AIDS Education Programme, Implemented through an Integrated Approach in the

A Review of the Impact oran HIV/AIDS Education Programme, Implemented through an Integrated Approach in the Mainstream Curriculum, at a Secondary Scho...
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A Review of the Impact oran HIV/AIDS Education Programme, Implemented through an Integrated Approach in the Mainstream Curriculum, at a Secondary School in the KwaZulu Natal North Coast Region.

by

Rajcodran Mogambrey Moodley

Submitted as the dissertation component (which counts for 37,5 ''la of the degree) in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Masters in Education in the School of Education, University of Natal.

December, 2001

Durban

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ABSTRACT

The sc hool focused in this study is invo lved in promoting HIV/AIDS education among learners. Past attempts at Hrv I AIDS education took the form of assembl y talks and special assembly programmes which, unfortunatel y, yielded limited success. In response to thi s. a grade eight Hrv/ A IDS education programme, integrated into the main stream curriculum, was developed and implemented. The HIV/AIDS education programme cuts across different learning areas and its impact on learners is the focus of this study.

The study undertaken is located in a constructivist paradigm and draws largely upon qualitative research method s. However. the use of quantitative data has also been crucial in supporting the findings of the research. Research participants included a stratified sample of grade eight learners who were involved in the programme, educators who were engaged in the development and implementation of the programme, learners on the school's HIV/AIDS Commi ttee, the Life Skills co-ordinato r of the sc hoo l and social workers who supported the programme. In view of the sensitivity surrounding various HIV/AIDS issues. this study draws special attention to ethical issues that impact on the research procedures adopted.

Evidence from this research indicates that the implementation of the grade eight HIV/AfDS programme has substantially improved the acquisition ofHIV/AlDS knowledge by learners who were engaged in the programme. The impact of the programme on high-

u

risk behaviour is difficult to ascertain in the absence of longitudinal studies. However, the majority of learners have responded positively to the programme and emerging learner attitudes appear to be favourable to the promotion of beh~vjour patterns that are supportive of the prevention of HIV -infection.

This study suggests that, in the quest to improve the effectiveness of H IV I AIDS education, the programme in focus needs to engage more seriously with gender and cultural issues. The grade eight HIV/AlDS programme lends itself to further modification and this study

recommends that the scope of stakeholder participation be broadened, particularly with regard to parental involvement.

HI

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I wis h to thank my research supervisor, Mike Graham-Jolly, for hi s invaluabl e advice and guidance throug ho ut the duration of thi s study_To Mike Graham- Jo ll y, I would lik e to say

that I greatl y appreciate the suppo rt you have provided, which includes your willingness to schedule meetings that accommodated my personal ci rcumstances, the detailed co mments YOll made on draft s submitted to you, the va luable suggestion s you made at

di scuss ions/meetings, and your words of encourage ment.

To the research participants involved in this study, your co-operati on and co mmitment in contributing to thi s st ud y has been an inspiratio n to me. It is my belief that your

participat io n in the research undertaken has furthered the cau se of HI V/ AlDS education at the school focused in thi s study.

I would also like to thank the management of the school at wh ich thi s research was undertak en fo r g ranting permiss io n to make th is research possible.

To my wife and famil y members, I am deep ly grateful for you r keen interest and su pport throughout the course of thi s stud y.

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DECLARATION OF ORIGINALITY

I hereby declare that this dissertation, except the acknowledged referenced citations, is my own original work. It has not been submitted for any previous degree or examination at any university.

R. M. Moodley Date:

o£ / /:2 / i

I

;Joc /

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APPROVAL OF THESIS SUBMISSION BY SUPERVISOR

Name of Candidate:

RMMOODLEY

M. Ed Tbesis:

A Review of the Impact of an HIV/AIDS Education Programme, Implemented through an Integrated Approach in the Mainstream Curriculum, at a

Secondary Scbool in tbe KwaZulu Natal Nortb Coast Region.

As the candidate's supervisor I have approved this thesis for submission.

