The effects of HIV and AIDS on the completion rates of girls in secondary schools in Thika District, Kenya
Wahu, Jane Esther
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Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), which has no cure is a viral disease which weakens the body immune system. The most disturbing fact is that the disease continues to spread, hampering and reversing development by destroying the productive capacity of a nation and is widening the gap between the rich and the poor. It wipes out decades of investment in education which enhances human development, retarding economic and social growth UNAIDS (2004). The researcher aimed at finding out the effects of HIV and AIDS in 14 girls' secondary schools and 5 mixed secondary school in Thika district. The researcher used systems approach theory. Out of the approximately 125 secondary Schools in Thika district 14 girls and 5 mixed schools were selected through simple random method where the names of the girls' secondary schools in the district were folded and put in a basket and then picked randomly giving 15 per cent of the students' population. The questionnaires were administered to 17 head teachers, 35 class teachers and 252 students. The rate of return was over 95 percent. Descriptive statistics were used to analyse the data. The findings were presented n frequencies and percentages. The results of the analysis indicated that most girls in secondary schools in Thika district were aware and knew the causes of HIV and AIDS. The teachers felt that there was need for education on HIV and AIDS in order to stop stigmatization which is an important factor. The Head teachers knew that the general perform rice of the students was affected by HIV and AIDS and gave ideas of how the affected students could be assisted to complete education. Data analysis indicated that the quality of education and the completion rates in these schools had not been affected by HIV and AIDS. Guidance and counselling was taught in over 90 per cent of the schools that were interviewed. The study recommended that further studies be carried out to find out, the communities perception on the effects of HIV and AIDS in education and the extent to which stigmatization has contributed to secondary school dropout rate.