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Tuesday 21 February 2006
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SOUTH AFRICA: HIV/AIDS statistics call for education sector reform, UNESCO warns


[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]


JOHANNESBURG, 21 September (PLUSNEWS) - The impact of HIV/AIDS in South Africa's schools should force a rethink on how education is provided, according to a senior UN official.

With about 100,000 pupils, 20 percent of teachers and 15 percent of lecturers living with HIV/AIDS, "the manner in which education institutions tackle their tasks will have to change", said Thidziambi Phendla, director of the International Institute for Capacity Enhancement in Africa of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

In his speech at a university graduation ceremony in the northern province of Limpopo, Phendla said dealing with the crisis in the education sector would require improved research, an informed plan of action and changing the public's attitude towards schooling.

"South Africa has a limited knowledge of the influence of the disease ... [and] its impact on the community," he noted, and called for more effective campaigns to highlight the effects of the epidemic.

[ENDS]

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· AIDS Media Center
· The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria
· International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS
· AEGIS
· International HIV/AIDS Alliance


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