Various education stakeholders, including learners, parents and members of School Governing Bodies (SGBs) from the OR Tambo Coastal District gathered at Pondolwendlovu Senior Secondary School in the Eastern Cape Province on 30 November 2018, to commemorate the DBE World AIDS Day.
Basic Education Chief Director for Care and Support in Schools, Dr Faith Kumalo, addressed Eastern Cape community members, urging parents and learners to collaborate with Government in the fight against HIV and AIDS, particularly amongst adolescents and the youth.
The commemoration, hosted under the theme #Cheka Impilo #Know Your Status, was also utilised as an opportunity to provide health screening and sexual and reproductive health services to learners, as well as health and wellness services to educators, school support staff and officials as part of implementing the DBE’s National Policy on HIV, STIs and TB for Learners, Educators, School Support Staff and Officials in all Primary and Secondary Schools in the Basic Education Sector.
The Policy, which was approved by Basic Education Minister, Mrs Angie Motshekga, Education MECs and Cabinet, was put in place in the education sector to ensure that every education stakeholder plays a significant role in the prevention of new HIV and TB infections, as well as learner pregnancy within the school environment.
As part of the commemoration, the DBE and the Eastern Cape Education Department arranged mobile clinic services, which screened more than 2,000 learners in the aforementioned district, focusing on eye testing, dental services, hearing testing and general health services.