UNESCO ASPNet workshop urges ICT use in HIV/AIDS awareness

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The Ministry of Education and Culture, in collaboration with the Jakarta Office of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Indonesian National Commission for UNESCO, Braillo Norway, and ASPnet/iEARN organized a three-day national workshop on “Using ICT as a Tool to Get Updated Information about HIV & AIDS”.

The workshop ran from Feb. 1- 3, 2008 at the LabSchool-Rawamangun in East Jakarta, and was officially opened by Dr. Arief Rachman, executive director of the Indonesian National Commission of UNESCO.

Nho Thanh Loan from UNESCO office in Bangkok and Alexander Hauschild of Braillo Norway attended the workshop as observers.

Forty teachers, who represented 18 secondary schools, four universities and two government institutions, were invited from across Indonesia to participate in the workshop.

They were given updated and detailed information on the HIV/AIDS issue in Indonesia through a presentation by Mira Fajar of UNESCO Jakarta.

Meanwhile, the ASPnet/iEARN Indonesia team, led by national coordinator Hasnah Gasim, delivered presentations on Project Based Learning and iEARN Indonesia projects in relation to the nationwide HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Participants also were directed to join the iEARN teachers network and instructed in how to use a mailing group.

Loan shared her expertise on the HIV/AIDS Clearinghouse run by UNESCO Bangkok, while Braillo’s Hauschild guided the participants in using the AVERT system and in creating lesson plans.

Pelita Ilmu Foundation, the first non-governmental organization in Indonesia to focus on HIV/AIDS, also took advantage of the occasion to present its ongoing projects DAKU! (Dunia Remajaku Seru) and Plan Indonesia, which provided an information session about the Indonesia Child Helpline, TESA 129.

What made the workshop distinctive was the participants were divided into groups to create lesson plans that could be entered in the lesson plan writing competition organized by UNESCO Bangkok.

On the last day, three groups from the Labschool, Al-Izhar and SMA 1 senior high school Karawang presented their lesson plans.

In their concluding remarks, Hauschild and Loan urged the participants to add another significant issue: changing the social stigma against people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) underlining the PLWHA should not be subjects of social discrimination.

In closing, Dr. Arief Rachman hoped that the participants would share the information they had gained from the workshop with other teachers and transfer the knowledge to others, to spread awareness of HIV/AIDS.