consideration of recent events where incidents of gender-based violence are taking a toll amid deaths and injuries.  If one were to research, they would note that its perpetrators were raised in families with violent behaviors. It is our hope that teaching children on a young age will help them grow into decent adults who will abhor GBV and who will respect the other gender.                   The SIDA funded project entitled ‘Our Rights, Our Lives, Our Future’ commonly known as O3 within the framework of Education for Health and Well-being programme should steer us to act more vigilantly. Let us say no to GBV and let us behave and treat each other with respect.