Support needs of primary school educators directly affected by the HIV
Ngemntu, Monica Nondandiba
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This study focuses on how the HIV and Aids pandemic affects educators in primary schools and how these educators need to be supported to cope more resiliently with the challenges posed by the HIV/Aids pandemic. This study needed to understand how primary school educators experienced the impact of the HIV/Aids pandemic, both professionally and personally. Educators in general are personally affected by the HIV/Aids pandemic emotionally, physically, spiritually and socially. Affected educators are professionally affected by the HIV/Aids, when they are burdened by a large numbers of orphans in their classes, absenteeism of learners and colleagues, poor performance of both educators and learners, high workload and multiple roles they have to perform. The impacts, both personal and professional, are mostly negative. However, to date no study has focused on the impacts of the pandemic on primary school educators. In this study, a phenomenological design was followed. Interviews were conducted with a carefully recruited sample of participants (i.e. primary school educators affected by the HIV/Aids pandemic either in their families or by having orphans in their classes) in the Vaal Triangle area. The researcher recruited participants by means of snowball sampling. Fifteen affected educators participated in this study. Primary school educators interviewed, noted poor emotional, spiritual, physical and social health. They also reported that they do not cope with their duties as educators effectively. Affected primary school educators are in need of comprehensive support to deal with the HIV/Aids pandemic related stressors from the DoE, SMT's, colleagues and the community at large. Affected educators noted that they need to be supported, by means of team work with colleagues and the community; medical support; amongst others HIV education for learners, educators and parents and practical support and counselling for dealing with difficulties created by the HIV/Aids pandemic.
- Education