Assessing the role of school managers in implementing integrated participatory approaches towards HIV and AIDS interventions in schools : a study of 'Learning Together' rural project.
Ndlovu-Mamba, Zolile Vuyokazi.
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Numerous policies have been drawn globally, regionally and within nations and in government departments to address the scourge of HIV & AIDS. However infection figures continue to rise in the 15-49 years bracket, the youth and the most economically productive members of society. This is the reason that intensive efforts are being directed towards school going youth. Collaboration has been identified as a vantage point from which HIV and AIDS and health related matters can be tackled. Effective management is the key to effective collaboration. This study seeks to assess the role of the principal in facilitating the implementation of collaborative HIV programmes in school, and to assess the effectiveness of visual and arts based methods in enhancing collaboration. The study employs the systems management approach and the health promoting school concept which are both predicated on collaboration. Since the focus is on the role of the principal within the school which is itself set in a socio-cultural context, this study uses a qualitative design. Data is generated from a triangulation of observations, interviews and the analysis of documents. Facilitating and enhancing collaboration entails gathering adequate information on the purpose of the programme; assessing the need for it; weighing its relevance for the achievement of educational goals. This is followed by assessing the resources implications; informing and orienting the teachers about it; selecting and appointing teachers for participation in it; ensuring the development and training of teachers; creating a structure and assigning roles to the participants; and creating channels of communication and chains of command. These findings point to a need for the development of management capacity and the capacity of all stakeholders. Visual and arts based methods proved to be a powerful medium for creating dialogue between parents, learners and community health care workers and teachers at an informal level.