The purpose of this study was to investigate how school principals understand HIV/AIDS and how their knowledge, attitude and interpretation filter in the implementation of the HIV policy in schools. The study comprises a literature review and empirical investigation. The results of this study can be used in planning and implementing HIV policy in schools. The data were collected by administering semi-structured interviews. Ten school principals from the Dennilton circuit in Southern Region of the Limpopo Province were interviewed. The results show that the majority of the principals involved in the study confirm that HIV/AIDS is an incurable disease caused by a virus and is mainly sexually transmitted. Some principals regard their school safe from HIV infection. Their assumption is based on the absence of HIV positive learners and educators in their schools. The principals are aware of the rights of HIV positive learners and educators. Significantly, the research findings indicate that the majority of schools lack educators with HIV/AIDS training, rules on safety precautions and first aid kits. It is recommended that ongoing HIV/AIDS training programmes be provided for educators to enable them to educate the youth on HIV/AIDS. Additionally, schools should focus on strategies to implement universal safety precautions against HIV transmission and to obtain first aid kits. Lastly, school principals should involve parents and other stakeholders in creating a positive school environment for HIV positive learners and educators.
Dissertation (MEd (Education Management))--University of Pretoria, 2005.