The Challenges of HIV and AIDS Counselling in Basic Schools: A case of Mazabuka Town Basic Schools in Zambia

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Mwiya, Imasiku L
Kasote, Charity
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The study investigated the challenges of HIV and AIDS counselling in basic schools as expressed by school counselors, school managers class teachers and pupils. It also examined the conditions of the counseling rooms as well as the record keeping of the sessions conducted by counselors. The respondents comprised 128 purposively selected individuals in Mazabuka Basic schools (72 class teachers, 8 school managers, 8 school counselors and 40 pupils). Relevant data were collected with the use of interviews and focus group discussions.The collected data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. The study identified some challenges hindering the implementation of HIV and AIDS counselling in basic schools. Results of the study indicated that most individuals (90.9%) who called themselves counselors were not trained. Only 13.6% of the Basic schools had counselling rooms against 86.4% who did not have this facility. The study further revealed that no counselling session records were kept by all the guidance and counselling teachers. It was also found that only 4.5% of the counselors had a light teaching load that could allow them to work effectively as school counselors. Only 2.3% of teachers were said to be coordinating effectively with the school counselors concerning the HIV+ status related problems of pupils in their class. It was further found that only 2.3% of the teachers were coordinating with the parents of HIV+ pupils. Lastly results revealed that absolutely no pupil in all the Basic schools went for HIV counselling. Based on the findings of the study, it was recommended that the guidance and counselling teachers should create awareness on the usefulness of HIV and AIDS counselling in Basic school. And that the government, community and individuals should give adequate support to HIV and AIDS counselling in Basic schools in order to reduce high prevalence rate of HIV and AIDS among the learners.
HIV/AIDS , Counselling , Challenges , Basic schools