Carolyne Aor Kwedho, Enose M.W. Simatwa, B. A. Ondigi
Globally, the impact of Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is one of the major challenges to all sectors of the society. In Kenya, HIV and AIDS was declared a national disaster in 1999. By 2003, the pandemic was given special attention by the Ministry of Education and the school curriculum was reviewed to integrate AIDS education. The purpose of this study was to investigate challenges facing headteachers in the implementation of AIDS education in secondary school curriculum in Busia, Bunyala and Samia Districts and find out how they were coping. Specifically, it focused on challenges in induction of teachers, provision of teaching and learning materials, supervision and evaluation of the teaching of AIDS education. Descriptive survey research design was used in this study. The study population was 56 headteachers, 423 teachers and 9784 students in 56 secondary schools in Busia, Bunyala and Samia Districts. The study sample consisted of 19 headteachers, 141 teachers, and 978 students in 19 secondary schools. Stratified random sampling technique was used to select the sample. Data was collected by questionnaires, interviews and document analysis. The data from closed ended questions was analyzed using descriptive statistics such as means and percentages and data from interviews and open ended questions were transcribed and organized into themes and sub-themes, categories and sub-categories as they emerged. The study found that in the implementation process the main challenges experienced were intricacies in integration of AIDS education in the curriculum, lack of specific objectives for AIDS education, time limitation, bureaucracy in securing learning materials, stigmatization, inadequate curriculum materials, negative cultural practices, legal issues pertaining to confidentiality and increased demand for performance. In coping with these challenges, the headteachers used the guidance and counseling personnel, sourced for funds from Non-governmental organizations and government agencies. Based on the findings, the study concluded that in spite of lack of objectives for AIDS Education the headteachers have the teacher personnel and the infused components of AIDS education which they should exploit on for successful implementation of AIDS Education. The study recommended that the Ministry of Education needs to incorporate specific objectives for AIDS Education in the curriculum to facilitate efforts in implementation. The findings of this study may be useful to the policy makers in realizing the challenges facing implementation of AIDS education in the districts; headteachers to discover successful strategies for implementation; and in providing baseline information for further research in the fight against HIV and AIDS in Busia, Bunyala and Samia Districts.
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