COUNSELLING HIV AND AIDS LEARNERS WITH HEARING IMPAIRMENT: GAPS IN PRACTICE IN LUSAKA'S SECONDARY SCHOOLS, ZAMBIA

Rose Chikopela, Joseph Mwape Mandyata, Daniel Ndhlovu, Daniel Lupiya Mpolomoka

Abstract


This paper discusses the challenges of providing HIV/AIDS counselling to pupils with hearing impairment by guidance and counselling teachers who are not familiar with sign language. The knowledge gaps were; how do guidance teachers who do not know sign language provide HIV/AIDS counseling to pupils who only benefit from the use of sign language? Do the pupils with hearing impairment really get what they communicate to them orally? These questions motivated this study. Since it was a qualitative study, a case study design became appropriate. 25 pupils and 5 teachers formed the study sample. Interviews were used to collect data, which was analysed using thematically. The researchers observed that the guidance teachers did not have any training in sign language meanwhile some schools had over ten pupils with hearing impairment who like other hearing pupils needed to receive HIV/AIDS counseling. Results revealed that pupils did not get what the guidance teachers were communicating to them orally. Similarly, the five guidance and counselling teachers revealed that they had challenges in providing HIV/AIDS counseling services to pupils with hearing impairment because they did not know sign language. Pupils with hearing impairment desired to be counselled in HIV and AIDS and other psychosocial related issues but there was no one to counsel them. Interestingly, deaf pupils were not involved in sex education and HIV/AIDS prevention campaigns in schools, instead they helped themselves through discussion and reading some brochures. This clearly was a handicap to the pupils. As a result, they lamented that District Education Board Secretary (DEBS) should send guidance and counselling teachers trained in sign language to schools where there were pupils with hearing impairment. The study recommends that guidance and counseling teachers in schools should be trained in sign language.

 

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HIV/AIDS, hearing impairment, guidance and counselling, special education

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References


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