Institutional Conversations – Emerging Good Practice

Institutional Conversations August 2015On the 27th and 28th August 2015, academic staff from the University of Cape Town, University of Limpopo, University of Mpumalanga and University of Venda came together to share their ideas and experiences of integrating HIV and AIDS into their curricula.  Three staff members (Cal Volks, Sianne Abrahams and Lucina Reddy) of HAICU at UCT ably facilitated this lively and interactive workshop, focussing on and modelling ways of teaching that support and encourage learners to engage with HIV and AIDS related issues in the workplace.   Aside from some eye-opening and frank dialogue about HIV transmission and prevention, there were also discussions about labour legislation, stigma and discrimination in the workplace. The workshop culminated in participant presentations of different HIV and AIDS related themes, demonstrating a variety of innovative teaching approaches.

The participants were unanimous in their view that the workshop had succeeded in improving their confidence and competence in dealing with issues around HIV and AIDS in their respective subject areas and the workplace. One participant commented that the workshop had helped him to confront his fears and another stated that he had gained more awareness of the value of providing the students with empowerment to manage HIV in the workplace both as employers and employees. At the end of the workshop Ms Pillay, senior Programme Manager at HEAIDS, reminded participants of the importance of documenting their respective institutional experiences. She further reinforced the notion of using HIV as the hook to engage in broader social issues that may enable students to become change agents in the various spheres of the lives and more especially in the places of work. Ms Pillay and Dr Powell closed the workshop with a vote of thanks to the UCT facilitators and to the other participants who all contributed to the success of the workshop and the promise of more such engaging and exciting sessions to come.