Society of African Journal Editors

Journal for Juridical Science

Do South African HIV/AIDS educational policies and praxis promote the best interest of learners?

Authors: WJ van Vollenhoven, CJ van Vollenhoven

Journal: Journal for Juridical Science

An estimated 25 percent of the general South African population will be HIV positive by the year 2010. With no cure to date, the best HIV/AIDS prevention is responsible sexual behaviour promoted through education. In 1999, the National Policy on HIV/AIDS for Learners and Educators in Public Schools, and Students and Educators in Further Education and Training Institutions (Government Notice 20372 of 10 August 1999), was published in terms of Section 3(4) of the National Educational Policy Act (No. 27 of 1996). The publication of this policy is a major step in the war against HIV/AIDS, but it is uncertain how this policy is being implemented on ground level in accordance with the Constitutional rights of learners. This theoretical paper investigates whether South African HIV/AIDS educational policies and praxis promotes the best interest of learners. The underlying causes of the HIV/AIDS epidemic are briefly explored, followed by an exposition of the learner’s rights in terms of the Constitution and HIV/AIDS educational policies, and existing HIV/AIDS educational strategies and programmes. Recommendations are made for further HIV/AIDS policy and educational implementation.