New target for AIDS education

THE Education Department will launch a series of activities specially aimed at educators and parents in order to raise their concern for AIDS education.

''We have seldom promoted AIDS education among parents, headmasters and school policy-makers on such a scale before. We realise that if we want to educate young people about the disease, we should first convince educators to foster the teaching in school,'' said Mr T.K. Hui, Principal Inspector, Advisory Inspectorate Division of the Education Department.

Seminars on how to educate students on AIDS prevention, teachers' attitude, and non-segregation policies in schools have been held since February.

A booklet on AIDS, an updated teaching guideline, and teaching kits on AIDS for primary schools, would be distributed in November, said Mr Hui.

The 40-page, A4 size booklet on AIDS comprises topics on scientific facts, the global and local situation, prevention of AIDS in the school setting, antibody test and how to contact local AIDS awareness organisations.

''Students will also receive a copy. Parents can obtain the information and help educate their children,'' Mr Hui said.

The teaching kit for primary school will include a text, a teacher handbook, a pupil workbook, a lesson plan and some audio-visual teaching aids. A seminar will be held for primary school teachers to explain how to use the kit.

Mr Hui said every teacher would be given the updated guideline to meet the new information on AIDS and the new syllabus. (The first guideline on AIDS education was issued in 1987.) ''Prior to this, the guideline was only given to the principal and in most cases teachers did not even know of its existence.'' The production of a video programme for educators, who were not able to attend any of the seminars, was in the pipeline, said Mr Hui.

Besides co-ordinating with the Department of Health, the Education Department also organises activities to promote AIDS awareness among young people.

The Youth Funding Scheme, which aims at encouraging young people to initiate plans and activities to arouse public concern, is in its third year.

People aged between 16 and 35 may form a group of no less than five to apply for the $5,000 grant. Each group should be affiliated either to their school or voluntary organisation.

Those interested should submit their proposals before the second stage application deadline of September 30. Twenty groups will be granted the funding.

Meanwhile, the department, together with other AIDS concern groups, will stage ''AIDS Week'' on the first week of December in support of World AIDS Day on December 1.