Name of Supervisor;

M. GRAHAM-JOLL Y

Signature:

Date:

20 JANUARY 2002

CONTENTS

Title page ....... . ... . ................. . ................................................................... 1 Abstract ................ .... _._ ... . _... _... _........... _._ .. . _.. . . _. . .. _._ .. ,_ ... _.. _........ _.. . .......... ii Acknowledgements ....... _. _. .... .... . ........................................................... _..... iv Declaration .. . .... . ...... . .. . ...... •... •...•........•.. . .•...•.......... . ................ . ....... . ........ v Co ntents ..... ......................... . ...... . ......... . ... .•.. .. ...... . ........•....... . ....... . ........ vi List of Figures ................................ _....... _....... _, ... ... .... _..... _.. . .... _....... _...... viii

L Introduction

Background ............................. . _........................ . ....... . ........... . .............. 1 SociaJ contex t of the school ....................................... . ............................... 3

2. Research Design

Develo ping an App roach ...... , .. . .... , ... . , ... . .... , ... . ... , ....... , ....... . ... . ........... ... ... 6 Research Paradigm ............ . ..................... . ....... . ... . ........................... ...... 10 Eth ica l Issues ................•........... . ....•............ . .......•............................... 12

3, Research Procedures Key Considerations ............... , .. .. .... , ...

00 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • , . . . . . . . . . . . . , • • • • • • • ,

••• , . . . . . . . .

17

The Questionnaire ................ , ........ , .... , .... , ... , ... , ... , ...•............ , ... ... .......... 19

Observations ...................... , ... , ........ , ............. , .. , ............ , ... , ... , ............ 23

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Interviews ....................... . ........ . . . . .. .. .. ... . ... . ... . .... •..... .. . . ... .. ...... . .. •....... 24 Validity and Re liability .......... . ........ .. ........... ... ..... .. .................... . ... .. ...... 26

4. Emerging Themes and Implications for Programme Effectiveness Learners' Knowledge and Awareness ............ .. ............. . .................... __ .... __ .29 Integration Across Different Learning Areas __ ..... ..... . ................. __ . ......... __ ..... 35 Attitudes and Values .................................... . ........ . ................ ...... . ......... 39 The Impact orCulture ........ ...... ......................... ... ..... . ............... .. ........... 44

5. Further Renections and Recommendations Extend ing the Progralnrne ........................................................................ 51 Mainstream Subj ect/Learning area Specialists as HI V/A IDS Educato rs .................. 54 Swnmary of Key Recommendations that have emerged in this study ...... . ............. .57 Concluding Remarks ... . ................ . ............................. . ...... . .................... 59

6. References ......... . .......... ........ ... ..... ... .. . ............... .. .. . ... . ....................... 62

7. Appendix Annexure A ...................................... . ... .. ............................................ 65

Annexure B ......................... . ...................... .. .................. . ................. ..70 Annexure C ................. . ............ . ........ . ........... . .... . ................... .. .. . .... . .. 71

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LIST OF FIGURES

Table indicating statistics on learners' responses to specific quest ions in the HJV /A IDS questio nnaire ......... ............................................. . .......... 32

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CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION

Background

This research is undertaken out ofa deep concern regarding the spiralling HIV/AIDS crisis in South Africa and its impact on learners. My interest in this disease dates back to the late 19805 when HIV/AJDS was beginning to draw serious attention through the

media. At that time I had frequently sought new material on health issues to enhance my class lessons in Biology. AjournaJ article that had caught my attention and left a deep impression on me poses the question .. AIDS: a tesl- case for bioJogy education?' (Nicholls: 1987: 1). I safely filed away this article and recently accessed it to reflect on its contents. The article highlights the misconception prevailing at the time that AIDS was a homosexual disease and points, somewhat prophetically. to the drastic consequences of AIDS in the absence ofa medical cure or a vaccine for prevention. Nicholls argues' In the absence of an effective treatment or vaccine, our only real weapon in the fight on AIDS is education' ( 1987: 2 ). In the South African context, it may appear that this ' weapon' has gained prominence only in the late 1990s and one may ask the question, ' Are current HIV/AIDS education initiatives appropriate to the needs of the local

context?' An adequate response to this question is beyond the scope of the research that 1 have undertaken. However, the question may have relevance to the case study review that is the focus of this dissertation.

The school at which this research took place is the school at which I am emp loyed. To protect the interests and right to privacy of research participants, the identity of the school is not revealed in this dissertation .At school. HIV/AIDS education initiatives in recent years have been fragmented and not systematically programmed. Learner representatives on the school's HIV/AIDS Committee have indicated that traditional HIV/AIDS programmes such as assembly talks tend to be repetitive and generall y do not hold the interest of most learners. In developing HIV/AIDS education programmes. it is of interest to note that the Minister of Education has prioritised HIV/AIDS as one of the key

programmes in the document implementation Plan for Tirisano: January 2000December 2004 ( Department of Education, 1999). National policy on HIV/ AlDS for

Public Schools provides guidelines in this respect and indicates that

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