The United Nations Children’s Fund, or UNICEF, is training 1,500 Zimbabwean teachers in new and practical methods to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS.
The week-long training exercise ending Friday stands to benefit more than 500,000 children. The teachers, from training colleges in Harare, Bulawayo, Mutare, Masvingo and Mutoko, will be teaching primary and secondary school children living skills to avoid HIV infection as well as fending off sexual molestation or exploitation.
Zimbabwe's Ministry of Education is rolling out the US$500,000 program.
UNICEF says the decline in Zimbabwe's HIV prevalence rate in recent years can be attributed to behavior changes including a later start of sexual activity for young girls in particular, faithfulness in sexual relations, and increased use of condoms.
High school teacher and teachers union official Abigail Tagwirei, who participated in a ministerial advisory committee last year, gave the project high marks, but told reporter Carole Gombakomba of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that more teachers should be involved in selecting materials to help children avoid infection with the AIDS virus.