Factors influencing effective implementation of HIV/AIDS education in secondary schools: a case of Meru Municipality
Wangige, Mary Joan W.
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Since the discovery of the first case of AIDS in Kenya in 1984, HIV/AIDS has been eating into every fiber and fabric of social life. In the education sector, the HIV / AIDS pandemic impacts on access, retention and completion (MOE, 2007). In the absence of a vaccine, HIV/AIDS prevention programmes are an important tool in educating the masses on mv transmission, prevention and even care of people living with HIV and AIDS. They need to be taught not only on how to protect themselves from infection but also on how to protect others by not infecting them. Unfortunately, it is quite controversial in our society today to teach the young people on condom use, which is one way of protecting those already involved in sexual activities. One of the reasons for this controversy is religion. This study sought to understand the factors influencing effective implementation of HIV/AIDS education in secondary schools in Meru Municipality. Data for this study was collected using questionnaires. Study findings indicate that though the teachers have knowledge and skills to teach HIV/AIDS, they are not comfortable with openly discussing some of the sensitive topics like sex and how to protect one-self using condoms during sex. The study established that students are taught HIV/ AIDS during HIV/AIDS lessons (6.5%), during other subjects (26%), in health clubs (8%) and in counseling sessions (33%) by a counseling teacher with the majority indicating that they are taught HIV/AIDS by guest speakers invited to school (52.2%). This study established that knowledge on how HIV / AIDS education is being implemented in school is scanty and HIV/AIDS education in schools is not always implemented as envisaged. The study recommends that interventions should include parents as much as possible. The same study could be replicated in the same schools a few years later to see if the intervention has had a different impact on behaviour and attitudes over time. It could also be done in some of the other regions where other schools are located to also see the results in those geographical locations.