The role of teachers' perceptions on sexual and HIV/AIDs education in Kenyan primary schools: a case study of Dagoretti Division, Nairobi
This was a qualitative study which sought to find out how teachers' attitudes impact on sexual and HIV / AIDS education in Kenyan primary schools with special reference to Dagoretti Division of Nairobi. The key methods of data collection employed were desktop research, oral and in-depth interviews, Focus Group Discussions and observations. As it is the case with the qualitative research paradigm, this study did not have a predetermined sample size as the major consideration in such studies is the quality of the information collected and not the number of people interviewed. Purposive sampling was employed to choose the study site after which institutions for the study were picked through convenience sampling. Once the institutions had been selected, purposive sampling was again used to draw individual respondents for the study. Data was analyzed through the use of a wide range of qualitative data analysis techniques like thematic analysis, narrative analysis, discourse analysis, constant comparative analysis and lastly through the use of contemporary computer programs like SPSS. One of the key findings of this study was that teachers' attitudes playa significant role in regard to sexual and HIV / AIDS education in schools. It was established that such attitudes determined how individual teachers viewed the subject. This in turn determined their willingness and commitment to teach the subject. The study found out that majority of teachers have a positive attitude towards sexuality and HIV/AIDS issues and this tremendously enhanced their capacity to teach the subject without any hold backs. Such teachers it was found out were more liberal, pragmatic, innovative, less judgmental and accommodative to learners concerns and views when teaching the subject. They also felt it was their personal responsibility and not a professional obligation to pass on this information to the pupils and the larger community. The study also found out that there were also some few teachers who had a negative attitude on the subject. This tended to hamper their intentions and capacity to teach the subject. Such teachers it was found taught the subject to fulfill a professional duty. In the most severe cases, there were those who would never teach the subject at all instead asking their colleagues to stand in for them when such lessons cropped up. Teachers with a negative attitude towards the subject were very judgmental, less innovative and swallow in what they chose to teach. Gender too was found to playa role in sexual and HIV I AIDS education. Some male and female teachers reported that they found extremely hard to teach pupils of the opposite sex this subject though the number of teachers saying so was not big. The importance of sexual and HIV I AIDS education cannot be underestimated. This education aims at helping school-going children to build a foundation as they mature into sexually healthy adults, assist young people to develop a positive view of sexuality, equip them with information and skills on how to take care of the sexual health, helping them make sound decisions now and in the future on matters related to their sexual health. In spite of the critical role this education plays in the lives of young people, teaching it always presents some challenges due to lack of a curriculum, lack of teaching materials and aids, pupils' apathy towards the subject, lack of training on the part of teachers, negative exposure by the mass media and pupils' age. This calls for all stakeholders to adopt a unilateral stand in order to overcome these challenges. This will involve the training and re-training of teachers on the subject, availing of teaching materials. scaling up of civic education on the subject and lastly to depoliticize the issue of sexual and HIV/AIDS.