The Impact of HIV/AIDS on Education in Kenya, and the Potential for Using Education in the Widest Sense for the Prevention and Control of HIV/AIDS

Case Studies & Research
140 p.

The general objective of this research study was to investigate the impact of HIV/AIDS on education. The study also sought to find out how education can be used in the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS.The findings of this study show that HIV/AIDS has had wide spread effects on children's learning experiences. Children are now becoming subject to many psycho-socio impacts of HIV/AIDS such as stigma, fear, worry, depression and hopelessness. All these impact negatively on their learning and development.Children's participation was reported to have been affected in that pupils themselves are getting infected and some of them infect others; attendance and performance in schools is affected; pupils are dropping out of school while some were reported to have died due to suspected HIV/AIDS related causes. Teachers' participation and performance in the learning process was reported to have been affected as some of the teachers have been infected and therefore are increasingly unavailable to the pupils. Pupils reported that they feared being taught by infected teachers.Teachers' participation in school is also being compromised by HIV/AIDS related commitments in the community. Teachers were also reported to be dying from HIV/AIDS related causes and they are not being replaced hence are lost to the educational system. The results of the study also indicate that the resources available to support education have increasingly been diverted to meet HIV/AIDS related needs.The study also established that education is an important tool, which may be used to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS. Pupils and community leaders called for the integration of HIV/AIDS education into the curriculum at all levels. The study recommends that listening to Children's voices is important in project design, implementation and evaluation. Since children are suffering psycho-social impacts as a result of HIV/AIDS, communities and institutions working with children should be sensitized on the needs of these children.Communities should be encouraged to integrate safe procedures in those social-cultural practices. There should be immediate interventions in schools through guidance and counseling for infected and affected children. Mechanisms should be put in place for follow up in the implementation of HIV/AIDS in schools. School children should be educated in life skills, peer education and counselling. There is need for information and messages that are targeted at and are appropriate for children.(Taken from the Executive Summary.)

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