Access to HIV and AIDS information by learners with hearing impairments in selected basic Schools in Central and Northern provinces
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The study aimed at ascertaining the extent to which learners with hearing impairments accessed information on HIV and AIDS in selected basic schools in Central and Northern Provinces of Zambia. The specific objectives were to determine the extent to which learners with hearing impairments accessed HIV and AIDS information and identify factors hindering hearing impaired learners from accessing HIV and AIDS information in basic schools; and consequently find ways of increasing access to HIV and AIDS information for learners with hearing impairments in basic schools The study followed a descriptive research design. Both qualitative and quantitative methods were employed. The sample comprised 54 respondents, comprising 24 teachers of learners with hearing impairments and 30 hearing impaired learners who were purposively selected. Thus, 8 teachers of learners with hearing impairments and 10 hearing impairment learners were drawn from each of the following basic schools: Bowa, Lukolo and Chikandama. Data were collected using a set of questionnaires and Focus Group Discussions. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) was used to analyse quantitative data while qualitative data obtained through Focus Group Discussions was analysed by coding and grouping the emerging themes. The research findings showed that learners accessed HIV and AIDS information through drama, HIV and AIDS talks during school assembly and through class lessons, since HIV and AIDS issues are integrated in all the subjects taught. The study showed access to HIV and AIDS information was hampered by lack of reading books in sign language, low reading levels among learners and their negative reaction to topics of sex and HIV and AIDS education. Teachers too were not trained in teaching HIV and AIDS education. There were also accusations that teachers promoted promiscuity among learners. Most of the teachers (80%) said communication barrier significantly hindered hearing impaired learners from accessing HIV and AIDS information in schools. The research findings also revealed that access to HIV and AIDS information could increase by using videos on HIV and AIDS, conducting workshops for the hearing impaired learners, the presence of sign language interpreters in schools may also help and the formation of HIV and AIDS education peer groups for hearing impaired learners. Based on the findings of this study, the following recommendations were made: The Ministry of Education should train more specialized teachers to teach HIV and AIDS related issues in sign language; embark on printing materials in sign language; and should also come up with a policy regarding teaching of sign language in schools to all teachers and learners in basic schools. All television programmes on HIV and AIDS should be interpreted in sign language. Schools should facilitate the formation of HIV and AIDS education peer groups among hearing impaired learners and provide the necessary materials on HIV and AIDS in formats accessible to hearing impaired learners in a more convenient manner.
Hearing impaired--education--HIV and AIDS-Zambia
- Education