New teacher training on sexual and reproductive health and HIV prevention developed with UNESCO IITE support in Belarus

On November 8, 2018, Minsk city education development institute (MGIRO) hosted a round table to present a new teacher training programme on sexual and reproductive health, HIV prevention and relationships developed with UNESCO IITE’s support. Tigran Yepoyan, UNESCO regional HIV and health education advisor and chief of the section on ICT in Health Education, took part in the round table.

This programme is a milestone in a teacher capacity development project initiated by the Belarus Association of UNESCO Clubs (BelAU) and MGIRO and supported by the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Belarus, UNESCO IITE and UNFPA.

Ms. Tatiana Moroz, the rector of MGIRO, Ms. Natalia Schasnovich of the National Commission of the Republic of Belarus for UNESCO and Mr. Alexander Davidenko of UNFPA spoke at the round table opening. Mr. Nikolay Nosov, deputy head of the Youth Department of the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Belarus addressed the participants and highlighted the importance of this project. Mr. Dmitry Subtselny, the chairperson of BelAU provided details on the project goals and implementation plan.

Mr. Yepoyan presented examples of effective approaches to motivation and life skills development among adolescents for healthy and safe living. He demonstrated a short video about UNESCO and UNAIDS supported projects on HIV prevention and healthy lifestyle promotion in Armenia, Belarus and Kyrgyzstan in 2016-2018.

Ms. Natalia Karpusheva, the head instructor of MGIRO, talked about the new teacher training programme, its key parts and objectives and shared the outcomes of its piloting with the first group of students – instructors from regional education development institutes and teachers from Minsk schools. A similar programme will be developed and integrated into the teacher in-service training curricula at all regional education development institutes in Belarus.

Upon its completion, schoolteachers, psychologists and social pedagogues will be able to deliver health education lessons among 8-11 grade students to provide them with knowledge and help to develop skills for responsible sexual relations, healthy lifestyle and relationships, prevention of HIV, STIs and substance use. They will also be able to work with students’ parents to explain them the benefits of sexuality education, empower them to talk to their growing children about relationships, sexuality and prevention of risky behavior.

Ms. Valentina Shukan, the coordinator of adolescent-friendly center “Doverie” shared her experience of working with parents to dispel myths and misconceptions about sexuality education and develop positive communication skills with children on issues related to sexual and reproductive health and behavior. During several years, Ms Shukan has been running such trainings for teachers and parents all over Belarus in cooperation with BelAU and UNESCO IITE. Her extensive experience informed the development of the new teacher training programme.

Ms. Anastasia Kamish, the coordinator of Y-PEER network in Belarus told about the impact of peer education in sexual and reproductive health promotion and approaches to involving trained volunteers into classroom-based discussions on these issues.

It is expected, that teachers who would complete the new training programme, will use the guide “Modules for peer-education volunteers for conducting lessons with peers” developed in 2016 with UNICEF and UNFPA support and a companion guide on using edutainment videos during health promotion lessons developed with UNESCO IITE support in 2017 and other relevant resources.

The edutainment videos are available at UNESCO IITE YouTube channel.