ERIC Number: EJ990216
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003
Reference Count: N/A
What's the Use of School when We're All Poor and Dying Young?
International Journal on School Disaffection, v1 n2 p14-16 2003
The young people quoted in this paper attend two high schools in Umlazi Township, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. Poverty is rife in the area: some students are known to go five days at a stretch without food. Parts of the vast, sprawling township are notorious for shootings and violent crime. The rape of schoolgirls on their way to and from school or in the school grounds themselves, sometimes by teachers, is not uncommon. Neither is HIV/Aids as discussed in the previous paper. Of all professional groups, HIV/Aids is highest among teachers. At KwaShaka High School, an average of five students die of Aids-related illnesses each year and an unspecified number of staff have been lost. Keeping students in school is a major challenge in light of this catastrophic pandemic, coupled with the staggering levels of poverty. Some of the students quoted here are involved in Better Life Options, an HIV/Aids peer education programme, sponsored by YCare International and run locally by the regional YMCA under the direction of Mpume Zama. It trains volunteer students to run school-based sessions with their peers that promote self-esteem, understanding yourself and goal-setting. Among the subjects discussed are peer pressure, family and sexual relationships and sexual health, including sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/Aids.
Descriptors: Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Crime, Foreign Countries, Poverty, Peer Influence, Peer Counseling, Poverty Programs, Comprehensive School Health Education, Integrated Services, At Risk Students, Disadvantaged Youth, Youth Opportunities, Youth Problems, Youth Programs
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa