i.) loss of professionals to the effects of HIV and AIDS
ii) Funds channeled to combat effects of HIV and AIDS on education in Kenya iii) High dropout rates to the effects of HIV and AIDS on education
iv) The introduction of HIV and AIDS as a unit on the Kenyan syllabus v) Stigmatizations caused by the effects of HIV and AIDS on education in Kenya 3.) Conclusion
Our paper will try to tackle on how the HIV and AIDS epidemic has ravaged and significantly had an impact on the education sector by closely looking at a few fields namely; loss of professionals, high dropout rates, stigmatization, Education fund diversion to HIV/AIDS etc. We will also delve into how being stigmatized will affect anyone trying to acquire an education. The rapid spread of HIV/AIDS had and is still having an increasingly adverse effect on the operations and efficiency of many government ministries and agencies as well as on employee’s families. These effects are not only confined to any one ministry, they spread across all sectors and can be discerned at all levels. Loses of persons to HIV/AIDS have been most evident in the education and health sectors as workers in this sector are critical in maintaining public welfare and contributing to long term developmental activities in the country. HIV/AIDS and education have an intricate circular relationship, as the epidemic intensifies it exerts negative effects on the performance of the education sector such as poor performance of the education sector, school enrolment, attendance and level of academic achievements of the population.
I) LOSS OF PROFESSIONALS TO THE EFFECTS OF HIV AND AIDS
In the earlier stages of the African epidemic it was reported that teachers were at a higher risk of becoming infected with HIV than the general population because of their relatively high socio economic status and a lack of understanding about how the virus is transmitted. Our country is facing a situation whereby the loss of the educated to the effects of HIV and Aids is immense. Educated and trained practitioners have been observed to succumb to HIV and AIDS. This in return has left the field of education retarded and greatly lacking the human resource to adequately handle the whole education sector. Prolonged HIV/AIDS related illness affect staff in several ways that can be categorized as; ability to work, moral of employees under conditions of stress and the need to cope with costs of treatment and care.
As HIV/AIDS undermines the body’s immune system, susceptibility to other diseases increases, staff take sick leaves to deal with those illness or care for family members who are sick. Studies in both public and private sector showed that absenteeism is a major cause of inconvenience in any work place as it affects the work of others in the organization. The loss of trained and experienced teachers and interruption of teaching programs due to illness will reduce the quality of the educated. A study by Amour Thomas et al (1989), found that teacher qualification accounted for more than 90% of the variation in student achievement in mathematics and reading across the grade levels. The loss of the most qualified and an experienced teacher represents a serious threat to the quality of education in the country at large.
A World Bank (1999) report on Impact of HIV/AIDS on Education in Kenya indicates the impact as likely to be felt more in terms of reduced supply and demand of educational service, changing clientele for educational services, processes, content of education and planning for the sector. For instance, a report shows that the annual attrition of teachers stands at 1800 and has attributed deaths to what is suspected by the Teachers’ service commission as HIV/AIDS related deaths. In several African countries, the Education sector has experienced severe staff loses due to HIV/AIDS. In Zimbabwe, teacher mortality was 70% higher than in the general population and largely attributable to HIV/AIDS, as a result teacher death equaled about two third of teacher training Collages.
In Botswana one study projected that by the year 2010, the country will lose nearly 6% and 8% of primary and secondary school teachers respectively every year as a result of AIDS thus mortality of this magnitude would have a very significant impact on supply. While in Malawi, 45% of ministry of Education attrition between 1990 and 2000 was attributable to staff deaths, nearly two third of staff who died were between the ages of 30 and 44. Furthermore informal reports reveled that as least one teacher was absent from school every day and cumulatively in 2000 the ministry lost an equivalent of 6,760 hours to staff absenteeism.
II) FUNDS CHANNELED TO COMBAT EFFECTS OF HIV AND AIDS ON EDUCATION IN KENYA
Funds meant to boost other sectors like education are channeled to fund crises brought about by effects of HIV and Aids on education in Kenya. Some of the activities include buying of drugs for the Aids patients or even campaigning to enlighten and educate people on the disease. HIV/AIDS also has a devastating effects on the already inadequate supply of teachers in many African countries, analysis of available information found that the cost of replacing primary and secondary school teacher who died in the 1990s was nearly $2million which is a major expense to a ministry already hard pressed with the need to meet its responsibilities to students.
To simply replace teachers lost to HIV/AIDS, one province in South Africa would need to train 60,000 new teachers by 2010. The cost of training one teacher is equivalent to more than $10,000, thus replacing all teachers lost to HIV/AIDS will far exceed the education ministry’s annual budget in the province. Such scenarios lead to a situation where development cannot occur fully, simply due to the fact that funds meant to go for a certain purpose example, buying more books for students and hiring more teachers are instead funneled somewhere else like the health ministry to acquire drugs and expertise or the professionals to handle the situation, because human health comes paramount above all other things.
