MOET responds to juniors dying from AIDS

By ‘Mamohaila Rampo

MASERU

The Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) will launch the Education Plus Initiative on August 8 through a ceremonial gathering at Manthabiseng Convention Center.

This is part of the ministry’s efforts to eliminate new HIV infections and deaths among secondary education scholars and promote gender equality.

Education Plus Initiative as a high-profile initiative, driven to accelerate actions and investments to prevent HIV. This global effort has been centered on the empowerment of adolescent girls and young women. It also addresses the alarming numbers of adolescent girls and young women acquiring HIV and dying from AIDS.

MoET Principal Secretary­ (P.S) Dr. Dira Khama explained that the education sector is facing a huge challenge of dropouts in secondary education because theirs is a high difference of enrolment in the primary and secondary schools. According to the P.S, there are very low enrollments when it comes to secondary schools as compared to primary schools in the country.

Khama explained that this affair was co-led by several United Nations agencies: United Nation Population Fund (UNFPA), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF). He said these organizations all cherish and envision that all secondary schools in Lesotho complete their secondary education and also acquire leadership skills from a young age, free from discrimination, violence, HIV/AIDS and violence, and growing in a healthy and productive environment. Through the Education Plus Initiative, the main priority is to prevent more lives from being lost from HIV/AIDS.

Among other key topics, they will also discuss the sexual and Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and teenage pregnancy.

 The P.S said he is proud to announce that Lesotho is one of the first five countries to that signed up to champion the initiative on July 1 this year during the Generation Equality conference in Paris.

The launch of the campaign will be led by the Minister of Education and Tanning Hon. ‘Mamookho Phiri. Other ministries will also grace the ceremony, these are the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Social Development, Ministry of Gender, Youth, Sports and Recreation (MGYSR) and other United Nations (UN) agencies, private sectors, young people, civil society organizations, traditional and faith-based leaders, and development partners.

The Education Plus Initiative is a joint initiative of UNAIDS, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNICEF, UN Women, which is a rights-based, gender-responsive action agenda to ensure that adolescent girls and young women have equal chances to access quality secondary education, together with key education and health facilities and support for their economic independence and empowerment. It seeks to foster an enabling environment for adolescent girls and young women to enjoy safe and fruitful learning experiences, and to thrive while paving their way to vibrant futures by 2025.