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UNESCO holds consultation workshop on sex, relationships and HIV education in Nepal

UNESCO holds consultation workshop on sex, relationships and HIV education in Nepal
  • © UNAIDS/G.Pirot

On 15 October 2009, the UNESCO Office in Kathmandu in partnership with Nepal’s Ministry of Education, the UNAIDS Secretariat, UNFPA and UNICEF held a National Consultation Workshop to review and prioritise joint efforts in promoting sex, relationships and HIV education in schools.

The objectives of the workshop were to:

1. Review the draft International Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education.
2. Discuss recommendations for mainstreaming sexuality education.

Key challenges identified by participants in implementing sexuality education in Nepal include that:

  • The Nepali education system currently focuses its HIV and AIDS education efforts on lower and higher secondary school levels, with very little attention paid to the primary school level.
  • Matters of sexuality, love and relationships, injecting drug use, men who have sex with men and sex work are considered to be taboo in the country and have not addressed in the existing curricula.

The workshop participants agreed that the draft International Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education will be useful in supporting the mainstreaming of sexuality education in Nepal, and identified the following entry points:

  • The Nepal Federal Constitution is currently being developed and offers an opportunity to lobby for provisions related to sexuality education.
  • The periodic amendment of the curriculum provides a mechanism through which related topics could be incorporated.
  • Life skills-based education has already been rolled out in Nepal and teachers have been trained in 32 districts of the country.
  • Existing learning materials on HIV and AIDS education in Nepali can be useful resources to take this forward.

Workshop participants also felt that – as HIV prevention is a priority for donors – it should be easy to generate additional financial resources that may be required for the implementation of sexuality education.

Mr Tap Raj Pant, UNESCO’s National Program Officer for Education, said that recommendations from the workshop will be shared with policy-makers and that a high-level task team will be established under the Ministry of Education to facilitate the inclusion of sexuality education in the curricula.

  • Author(s):UNESCO
  • Source:UNE
  • 17-11-2009
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