Provision of life-skills-based HIV/AIDS education in schools

Export Indicator

The percentage of schools with at least one teacher who has been trained in participatory life-skills-based HIV/AIDS education and who has taught the subject during the last academic year.
What it measures

This indicator is a measure of progress in implementing life-skills-based HIV/AIDS education in schools. It reflects coverage by school, estimating the proportion of schools that report having such programmes. It is not a measure of the quality of such programmes. For this indicator to be as meaningful as possible it should be combined with measures of quality.


Number of schools with at least one teacher trained in, and regularly teaching, life-skills-based HIV/AIDS education


Number of schools

Method of measurement

Principals/directors of a nationally representative sample of schools (including both private and public schools, and primary and secondary schools) are briefed on the meaning of life-skills-based HIV/AIDS education and are then asked the following questions.
1. Does your school have at least one qualified teacher who has been trained in participatory life-skills-based HIV/AIDS education in the last five years?
• A “qualified teacher” is one who has participated in and successfully completed a training course focusing on the skills required to conduct participatory learning experiences that aim to develop knowledge, positive attitudes and skills (e.g. interpersonal communication, negotiation, decision-making and critical thinking skills and coping strategies) that assist young people in maintaining safe lifestyles.
2. If the answer to question 1 is “Yes”: Did this person teach life-skills-based HIV/AIDS education on a regular basis in your school throughout the last academic year?
• “Throughout” means at least 5–15 hours of life-skills-based HIV/AIDS education programming per year per grade of pupil.
• The criterion of teaching “on a regular basis” is grounded in research showing that programmes of high quality can produce good outcomes after 5–15 hours of life-skillsbased HIV/AIDS education programming per year per grade of pupil.
• The time dimension of “the last academic year” depends on the educational calendar in the country concerned (usually 9-10 months in one calendar year, designed to allow students to complete one educational level or grade).
If the sample has been selected to represent different strata the results should be disaggregated by school type (i.e. primary and secondary female and male, large and small, urban and rural, and private and public). If a school combines primary and secondary education, information should be collected and reported separately for each level. In addition there should be a statement of primary and secondary school attendance rates pertaining to the most recent academic year for which they are available. The sample of schools must be such as to ensure that the data are nationally representative. A complete listing of all schools is needed, both public and private, including schools with special curricula or programmes (e.g. vocational schools and boarding schools). For the results to be valid for each subgroup of schools as well as at the national level, sampling must be done in each subgroup of interest. If a particular subcategory comprises fewer than 20 schools there is no advantage in randomly sampling it. In this case a representative sample can be selected with regard to factors such as size, location and the socioeconomic level of the student body. There is no need to sample within schools, as the information for this indicator is collected from a head administrator or similar person. If resources permit, the following additional questions can be asked (if the answer to question No. 1, above, was “Yes”).
1. How many teachers at your school have received training in participatory life-skills-based HIV/AIDS education in the last five years?
2. How many of these teachers taught a life-skills-based HIV/AIDS education programme in your school during the last academic year?
3. How many classes and students in each grade in your school received life-skills-based HIV/AIDS education last year?
4. What was the duration in hours of the programme or course for each grade?
A guide on the quality aspects of life-skills-based HIV/AIDS education is available from:

Measurement frequency



Education: Primary, Secondary

Gender: N/A

Geographic location: N/A

Pregnancy status: N/A

Sector: N/A

Target: N/A

Time period: N/A

Type of orphan: N/A

Vulnerability status: N/A

Explanation of the numerator
Explanation of the denominator
Strengths and weaknesses

This overall measure of coverage of the life-skills-based programme in schools is fairly simple to collect, although it requires a national sampling frame of all schools. Vocational schools and workschool programmes should be included in the sample. The life-skills programme should be implemented in primary schools and continued through secondary schools, with content and methods adapted to the age and experience of the students.
This indicator shows whether life-skills-based education is taught at each level of schooling but reveals nothing about the quality of the content, the approach or the materials used. When making comparisons across countries or even between regions of a country the differing rates of school attendance and enrolment must be taken into consideration.
The indicator is concerned with the provision of life-skills-based HIV/AIDS education through schools and, specifically, through the curriculum taught by teachers. Programmes conducted by outside agencies or facilitators should be excluded. The indicator may not capture the total effort of providing HIV education through schools, because students may be able to obtain some information from extracurricular sources (e.g. educational pamphlets, posters, special assemblies). However, such sources are likely have an ad hoc basis, whereas the indicator purposefully focuses on the systematic inclusion of HIV education in curricula.

Further information