The impact of HIV and AIDS has threatened to destroy the education sector in South Africa. The aim of this study was to explore and describe the psychosocial challenges that HIV-infected educators experienced in Nkangala District, Mpumalanga.
The objectives of this study were the following:
To describe theoretically the phenomenon of HIV and AIDS with specific reference to the effect thereof on the education system, more specifically on infected educators.
To explore the emotional challenges experienced by HIV-infected educators in Nkangala District, Mpumalanga.
To explore the social challenges experienced by HIV-infected educators in Nkangala District, Mpumalanga.
To determine the spiritual challenges experienced by HIV-infected educators in Nkangala District, Mpumalanga.
Based on the results, to make recommendations to the Department of Education in Mpumalanga in order to address the psychosocial challenges experienced by HIV-infected educators in the educational sector and to enhance further research.
Against this background the study was guided by the following research question: What are the psychosocial challenges that HIV-infected educators experience in Nkangala District, Mpumalanga?
A qualitative research approach was used to investigate the psychosocial challenges that the HIV-infected educators experienced. In this study applied research was applicable due to the fact that it focuses on problem solving in practice and emphasises the participation of the people who are experiencing a problem by involving them in finding a solution to the problem.
In this study the researcher wanted to make recommendations based on the results of the project, to address the psychosocial challenges experienced by HIV-infected educators in Mpumalanga.
In the context of qualitative research the phenomenological research design was utilised as the most appropriate research design, because the researcher wanted to understand and interpret the meaning that HIV-infected educators gave to the psychosocial challenges they experienced in their everyday lives.
Because the use of a phenomenological design was applicable in this study, the researcher collected information through unstructured, in-depth interviews. There was no interview schedule with a compilation of predetermined questions, because the questions emerged from the immediate context and the researcher was able to facilitate the process as such.
The researcher utilised a probability sampling technique, namely systematic sampling to select a sample. The first participant was randomly selected from the list of HIV-infected educators and thereafter every second name on the list was selected until a sample of 12 participants had been selected. Using De Vos (2005:333) method of data analysis away from the site, the researcher analysed data primarily off-site. The findings of the research confirmed that HIV-infected educators are experiencing psychosocial challenges. Finally, recommendations were made to address the identified challenges.
The goal of the study was definitely achieved as the study revealed that there is a need for an urgent response by the Department of Education to develop and implement treatment, care and support programmes for HIV-infected educators. Furthermore, it was recommended that the Department of Education should revise and reformulate HIV and AIDS policies and programmes to cater for the needs of HIV-infected educators.
Mini-dissertation (MSW)--University of Pretoria, 2015.