III) HIGH DROPOUT RATES TO THE EFFECTS OF HIV/AIDS ON EDUCATION Effects of HIV and AIDS in Kenya have rendered children orphans due to loss of their parents. This in return has driven learners with no one to cater for their educational expenses. Some of these drop outs have been due to deaths of some students infected by HIV and Aids hence the HIV/AIDS epidemic has reduced the demand for education in Kenya. First and foremost because there will be fewer children of school age because of the impact of the disease on the population. Families affected have fewer resources available for schooling thus consequently, fewer children are able to afford or complete their schooling. Particularly girls are taken out of school more often than boys to help care for sick family members, or to help make up for lost family income and this in turn forces them to go out in such of employment opportunities as they are supposed to become the bread winners of the family.
The demand for educational services also declines, because of reduced family resources available for schooling in AIDS affected households. This is brought about because, money intended to go into the child’s education for example buying books, buying school uniforms, paying school fees is instead channeled to other functions such as buying medicine, paying for medical bills, buying healthy foods etc. Many orphans also live in child-headed households without basic needs. In Uganda, a study of four sub-counties or locations (out of a total of 15 in the district) found 160 child-headed households, (Carm et. al. 1999). The sample was drawn from randomly selected households within the location with a history of parental deaths within the three preceding years.
Figures from Zambia estimated that 7% of Zambia’s 1.9 Million households are headed by children aged 14 or less (M.J Kelly 1999). For these households, schooling may seem a far-fetched demand. Children affected with AIDS bring their worries and fears to school thus creating a new dimension of responsibility for teachers and administrators.
IV) THE INTRODUCTION OF HIV/AIDS AS A UNIT ON THE KENYAN SYLLABUS
An important challenge for HIV/ADIS awareness is how to reach as many people as possible with relevant and correct information so as to help curb the menace through positive behavior change. The only way that was seen as a way of reaching people with the HIV massage to ensure the future of the country was that HIV/AIDS unit be introduced as a learning unit in the Kenyan education syllabus which proposal was effected in 1999 after HIV/AIDS was declared a national disaster. Following the declaration of HIV and Aids as a natural disaster in Kenya in 1999, profound care was required to curtail its spread. This was echoed by introduction of HIV/AIDS as a learning unit in almost all learning intuitions both public and private universities. The seriousness of HIV/AIDS means that it needs to be integrated into curriculum for students throughout the country which would in turn mean more time will be needed to cover the syllabus and in a syllabus where people cover a lot in a semester or term that means a huge workload.
V) STIGMATIZATIONS CAUSED BY THE EFFECTS OF HIV AND AIDS ON EDUCATION IN KENYA Loss of parents and guardians left children with no better option but living under the care of the old grannies or worse still, living entirely as orphans. According to Muchiri, J (2002), neither words nor statistics can adequately capture the human tragedy of children grieving for dying or dead parents, stigmatized by society through association with AIDS, plunged into economic crises and insecurity by their parent’s death and struggling without services or support systems in impoverished communities.
These children are looked down upon by their fellow students at school creating a psychological state of torture thus academic decline. Colleague teachers might assume that staff who show signs of prolonged illness are HIV positive, this fear and stigma cause depression and in effectiveness on the teaching Job. This menace (HIV and AIDS) has now been declared as a global crisis. The Effects of HIV and AIDS on education in Kenya continue to be a big challenge. Some countries have reported some few success stories while in some others, there are no signs of slowing down. Stigma and prejudice lead to social isolation.
It is important to note that HIV and AIDS affect great and small, rich and poor, big and small. Therefore, to the young, they should abstain, to the mature; let them stick to one partner. In Kenya HIV and AIDS were first reported in 1984, and later a national disaster in 1999. All sectors have been on the limelight to fight the effects of HIV and AIDS. Educating and informing the people is the only way of insuring that the disease is controlled which will in turn trickle down to professionals being lost to the disease and children will be able to go to school due to the availability of funds as they have parents who can cater for their every need. It also important to note that, with the loss of teachers with the highest levels of training, the students who will be churned out from those classrooms after seating for their final exams, will also lack the proper level of skill and expertise, to help them in their lives which will in turn boil down to lack of employment, high cases of crime, lack of properly trained workers in the work place which will in turn mean that the work being done or accomplished by those same workers will be below per.
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3. Bennell, P. K., Swainson, N. THE IMPACT OF THE HIV/AIDS EPIDEMIC ON THE EDUCATION SECTOR IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICAhttp://www.unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0012/001293/129353e.pdf
4. Rau, B. (2004). HIV/AIDS and the Public sector
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