Pupils with HIV, TB 'Have Equal Right to Basic Education'

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BYLINE: Michelle Jones Education Writer

NO SCHOOL pupil with HIV or TB will be denied access to basic education.

This is according to the Department of Basic Education's new Draft National Policy on HIV and TB which has outlined its position.

Interested parties and members of the public have been invited to comment by September 30.

One of the principles of the draft policy was that children be allowed to access education.

"Every person of school age has the right to basic education. No learner will be denied access to basic education on the basis of his or her actual or perceived HIV or TB status or while seeking treatment until deemed to be non-infectious."

The policy said that the potential of HIV and TB to threaten education was "profound".

"In combination, these diseases impact the efficiency, quality and output of the basic education sector by temporarily or permanently depleting its human capital, weakening its systems and structures, and diverting its resources away from its core mandate of improving teaching and learning.

"HIV and TB have the effect of making existing systemic problems worse and must be dealt with as an integrated part of routine education system management, and as a cornerstone of national multi-sectoral response. …