Effects of HIV /AIDS on learner participation among pre-school children in Igembe North District,Kenya
Mururu, Priscilla Mwomaitha
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Over the last decade, HIV/AIDS has become the most devastating pandemic in Kenya which has led the government to declare it as a national disaster. Children have suffered a lot as a result of this pandemic. Their learning has greatly been affected in one way or another. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of HIV/AIDS on learner participation recommend ways of dealing with these challenges in order to enhance good classroom performance of the children. Good performance is a crucial component for smooth transition of children to primary school and so once preschool education is the foundation of all phases of education. it is vital that it must be enhanced for adequate educational progress. The selection of Ndoleli division as the site of the study was the fact that it had the highest number of orphaned children as a result of HIV/AIDS and yet the division displayed the highest number poor performance in the whole districts. The objectives of the study were; to examine the participation of children living with HIV/AIDS among preschool children in Ndoleli division of Igembe north district and the causes of poor participation. In addition the objectives was to find out the challenges encountered by these children as they undergo the learning process and recommend the intervention measures in order to enhance active participation of these children in the preschool centres. The study was conducted through descriptive design. Data was collected using questionnaire and interview responses from 10 schools with 40 respondents who were selected using purposive sampling, strict random sampling and stratified random sampling from the accessible population data was analyzed using percentages distribution and frequency distribution techniques using statistical for social scientists (SPSS) version 16 and MS Excel. The study found out the CLWHAs has a lot of challenges which they undergo during their participation in classroom learning process. Such challenges include chronic absenteeism inorder to attend to medical care and to care for their ailing parent. Another challenge was dropping out of the school when their parents die result to acting the role of adult as child headed families. Still others miss basic resources such as school fees, school learning resources, uniforms among others. These children are also discriminated in school hence resulting to being isolated. The study concludes that lack of care for CLWHAS, stigmatized and discrimination of these children and if their parents are not assisted, classroom performances cannot be enhanced. The study recommends that CLWHAs should be supported by government by providing free pre-school education to ease the burden of parents. Child headed families should be eradicated by identifying orphans and initiating consultation development funds to help them and bursaries to eradicate poverty. Isolation of these children and active participation can be created by providing child friendly environment. Parents can also be encouraged to join community support groups which help in initiating small business to support their children. Through these groups they can also learn from their parents and their predicament can be improved through guidance and counseling. More study should be carried to investigate a link between child friendly environment and classroom participation in ECD centers. Research carried to find the effect of integration of pre-school education into primary schools. Finally investigation should be carried to identify why there are more children living with HIV/AIDS in public schools that private schools.