16.10.2007 Health

Sunyani teachers orientated on HIV/AIDS

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Over 1,000 teachers in basic, second cycle and private sector institutions in Sunyani Municipality have undergone training in how to integrate HIV/AIDS education into the curricular in their schools.

They are expected to be advocates for change in the dissemination of information on HIV/AIDS and as trainer of trainers in their institutions.

The teachers comprised 276 from second-cycle institutions, 741 basic schoolteachers and included a teacher each from the 32 private schools in the municipality.

Mr. K. Fosu-Gyeabour, Sunyani Municipal Director of Education, told the Ghana News Agency that the programme had been necessitated by the concern that the HIV menace was depleting the nation's workforce.

"Statistics show that young people within the 16-49 age group, which forms the nation's workforce, are those with the highest prevalent rates and this had scared the country, hence the need to tackle it", he said.

Mr. Fosu-Gyeabour said the government supported the training with 288 million cedis and was held simultaneously across the country.

On the new educational reforms, Mr. Fosu-Gyeabour said teachers in the municipality were being orientated to cope with the reforms.

He appealed to Ghanaians to exercise restraint and to support the reform whilst the government took steps to address the challenges facing it.

"Every district is supposed to have a strategic plan that the government would tackle in order of importance. Ghanaians must realize that we are left behind in development and there's the need to start from somewhere rather than to sit down unconcerned", he said.

Mr. Fosu-Gyeabour said in order to motivate teachers to accept postings to rural areas, the municipal directorate had set up a scheme to recommend and reward any teacher who would accept posting to such areas.

"Things are bad in the rural areas where a teacher would attend class for only three times in a week, an attitude responsible for the poor academic performance of schools in such areas", he said.

The municipal director expressed regret about the meagre budgetary allocation for the municipality, saying the two billion cedis to be used for education was not forthcoming as well as educational investment that relied solely on donor funding.

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