Improving the effectiveness of the education sector response in the fight against HIV/AIDS: A case study of post primary education and training institutions in uganda.
Oketcho, Noreen susan
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Improvements of the education sector response to the fight against HIV/AIDS rely heavily on the extent to which the capacity of schools, particularly that of teachers are built in this endeavour. Substantial efforts and other resources have been and continue to be channelled for this cause. It is important that these stakeholders are kept a breast with what schools are doing in the fight against HIV/AIDS and what needs to be done to improve the implementation of the PPET PIASCY programme. This is what this study sought to make contribution to. It was a descriptive study aimed at determining constraints and remedies to the current PPET teacher’s non-adherence to the ESSP for HIV/AIDS 2000/1-2005/6 as a basis for establishing strategies for improving their implementation of PIACSY that was in the offing. It was carried out through exploring the current activities of PPET teachers with the view of identifying those specific to the anti-AIDS struggle, performance gaps in relation to the ESSP for HIV/AIDS 2000/1-2005/6, the root causes and interventional strategies for their redress. The PIA was adapted in the design and implementation of the study although not the entire cycle, owing to the short study duration. Data was collected using multivariate instruments, SAQs, KLLs, IDIs, FGDs AND TRs. The study was carried out in the 4 geographical regions of Uganda, east, west, north and central, covering 11 districts and 37 schools selected using SMSCSS and PPS, in relation to PPETI concentration and attributes such as, religion affiliation, school type, ownership, category and gender. Respondents included 283 teachers, 37 head teachers, 376 students and 8 national level policy makers including development partners. Bowl/lottery sampling methods were used in selecting teachers and student. Head teachers and policy makers’ selection were purposive. As per the ESSP for HIV/AIDS 2000/1-2005/6, Teachers were to mainstream HIV/AIDS into their day to day job activities, as components of their lessons in and out of class and through other school programmes, such as guidance and counselling, music, dance and drama, games and sports and club activities. Findings of the study however revealed that HIV/AIDS was not an integral component of the activities of the majority, (60%) of the PPET teachers. For the few who had incorporated HIV/AIDS into their work schedule, wide variations in the aspects and quality of interventions existed both within and between schools. Only 19% of the teachers had adequate knowledge about PIASCY, With 45% not able to tell its value. Teacher’s fears regarding implementation of PIASCY include lack of motivation (29%) and protection (25%). These perceived fears reflected persistent failure by teachers to recognise, appreciate and uphold their crucial role and responsibilities in the struggle against HIV/AIDS. The study elicited the absence of clear policies, strategies and guidelines on HIV/AIDS as the root cause to the gaps in PPET teacher’s non-compliance to the ESSP for HIV/AIDS 2000/1-2005/6. This constrained PPET teachers acquisition of the essential knowledge, skills, attitudes and competence for effective participation against HIV/AIDS, which in turn constrained the development and or management of the school HIV/AIDS education, advocacy campaigns and care and support for those affected. The majority of the teachers, (70%) did not have adequate information about HIV/AIDS issues and only 25% indicated that they had some influence on what is taught about HIV/AIDS. Strategies identified and proposed for improving PPET teacher’s implementation of PIASCY included, the need for refining the education sector HIV/AIDS policy and development of PPET HIV/AIDS vision and strategic plan based on the national policy and the creation and nurturing of an enabling environment for its effective implementation. This would necessitate the establishment of clear standards of expected performance and quality indicators on HIV/AIDS that take cognisance of the effects of the pandemic and related practices at all levels. Individual staff/students, the institution, community, the national and beyond. The MOES will therefore need to re-invigorate and scale up all HIV/AIDS strategies with appropriate support to enable PPETIs staff and students change their attitudes and institution culture to effectively and efficiently incorporate HIV/AIDS as an integral component of their mission with clearly stipulated vision. This will require that the MOES takes full cognisance and satisfactorily address the challenges that arise with change/ innovations in education such as are the case with the PIASCY programme.