The level of preparedness of primary school teachers, in the disadvantaged northern areas of Port Elizabeth, to manage HIV/AIDS in the classroom

Floors, Paulus (2009-03)

Thesis (MPhil (Industrial Psychology))--University of Stellenbosch, 2009.

Thesis

This study explored the level of preparedness of primary school teachers, in the disadvantaged Northern Areas of Port Elizabeth, to manage HIV/AIDS in the classroom. Although there are more than 35 primary schools in this area, only 12 were selected randomly to form part of this study. The sample comprised of 164 participants that include teachers, principals, deputy principals and Head of Departments (HOD‟s) from the randomly selected 12 schools. All the respondents had to complete a questionnaire which were divided into five sections, namely: a. Biographical information, b. Knowledge of HIV and AIDS, c. Management and Training of teachers on HIV/AIDS in schools, d. HIV/AIDS policies in schools, e. Education and awareness, and f. Support from the Department of Education in the Eastern Cape. The study found that in all participating schools there were more female than male teachers, that the majority of participants were older than 40 years, most respondents have more than 15 years teaching experience and that a sizeable number of them (45) have never been tested for HIV and therefore do not know their status. It was also found that respondents have an average knowledge (58.2% out of a possible score of 100) of HIV and AIDS. These scores do not reflect a high level of knowledge on the disease. Research results show that half of the respondents indicated that they have HIV-infected learners enrolled at their schools. However, most of the respondents were not adequately trained to deal with HIV-related issues in schools. Most respondents nevertheless, indicated that it should be compulsory for primary school teachers to do a formal course on HIV/AIDS Management in schools. The study also revealed that less than 50% of respondents indicated that their schools have an HIV/AIDS policy. There was, however, great uncertainty about the existence of such a policy at many participating schools as it was never discussed or explained to teachers and parents of learners at these schools. According to the study, there is a serious lack of awareness about the disease in schools and school communities as HIV/AIDS awareness events never or seldom take place at participating schools. Most school communities are also not involved in HIV/AIDS awareness campaigns that are organised by the schools. World AIDS Day is also not observed in many of the participating schools.

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