The role of school management teams in dealing with the HIV/AIDS epidemic at schools
Mosea, Thekowakhotla Phillimon
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The aims of this research were to determine, by means of the literature review research, the nature of the impact of the HIVIAIDS epidemic on school systems and the role of School Management Teams in dealing with this epidemic; to determine the perceptions of principals, deputy principals and heads of department on the impact of HIVIAIDS on educators, learners and the teaching and learning situation; and to make suggestions for a strategic management approach which School Management Teams can adopt in dealing with the HlV/AlDS epidemic at their schools. The literature review proceedings revealed that the HlV/AlDS epidemic has a potential to affect schools through the following ways: reduction in demand for schooling among children and adolescents of school-going age; reduction in supply of teaching services due to educator absenteeism, illness, medical boarding because of ill-health, and death; reduction in availability of educational resources because the Department of Education spends more money on HlVlAlDS than on schools' material resources; the need for schools to social adjust in response to the special needs of a rapidly increasing number of learner orphans as a result of the HIVIAIDS epidemic; the need to adapt to new social interactions both within schools and between schools and communities; the need to modify curriculum to meet the needs of an HIVIAIDS era; the need to alter roles that have to be adopted by educators and the school systems; the need to organize school systems systemically; the need for effective management of the school system; and the need for donor support for schools. The empirical research proceedings revealed that the majority of School Management Team participants were frustrated; stressed; had a decreased interest in teaching as a profession; not coping with the demands of the teaching and learning situation during this era of the HlV/AlDS epidemic; experiencing low morale; depressed; and were feeling like resigning. The School Management Team participants also revealed during the empirical research proceedings that the HlVlAlDS epidemic has a detrimental effect on the teaching and learning situation in their schools; classes in their schools are too big; it is impossible for them to pay attention to individual learners; learners of their schools are frequently absent; educator workload in their schools is too heavy; learners in their schools are not motivated; there is frequent absence of educators in their schools due to family responsibilities; there is frequent absence of educators in their schools due to personal illness; lack of motivation among learners in their schools; there is positive social interactions of learners in their schools; learners in their schools do not suffer from hyperactivity; there is passivity of learners in their classrooms; there is an indication of nervousness among learners in their schools; there is poor discipline in their schools; absenteeism of learners is moderate in their schools; tiredness of learners is a problem; learners lack motivation; learners lack concentration; learners exhibit memory loss; learners experience poor attention span; learners have developed decreased interest in school and school activities; learners manifest personal illnesses; illness of family members is a problem in their schools; learners in their schools have experienced loss of family members; learners of their schools have too many responsibilities at their homes; poor academic performance is experienced in their schools; many learners suffer rejection from their peer groups; learners do not have school related problems in their schools; learners in their schools suffer from diarrhea; learners in their schools suffer from pneumonia; learners in their schools suffer from tuberculosis; and learners in their schools suffer from severe weight loss. On the basis of the findings revelations from both, the literature review and the empirical research, the researcher made recommendations which schools can adapt and adopt in their endeavor to combat the negative effects of the HIVIAIDS epidemic on teaching and learning activities.
- Education