On 16 and 17 February, teams from the eight districts involved on Keeping Girls in Schools (KGS) and representatives from the national Department of Basic Education joined MIET AFRICA at the Riverside Hotel in Durban to share their experiences of implementing the programme.
Teams comprising both provincial and district coordinators, supervisors and principals, as well as learners themselves, gave presentations on the challenges of, and successes from, implementing the programme in their provinces, districts and schools. Their feedback about the impact of the programme was very positive: all three provinces assert that since the introduction of the programme, pregnancies and school drop-outs in the KGS schools have declined, while school retention and academic performance have improved. Learners shared personal experiences of being part of the programme and the impact that it had made on their lives. The meeting closed with a presentation by the assistant programme director of the Networking HIV,
CSTL has been highlighted in an article in the Nyasa Times on 16 November 2015: “Ministry calls for partnership approach in improving quality of education”.
This was on the occasion of an open day organized for showcasing CSTL products and services, which was addressed by the Director of Basic Education in the Ministry of Education Science and Technology, Dr Joseph Chimombo.
“To ensure sustainability, the RHIVA programme agenda will be integrated in all HIV&AIDS Education initiatives, be part of Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE), and be mainstreamed through Life Skills education programmes and existing after-school programmes.”
This commitment was expressed at the sharing meeting of the three Member States held on 27-28 October in Lusaka, Zambia.
Participants were welcomed by Assistant Director Mr John Nyangu, representing Permanent Secretary Mr Chishimba Nkosha. Mr Nyangu presented the Permanent Secretary’s address, expressing the Ministry’s commitment to interventions such as RHIVA, which are supportive of education in Zambia.
It was clear from the presentations and country implementation plans, that all participants are fully committed to RHIVA and its further roll out in their countries.
A highlight of the two days was a visit to one of the RHIVA project schools, Matero Girls’ Secondary School. Delegates were entertained by powerful performances,
MIET AFRICA is proud to be partnering with the SADC Secretariat and REPSSI as the latter hosts its third bi-annual Psychosocial Support Forum 2015: Love, Care and Protection from Infancy to Adolescence, taking place in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, from 1-3 September 2015.
The overall aim of this forum is to raise awareness of the need for, and approaches to, providing love, care and protection for girls and boys through the different stages of their development, from infancy to adolescence, and to influence policy and programming at national- and regional-levels. Psychosocial support is critical for children, families and communities to develop resilience and to thrive. It also forms part of the Essential Package of Care and Support adopted by SADC Ministries of Education as part of the Care and Support for Teaching and Learning (CSTL) Programme.
The forum is a high-level partnership-building platform that brings together stakeholders from regional economic blocks,
In May, the 2015 Keeping Girls in School (KGS) career jamborees programme was launched in the
Sisonke District in KZN, with 1130 girls participating.
These jamborees are held in each of the 30 project schools for their Grade 9 female learners, and are
a source of great excitement. The KZN Science Centre is the implementing partner in KZN. It seeks to
ensure that at the jamborees the girls are provided with information on subject selection in relation
to the various career options available. This is facilitated through a motivational talk by the Science
Centre’s education officer.
The jamborees’ programme includes a focus on psychometric testing of learners through selfinvestigation
of their aptitudes and abilities, personality traits, attitudes and educational
achievements–with the aim of allowing learners to discover more about themselves and, by using
the tools provided, create personal milestones towards their educational achievement and career
On 28 and 29 of November, MIET AFRICA hosted the last two of the days of the final inter-country meeting of the North/South Cooperation: Teaching for Inclusion and Democracy Project, which was held in in Gaborone, Botswana. This initiative is a collaboration between Stockholm University in the North, and Botswana, Namibia and South Africa in the South. Each of the southern country teams are represented by their Ministry of Education, a university and an NGO. Over the past three years, North and South have collaborated on research on democratic and inclusive approaches to learning. This research is intended to inform both pre– and in-service teacher education in Inclusive Education.
The main purpose of the meeting was to afford the opportunity to the country teams to present their case study research. It was a major achievement that, despite the research teams being comprised mainly of full-time university lecturers,
RHIVA Regional welcomes in-country staff at a workshop in Durban
In August, the RHIVA Regional Programme held a workshop at the Blue Waters Hotel for the newly appointed in-country staff. RHIVA Regional employs an in-country coordinator and a trainer in each of the three “RHIVA Member States” – Mozambique, Namibia and Zambia – and the purpose of the workshop was to orientate and train them ahead of implementation.
The workshop addressed administrative, human resources, planning and reporting matters, in order to help the in-country staff understand MIET AFRICA’s procedures regarding project implementation and management in SADC countries. However, perhaps the most critical part of the workshop was introducing the new staff to both the RHIVA Regional Programme itself, and its alignment to CSTL.
Delegates were also given a chance to engage with RHIVA materials, and to see how they will be used in different country settings and contexts.
Once again, from 20 to 22 November RHIVA Regional staff gathered in Durban for training and orientation on the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) framework and baseline study. The training was attended by the six in-country and two national members of staff, as well as three members of the CSTL team and MIET AFRICA’s Director of Regional Programmes. It was facilitated by Monica Trichardt from the IQ Group, a company that is responsible for the RHIVA Regional M&E framework, as well as Dr Madri Jansen van Rensburg of Resilience Analysis.
The training covered critical issues such as methods and techniques for collecting good quality data, ethical conduct of researchers, the difference between monitoring and evaluation, and data capturing. The facilitators gave practical examples of how the baseline study will be conducted. Participants were given a chance to engage with baseline study tools to get an understanding of them, as well as being afforded the opportunity for them to make their own inputs.
Parents building strong relationships with their children
MIET AFRICA’s Uthukela Inclusive Education in Action Project is field-testing the KZN Department of Education’s three-tier system for Inclusive Education. Three schools in the Uthukela District are involved, each representing one of the levels of support offered to learners experiencing barriers to learning. Lokothwayo Combined is the mainstream school, offering low levels of support. Madlala is the full-service school, which offers moderate levels of support. And Inkanyezi, the Special School as a Resource Centre, offers high levels of support. The field-testing entails building the capacity of schools, parents and communities to support all learners, especially the vulnerable, to access school, to stay at school and to achieve at school.
The project is currently conducting special training sessions for parents and caregivers, which focuses on them having strong relationships with their children. The parents and caregivers attending are responding positively to the idea that they can build their children’s self-confidence,
MIET AFRICA has just started on the Leveraging Partnerships to Achieve the Goals of South Africa’s HIV& AIDS and STI National Strategic Plan 2012-16, or as it is otherwise known, “Keeping Girls in Schools”. This is a Department of Basic Education (DBE) initiative that is funded by the Global Fund. NACOSA (the Networking HIV/AIDS Community of South Africa) is the managing agent, and MIET AFRICA has been brought in as the implementing partner. It will run until 31 March 2016.
The aim is to provide support to the DBE to strengthen its ability to keep girls in schools. This will be done by strengthening the quality of existing life skills, peer education and other support programmes in schools. A “basket of support services” will be targeted at young women in the schooling system in order to retain them until they complete Grade 12.