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ERIC Number: EJ880691
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Mar
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 37
ISSN: ISSN-0013-1881
HIV/AIDS Education: What Works for Swaziland University Students?
Sukati, C. W. S.; Vilakati, Nokuthula; Esampally, Chandraiah
Educational Research, v52 n1 p101-113 Mar 2010
Background: HIV/AIDS poses a major threat to development and poverty alleviation, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa. Education has been declared an effective preventative approach and the single most powerful weapon against HIV transmission. However, there is a paucity of research on the type of education required, the appropriate teaching/learning methods, and generally how such education influences change of attitudes and behaviour on the part of the students. Purpose: In the context of Swaziland, a country with the highest HIV prevalence rate at 42.6%, this study explores how students at the University of Swaziland perceive an HIV/AIDS course. The students' comments cover the course content, the teaching/learning methods used in the course, the regulations governing the course, and the impact of the course. Sample and design: A sample of 15 students was randomly selected from all the year 1 Faculty of Agriculture students to form focus group 1. Another sample of 15 was randomly selected from year 3 students who were enrolled on a new programme to form focus group 2. Of the 15 invited students in each focus group, 11 (seven males and four females) attended the focus group 1 meeting, and 12 (eight females and four males) attended the focus group two meeting. A pilot-tested and pre-prepared interview schedule was used during the focus group interviews to collect information on the students' perceptions. This data was analysed using themes. Results: The findings reveal that the perceptions of the two groups were very similar. The students identified some topics that they felt were treated in great depth, and other topics, particularly dealing with traditional healers, that they felt should be added to the course content. They further criticised the excessive use of the lecture method in teaching the course and recommended that more visual materials, presentations by HIV-positive people and workers, as well as site visits to relevant places should be encouraged to make the course more interesting and give it greater educational value. Overall, the students felt that the course had been effective in changing their attitudes and behaviour. The students cited numerous benefits that they had derived from this course and recommended that it should be offered to all first-year students at the university. Conclusions and recommendations: This small scale study suggests that providing HIV/AIDS education is an important intervention in changing the attitudes and behaviour of university students and in combating the spread of HIV. It further stresses the importance of engaging all the relevant stakeholders, particularly the students, in working out the content of such a course. (Contains 1 table.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Swaziland