Communication methods used by secondary school teachers and students in sex education in Starehe District, Nairobi County, Kenya
Makira, Judy Njoki
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The problem of this study was inadequate communication between secondary school teachers and students in discussing sex- related issues. The objectives of the study were to: Establish the level of awareness of secondary school students on issues related to sex, investigate the perceptions of teachers and students on the teaching and learning of sex education in schools, investigate the communication methods used by teachers and students in communicating sex- related issues with students, identify the challenges that the teachers and students face in communicating sex-related issues and to suggest ways through which communication between teachers and students on sex issues could be improved. The assumption of the study was that teachers and students frequently share information related to sex. The study adopted a descriptive survey design and data were largely descriptive by nature. In collecting the data, 393 students and 28 teachers participated in the study. Data were collected using questionnaires and interview schedule for teachers and students. This study used qualitative design to analyze data. The data were presented in tables and figures using percentages and frequencies. The signicance of this study was that the findings would provide teachers and students with proper communication skills they can adopt in discussing sex-related issues. Findings indicated that most students have been exposed to sex education. This has been mostly at the upper primary and lower secondary levels of education. With regard to attitude towards sex education in schools, the findings showed a positive attitude among the teachers and students. The findings revealed that the communication methods used by the teachers and the students are mainly one way like dictation and lecture methods. This is not effective for proper communication to occur. Findings of the study also revealed that there are challenges that the teachers and students face in discussing sex-related topics. These include: shyness, religious inhibitions, lack of teaching aids, lack of adequate training for teachers as well as lack of proper guidelines from the Ministry of Education. In relation to what should be done to improve communication between teachers and students on sex-related issues, this study found the following: Open class discussions, use of debates based on sex topics, incorporating sex education with the curriculum, availing resources like books and other visual aids, more time to be created and sensitizing the parents and the community in general on the need to encourage the children to be open in discussing sex- related issues.