Botswana: Teaching Students Life Skills (April 2007)


With support from PEPFAR, a new life skills manual was designed by the Botswana Ministry of Education and the BOTUSA Project, a collaboration between the governments of the U.S. and Botswana. The Skills for Life: Botswana's Window of Hope curriculum materials help teachers discuss life issues important to Batswana youth.

Five sets of teacher guides and student workbooks were developed to deliver age-appropriate messages for students ranging from primary to secondary school. Teachers use stories, role-playing, poems, and class discussions to impart knowledge and build skills for healthy decision-making. Topics include self-awareness, goal setting, managing stress, social responsibility, healthy living, relationships, sexuality, risk reduction, and facts and myths about HIV/AIDS. The materials discuss HIV prevention, promoting abstinence and emphasizing delaying sexual debut. For students ages 15 and older, the program also addresses intergenerational sex and transactional sex, and also discusses and provides referrals for condoms and other prevention interventions.

Released at a special launch in July 2006, the materials are being distributed throughout Botswana by the Ministry of Education. "The survival of learners depends on them acquiring these skills," Susan Makgothi, Director of Curriculum Development and Evaluation in the Botswana Ministry of Education, said.


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