THE chairman of the Teaching Service Commission Michael Pearson challenged the officers of the Education Department to take the lead in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Mr Pearson made this challenge to officers who had gathered at the front car park of the Fincorp Haus in Waigani to celebrate World AIDS Day.
Mr Pearson said Papua New Guinea was committed to the global battle against HIV/AIDS.
He added that the PNG national strategic plan was to promote a happy and healthy Papua New Guinea but in order to realise it, Papua New Guineans needed to defeat HIV/AIDS.
“The most important sector in the fight against HIV/AIDS is the education sector.
“Our teachers, students and officers should take the lead in the awareness on HIV/AIDS in our schools, communities and homes.”
Mr Pearson also said HIV/AIDS had the potential to destroy the education system by destroying the teachers.
“The number of teachers affected is increasing. I call on you all to take this message seriously and try to address it.
“It is very important to know your HIV status. If you are HIV positive and practising unsafe sex, then you are a murderer,” he told the officers gathered.
The programme kicked off with the national anthem and national pledge, speeches, performances, video shows, and displays of curriculum material and resource books for students and teachers and posters and brochures about the epidemic.