The Department of Basic Education has extended the period for public comment on the Draft National Policy on HIV, Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and Tuberculosis (TB).
The department said on Wednesday this was due to the public interest expressed by many South Africans and various stakeholders in education.
“The draft national policy has received enormous interest from members of the public, NGOs and other stakeholders, and we are encouraged by the level of public participation thus far,” the department said.
The initial comment period was on 26 May, but this has now been extended to 19 June.
“The extension will afford parties who are yet to comment the opportunity to do so, while also allowing the department to present the draft policy at the 7th Annual South Africa AIDS Conference taking place from 9 to 12 June at the Durban International Convention Centre (ICC),” said the department.
The annual conference will see experts and activists in the field reflecting on what has been done across the spectrum of sectors in the country in response to the National Strategic Plan (NSP) on HIV, STIs and TB 2012-2016.
The department said it will also be hosting a pre-conference on Monday to share experiences, lessons learnt and to stimulate robust engagement with the sector’s policy on HIV prevention, care and support in schools, given the discourse in the sector and in the department, on the place of Life Orientation, and HIV and sexuality education for learners.
The draft policy articulates the department’s approach and intention in responding to HIV, STIs and TB, including the provision of sexual and reproductive health services within the education sector.
It is the first of its kind to link the education department’s response to the duel epidemics of HIV and TB in the education sector, and will replace the department’s 1999 National Policy on HIVAIDS for learners and educators in public schools, and students and educators in Further Education and Training Institutions.
The department has invited all interested persons and organisations to direct their comments to: The Acting Director-General, Department of Basic Education, Private Bag X895, Pretoria, 0001, for attention the attention of Ms A Dano, Acting Director: Health Promotion Directorate.
Submissions can also be faxed to 012 328 8401 or E-mailed to email@example.com.
Comments can also be given to department officials at the Aids conference for those who choose to do so.
Source : SAnews.gov.za