The principle behind "skills-based learning" is that students need to learn how to make decisions and implement those decisions. While traditional teaching methods provide students with information, skills-based education teaches students how to use information to make decisions, how to negotiate, and self-assertion.
The Guinea workshop is part of major efforts by the Bank to help develop national HIV/AIDS prevention programs in schools. It is also one element of a new interagency initiative called FRESH—Focusing Resources on Effective School Health—a hygiene and nutrition program undertaken by UNICEF, UNESCO, WHO, and the World Bank and officially launched at the Dakar Education For All Forum in April 2000. The Guinea workshop was financially supported by the Norwegian Education Trust Fund, which also supports the FRESH partnership and its other core activities to promote educational access for the poor.
The workshop was launched by the First Lady of Guinea and supported by more than 10 government Ministers representing a broad range of sectors. This broad cross-sectoral support at the highest level is critical to the fight against HIV/AIDS, say the program developers. Speakers highlighted the importance and the urgency of fighting HIV/AIDS in schools with the full involvement of students.
"I was very pleased to see that the participants were excited by and appreciative of this new method of teaching," said FRESH program officer Seung-hee Lee. "I look forward to seeing this used in schools." Teaching children to make choices that will help them prevent HIV/AIDS is the key to this battle and Guinea workshop is a good beginning.
The success of the workshop has encouraged Chad, Cote d'Ivoire, Mauritania, Senegal, and Mali to plan similar training workshops as the starting point for national skills-based health education programs to help them combat HIV/AIDS in schools. As these countries develop their programs, other countries are expecting to benefit from their experience and expertise to also launch effective, prevention programs through school health components in education projects.
For more details on the workshop, skills-based education or FRESH, please contact Seung-hee F. Lee x80504 or Don Bundy x33636.