The Effectiveness of Psycho-social life Skills Education on Pupils sexual Behaviour: a case study of selected high schools of mazabuka,Monze and Choma Districts of Southern Zambia

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Muzila, Robert P.
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This study sought to investigate the effectiveness of Psychosocial Life Skills Education, an HIV and AIDS intervention strategy, employed by the Ministry of Education to change the attitude and sexual behaviour of pupils. The study also sought to find out whether there was any link between the re-entry policy and creation of awareness on safe sex. Additionally, the study sought to investigate the strategies and approaches used during the teaching and learning of Psychosocial life skills. Finally the study sought to establish factors that influence pupils and youths in general to engage in risky sexual behaviour. A total number of 176 respondents were drawn from selected schools in Choma, Monze and Mazabuka Districts of Southern Zambia. The sample was in three categories. The first category included 156 respondents drawn from Grade twelve classes of Nanga, Kaonga, Monze Boarding and Chuundu High Schools. The second category consisted of 4 Head Teachers from the schools under study. The third and last group comprised 16 girls who benefited from the re-entry policy. The study employed two sampling techniques. These were stratified random sampling and purposively sampling. Stratified random sampling was used to select the schools based on their geographical location and accessibility while purposively sampling was used to ensure equal representation by gender. Data was collected using questionnaires and interviews. The data was analysed quantitatively using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS).The study could not clearly establish whether Psychosocial Life Skills Education is having a positive effect on pupil’s sexual behaviour or not. It was however revealed that there has been a reduction in terms of pregnancy cases in all the selected schools and that pupils delayed the age at which they had their first sex experience. These were seen as positive indicators. The study could not also establish the link between the re-entry policy and the creation of awareness of safe sex. The use of Anti Aids clubs, Safe clubs, talks from health workers and Guidance and counselling was established as strategies and approaches used in the provision of Life Skills Education. A number of factors were established as influencing pupils into having unprotected sex. The leading factors were peer pressure and the desire to experiment with unprotected sex due to the beliefs that protected sex is not as sweet as unprotected sex. Others were economic reasons due to high poverty levels which forced boys and girls to exchange sex for food, money and other gifts. Girls were forced into having unprotected sex as a way to prove that they loved and trusted their boyfriends.Based on the findings, the following recommendations were made: (1)The Ministry of Education should put in place structured guide lines or syllabus which would compel teachers to teach psychosocial Life skills education. (2)School Managers should make it a point that Life Skills Education appears on the time table at least once a week to enhance consistence.The Ministry of Education should include Life Skills Education in the curriculum of training institutions for high schools as it is in primary school teachers training colleges.Community workers, health workers, and parents should join hands in the provision of Psychosocial Life Skills. (3)Schools should train more peer educators, coupled with an increase in youth friendly corners in High Schools to reduce the effects of peer pressure.
Educational psychology-Monze-Zambia , Child psychology(sexual behaviour)--Zambia , Life Skills--Zambia