Africa University's approach to Zimbabwe's HIV/AIDS epidemic: A case study of teacher preparation
This study investigated the causes of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Zimbabwe as perceived by students and faculty at Africa University, a pan African international private institution situated in Mutare, the third-largest city in Zimbabwe. The main purpose of the study was three-fold; (1) to investigate the perceived causes of the high prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe, the worst affected country in Southern Africa; (2) to examine the role of teacher preparation programs in dealing with the HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe; and (3) to explore the role of sex education in combating the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Zimbabwe.
A phenomenological theoretical framework provided the scope and dimension of a qualitative research approach formulated to collect data on the perceived causes of the HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe among students and faculty at Africa University. The case study design chosen used detailed semi-structured interviews, observations and documentary evidence and employed questioning strategies of a “how” and “why” nature. It did not require control over behavioral events and is a commonly used approach among studies focusing on present-day events in their real-life context.
The case study design was chosen as a particularly good means of educational investigation because of its ability to explain the causal links in real-life interventions that are too complex for survey or experimental strategies. I observed a total of eight two-hour lessons in a range of classes made up of senior students preparing to be either high school teachers or health educators. All the classes that I observed were large and ranged from forty students to one hundred. In none of the classes that I observed were there HIV/AIDS materials displayed in the classrooms or lecture halls. However, well-illustrated billboards about HIV/AIDS were erected on all the entrances to the university campus. I interviewed eight senior students and eight faculty members. Initial data analysis took place through analyzing responses on observation notes that I compiled in the eight lessons that I observed. Different colors of markings were used to identify common themes. The themes that emerged from the observations were basically similar to those that came from the analysis of the semi-structured interviews.
Colleges & universities;
Human immunodeficiency virus--HIV;
Acquired immune deficiency syndrome--AIDS;
0573: Public health
0680: Health education