Assessing the Auntie Stella sexual health education material in relation to life skills in the life orientation learning area in the Further Education and Training (FET) phase in South African schools.
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Inadequate education and support for young people are contributing factors for rapidly spiralling sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unwanted pregnancies in South Africa. Sexual health education is part of Life Skills in the Life Orientation curriculum for school children in South Africa. However, research indicates that the sexual health education needs of children are still not met with the Life Skills curriculum in South Africa. The primary aim of the research was to examine how the Auntie Stella material, which was developed in Zimbabwe, could be utilised to improve sexual health education in the Further Education and Training phase (FET) phase. To achieve the objective, this research compared the aims, content and methodologies of Life Skills in the Life Orientation curriculum and the Auntie Stella sexual health material. Additional goals of the study were to identify the value of the Auntie Stella activity cards in South Africa and to identify the issues in the translation of the Auntie Stella activity cards from English to isiZulu. A combination of primary and secondary research was employed to address the research problem. The primary research method was a focus group with six female students. The findings from the study indicate that the aims, content and methods of the Auntie Stella material have advantages over the Life Skills in the Life Orientation curriculum. In the Auntie Stella activity cards, there is more focus on sexual and reproductive health aspects examined from a real-life point of view. On the other hand, Life Skills focusses on broad skills and general aspects of sexual and reproductive health, with limited connection to practical life. The translated Auntie Stella material was identified as easier to understand, especially if it is adapted to the South African context. However, the translation needs to be carefully done.