Gender inequality is a key structural driver of the HIV epidemic in South Africa. Young women between 15 and 24 are four times more likely to have been infected with HIV than young men of the same age. It is with this in mind that the Department of Basic Education (DBE) launched the Keeping Girls in School programme.
Phases I and II of KGS are funded by the Global Fund. NACOSA (the Networking HIV/AIDS Community of South Africa) is the principal recipient, while MIET AFRICA, as a sub-recipient, is responsible for implementation in various areas.
Keeping Girls in School (Phase II)
1 April 2016–31 March 2019
KGS and the related Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) programme are part of the Global Fund’s Young Women and Girls (YW&G) Programme. MIET AFRICA is implementing KGS and SRHP in three provinces—in the Gert Sibande and Ehlanzeni Districts in Mpumalanga, in the Zululand District in KwaZulu-Natal and in the Greater Sekhukune District in Limpopo.
The envisaged outcomes of the programme are:
- A decrease in new HIV infections in girls and young women
- A decrease in teen pregnancies
- The retention of girls in school until matric
The programme is being implemented in 50 selected Quintile 1–3 schools in each district, targeting the most vulnerable girls, aged 14–18. (Female learners are targeted because of teenage pregnancy and their heightened risk to HIV infection.) Girls are to receive a combination package of services that includes peer education, health education, homework assistance, home visits, and career jamborees for Grade 9 learners.
The SRH programme will work closely with district and school based support teams to link learners to health care. Two mobile clinics per district, staffed by two full-time nurses, will be linked to 25 schools, and will offer the following services:
- As a minimum, HIV testing, and CD4 tests for girls who test HIV-positive
- Where possible, pregnancy testing, STI and TB diagnosis and treatment, and contraception
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Keeping Girls in School (Phase I)
October 2013–March 2016
MIET AFRICA implemented the pilot programme in 286 schools in three provinces—the Eastern Cape (59), KZN (168) and Mpumalanga (59).
Forty thousand girls in Grades 7 to 9 were targeted, with the focus being to strengthen schools to support girl learners academically, emotionally and socially so that they remain in school until they complete Grade 12. The programme employed out-of-school youth in a variety of ways to support girls to stay in school. For example, some were used as homework tutors to help girls academically, while other facilitated health sessions on topics such as puberty, pregnancy, HIV and SRH. Another facet was career jamborees that were organized for all Grade 9 female learners in the selected schools.
In total, 51 668 girls in Grade 7–9 were reached during the grant period, which ended in March 2016 and was succeeded by Phase II.
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- Download: Health Sessions KGS Health Sessions Posters health-sessions-facilitator-guide health-sessions-poster-pack ISHP Leaflets – Afrikaans contraception_afrikaans hct_afrikaans hiv_afrikaans pregnancy_afrikaans puberty_afrikaans ISHP Leaflets – English contraception hiv-counselling-testing pregnancy purberty sexually-transmitted-infections-including-hiv Learner Handouts kgis_handouts_cover … ... Read More »
- 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 … ... Read More »