According to the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) World Factbook, as of 2014, Nigeria has the second largest number of people living with Aids in the world, also, has a 3.17 percent rate of HIV occurrence among young adults ages 15-49 (CIA World Factbook, 2014). There are several risky elements that contribute to the spread of HIV in Nigeria: High prevalence of Sexual Transmitted Infections (STI), prostitution, high-risk practices among seasonal workers, underground high-risk of heterosexual and homosexual practices, international trafficking of women and improper blood screening (U.S. Department of State, 2008). Therefore, in Nigeria there is a need for educational services among its population which is able to facilitate access and disseminate the right information that relates to the prevention of sexual transmitted infections, also, dangerous lifestyles which increases the chance to contract HIV/AIDS and sexual transmitted diseases.
Learning About Living (LAL) is an e-learning program application and a two year project led by One World UK, an international NGO with a mission “ to innovate internet and mobile phone applications that the world’s poorest people can use to improve their life chances, and that help people everywhere understand and act on global problems” (One World UK , 2008). Learning About Living (LAL) has aims 3 aims: To use Information and communication Technology (ICT) in order to inform teenagers about their sexual health, prevention of HIV/AIDS, gender based violence and its associated mortality and illness, improve discussion and information on sexuality education and diminish socio-cultural inclinations that prevents young people to discuss these issues and increase gender equality (One World UK, 2008). Learning About Living offers a free website with information about human development, relationships, personal skills, HIV infections, society and culture. The website is easy to navigate, personalized to fit Nigerian culture and easy to understand. People can ask questions online, using a computer, laptop or using a mobile phone that they can text or make a call to ask their questions free of charge, courtesy from a local cellular company service provider. According to the Learning About Living website, some examples of frequent questions young people ask are: “How can a condom protect me? How do I know if I have HIV? Will there ever be a vaccine for HIV? “The website provides a tool for young people to ask questions that they may feel embarrassed or reluctant to ask their parents or to talk about in the classroom. Learning About Living (LAL) uses an educational approach that is called “Participatory Learning”. LAL website explains that “Participatory Learning is a process that acknowledges, welcomes, values and uses the existing knowledge and competence of those being taught”(LAL). There are advantages and disadvantages to e-learning by “Participatory Learning”:
- Multiple teaching/learning methods can be combined
- Focus on student
- Process of “discovery” builds confidence
- Learning is more enjoyable for students, teaching is more fun for leaders/teachers
- Other life skills can be learned, instead of only academic content (LAL South Nigeria)
- Requires patience and leadership by teacher
- Decentralized approach can seem less organized; may be less comfortable to an strict-style teacher.
- There is often no single, “right” answer (LAL South Nigeria)
In conclusion, e-learning with Living About Learning is not a perfect project but it can make a major difference in terms of sexual relationships and reproductive health issues specially for the young people in Nigeria, now that they are able to have a medium that they can call, ask their questions and even text about things that they may not feel comfortable to ask their parents. In addition to them getting the right information about many health issues, they will be able to open up and discuss sensitive things that they typically do not discuss at home or in the classrooms.
Burtterfly Works Organization. (n.d.). Learning About Living. Retrieved Oct. 25, 2016, from Burtterfly Works: http://www.butterflyworks.org/featured-projects/learning-about-living/
CIA. (2014). HIV/AIDS- People Living with HIV/AIDS. World Factbook . Retrieved Oct. 25, 2016, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HIV/AIDS_in_Nigeria
CIA World Factbook . (2014). HIV/AIDS- Adult Prevalence Rate. Retrieved Oct. 25, 2016, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CIA_World_Factbook
Learning About Living South Nigeria. (n.d.). Learning About Living . Retrieved Oct. 25, 2016, from The Eletronic Version of FLHE: http://www.learningaboutliving.com/south/about/educational_approach/participatory_learning
One World. (2008, Jan. 30). Learning about Living (OneWorld and Butterfly Works). You Tube . Retrieved Oct. 25, 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCHPH-Nx-hc
Wikipedia. (2014, July 21). AIDS Prevalence in Nigeria 1991-2010.jpg. Retrieved Oct. 25, 2016, from HIV/AIDS in Nigeria Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HIV/AIDS_in_Nigeria#/media/File:AIDS_Prevalence_in_Nigeria_1991-2010.jpg