ASKAIDS Toolkit for Consulting Pupils

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Susan Kiragu and Colleen Mclaughlin - Cambridge University, UK
Sharlene Swartz - Human Sciences Research Council, Cape Town
Shellina Walli and Mussa Mohammed - Aga Khan University, Institute for Educational Development, Dar es Salaam

1 The ASKAIDS Project: Consultation and dialogue on sexuality education


The ASKAIDS Project involved a research project in Sub-Saharan Africa, focused on understanding how primary age pupils acquire sexual knowledge, in what contexts and how this relates to the HIV education received in schools (phase 1). The second phase produced a set of curriculum development materials in dialogue with local stakeholders. The Toolkit is available from the ASKAIDS Project website as a zip file, or viewable online on our Wiki.

2 Toolkit overview

1. Acknowledgement
2. How to use
3. Background
4. Key research findings
5. How to consult pupils
5.1. Why Consult Pupils
5.2. Preparing to Consult Pupils
5.3. Tools for Consultation with Young People
5.4. How We Used These Activities in Our Research
6. Final reflection

3 Old enough to know: Consulting children about sex and AIDS education in Africa

"Old enough to know: Consulting children about sex and AIDS education in Africa" is a book detailing the research by the ASKAIDS project team (Colleen McLaughlin, Sharlene Swartz, Susan Kiragu, Shelina Walli, Mussa Mohamed):

This compelling study, comprising of a sample of eight schools in three countries in sub-Saharan Africa – Kenya, South Africa and Tanzania – examines the sources, contents and processes of children´s community-based sexual knowledges and asks how these knowledges interact with AIDS education programmes in school. Old enough to know showcases the possibilities of consulting pupils using engaging, interactive and visual methods including digital still photography, mini-video documentaries, as well as interviews and observations. These innovative methods allow children to speak freely and openly in contexts where talking about sex to adults is a cultural taboo.

The study also sheds fresh light on teachers´ fears and struggles with a lack of training and limited opportunities for reflection on practice. It engages in dialogue with conflicting voices of community stakeholders who are both aware of the dangers faced by children living in a world with AIDS and who are also afraid of the many cultural, religious and moral restraints to sex education in Africa.

The book is published by HSRC Press, a non-profit publisher committed to the dissemination of high quality social science publications, in print and electronic form. The HSRC Press is a hybrid press, with a mandate to disseminate HSRC research output and other valuable social science research. It supports the social science research community through a strong commitment to 'opening access to quality social science in Africa'.

The book page at HSRC is here and the book can be downloaded here.

4 Contact details

To find out more about ASKAIDS, contact Colleen Mclaughlin on cm10009(at) or Colleen.Mclaughlin(at) You can find out more about the ASKAIDS project here, and more about the Centre for Commonwealth Education here.

Final reflection << ASKAIDS >> Acknowledgement

ASKAIDS is a project at the Centre for Commonwealth Education