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SEAMEO component: in-school youth

1. Human resource and basic ICT infrastructure capacity building

SEAMEO focussed on expanding the use of ICT and other multimedia technologies used by teachers for HIV/AIDS preventive education in schools in selected cross-border sites of the GMS. The first step of this human resource capacity building was to organize the training of trainers (TOT) to deliver national level and school level trainings in the participating countries.

Participants were trained to conduct effective computer technology and Internet training so as to help others to better accomplish their development objectives. The training focussed on the development of ICT-based learning materials that could be utilized in school settings for the implementation of HIV/AIDS preventive education. In addition, participants were trained to understand and apply participatory training methods that were effective in experiential learning situations and will learn how to tailor a training programme to the specific needs of the audience. While, the TOT was designed to prepare participants to conduct formal training sessions, the skills and materials could be applied to one-on-one situations or workshops designed to occur over several weeks or months that incorporate short skill building sessions.

Following the TOT, the graduates provided national level and school level training to teachers and school staff, including principals, in the participating countries. This allowed those who interacted closely with in-school youth to provide a comprehensive information package that equiped students with the necessary information to deal with HIV/AIDS as a development issue as well as provide a sound platform for further preventive action at both a regional and local level.

To provide ongoing support to the capacity building process, a learning resource development team from each of the five participating countries was organized and strengthened within an appropriate national or provincial educational institution. Benefits of such a strategy of building national/provincial capacity included: support to the sustainability of project gains; and establishment of an institutional base for future expansion of project activities to other sites.

In parallel, the project also built ICT infrastructure capacity in itself and as a tool for preventive education. ICT hardware and software with accompanying training were provided to schools and learning centers, where appropriate, in the border areas.  Strengthening in ICT capability (hardware and software) was also undertaken at the national level. Through the combination of human resource capacity building and ICT infrastructure development, HIV/AIDS preventive education efforts at the local levels, i.e. schools at the cross border areas, were facilitated and strengthened.

2. Teaching/learning materials development

Learning materials were developed throughout the project duration. These materials were developed at provincial resource development centres and at the school level to ensure that they were appropriate to local conditions and contexts. To achieve this, capacity building under the project focussed not only on using ICT-based learning materials to deliver skills development programmes but also on training schoolteachers as well as stimulating students to develop and contribute to such ICT-based learning materials. In this way, the development of both teaching and learning materials was based on interactive and participatory methods.

All the materials developed responded to the linked triad of problems: HIV/AIDS risk behaviour, trafficking in girls and women and drug abuse. Maintaining the commitment of national educational and development institutions ensured accuracy and applicability of materials developed. Materials developed specifically for high-technology media were targeted at teaching and learning facilities that were able to sustain the relevant technology. For sites with limited access to high technology utilities and other facilities, less advanced materials were developed and distributed.

3. Delivery of HIV/AIDS preventive education

HIV/AIDS preventive education programmes were delivered through the school curriculum and related activities, with teachers as change agents and social advocates. The project supported peer education where students themselves took the initiative to effect behaviour change among their peers under the guidance of teachers and counselors. A total of 36 lower secondary schools in nine border areas of the five countries were involved in the project and the intervention targeted approximately 8,000 in-school youth.

Preventive education efforts focused on the community with the school taking the lead are also part of the plan for preventive education. It is expected that the use of ICT for preventive education will benefit not only the school population but the larger community as well.

4. Web-based project database

A database was developed to collect, process and share the results from the in-school component of the project, including the teaching and learning materials developed under the project. The database provided participating schools and educational institutions with continuous information support and will link up with the national and provincial resource development centers.