MPhil study projects

Teachers’ intervention in the psychosocial challenges faced by adolescents living with HIV in secondary schools in Bohlabela district, Mpumalanga province

Student: Alfred Sphiwe Khumalo

Country: South Africa

This study investigated the engagement of secondary schools with adolescent learners living with HIV/Aids and the challenges faced by teachers in the Bohlabela district, Mpumalanga, South Africa.

A purposive sample of life orientation teachers from five schools in one circuit participated in the study. The findings revealed that 90% of teachers lacked full qualification to provide psychosocial support to adolescent learners living with HIV. Additionally, learners from impoverished backgrounds, often facing psychological issues due to familial circumstances, presented significant challenges. A majority of teachers identified learners’ reluctance to disclose their HIV status as a growing concern.

Teachers in the Bohlabela district established informal support networks for learners living with HIV, despite minimal assistance from Mpumalanga’s Department of Education. Recommendations include providing life orientation teachers with comprehensive training on HIV/Aids issues, including screening and support skills, as well as implementing accessible school-based HIV/Aids policies to foster openness and support.