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Wednesday, 10 January, 2001, 16:40 GMT
Aids threat to SA education
Aids Ribbon
Aids is a main concern in South African education
By Greg Barrow in Johannesburg

A leaked study commissioned by the South African Government shows that Aids and HIV infection have made a dramatic impact on the education system.

The study, which was leaked to a national newspaper on Wednesday, shows that in KwaZulu-Natal province alone at least one in five teachers are infected with HIV and countrywide a quarter of all undergraduates are HIV positive.

The Ministry of Education in South Africa has confirmed that it commissioned an independent study into Aids and HIV infection among students and teachers.

The report suggests that HIV infection is spreading among the nation's teaching profession and recommends that elderly teachers should be brought out of retirement to fill posts which become vacant due to death or illness.

Country's future threatened

According to the Daily Star, Aids is expected to be the leading cause of death among teachers this year.

And the study warns that Aids could undermine the painstaking process of rebuilding the South African education system after apartheid.

Undergraduates are also being infected with HIV.

The money spent on their education will be wasted and many may die before they are able to repay their student loans.

Although the impact on the education system is obvious, there are wider implications regarding the future level of skills and education in South Africa if anything up to a quarter of its students and teachers are infected with HIV.

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See also:

19 Apr 00 | Health
South Africa Aids crisis worsens
20 Sep 00 | Africa
Mbeki digs in on Aids
10 Jul 00 | Africa
Stark warning over Aids apathy
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