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Challenges of Teaching about HIV and AIDS at a College in Kenya

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HIV and AIDS education was integrated into the primary teacher education syllabus in 2004; however, recent studies have reported that educators are finding it hard to communicate about HIV and AIDS to teacher trainees. Several authors attribute this to the sensitive nature of the issues related to HIV infection such as sexuality. Moreover, in sub-Saharan Africa, sex and sexuality are taboo topics that are not normally discussed between adults and young people. The situation was exacerbated by mixed-sex classes at primary teacher training colleges. Hence most educators have been reported to engage in didactic teaching by mainly presenting basic scientific facts about HIV and AIDS without addressing the psychosocial issues that fuels new HIV infections. Hence the aim of the study was to explore how the teaching about HIV and AIDS can be improved so that teacher trainees are adequately prepared. Ten tutors and 98 teacher trainees took part in the study. Data was collected through semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions, group interviews, participant observation and document review. Data was analysed inductively with the aid of qualitative data analysis software HyperRESEARCH. The findings suggest that employing participatory teaching approaches shifts the spotlight from the educators by involving learners in discussing HIV and AIDS issues from their lived experiences. However, further research is needed on how such change in instructional practice can be sustained and institutionalized.

This talk is part of the FERSA Lunchtime Sessions series.

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