An exploration of educators' experiences in implementing sexuality education as disease prevention and a health promotion strategy in selected eThekwini-based secondary schools.
Khathi, Busisiwe Khathazile Ruth.
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Objective: This study sought to explores educators’ experiences whilst implementing sexuality education as disease prevention and a health promotion strategy in classes for learners in secondary Schools. The critical question posed by the study was how the educators were identified and selected to present this subject? What training did the educator(s) receive to offer the sexuality education/ LO programme? What content of sexuality do they cover in classes when teaching LO? How have the educators experienced teaching sexuality education/ LO so far? What are the educators’ views on DoE offering this program? What support do they receive and what barriers do they encounter? Methodology: This study adopted an exploratory qualitative approach to explore educators’ experiences in implementing sexuality education. The study was conducted at eThekwini-based Secondary schools. The purposive selection method was used. Six different schools from the Umgeni North Branch, North of Durban were selected. Educators’ experiences were examined through the use of in-depth face to face interviews. An interview schedule was used to guide the interview process. Findings: Altogether, seven Life Orientation (LO) educators were interviewed in this study. The study showed that there is continuous training and development of the LO educators which is done by the Department of Education (DoE) and through educators’ network. It was learned from the LO educators that there are four learning outcomes in Life Orientation teaching and that sexuality education is embedded in Health Promotion or Personal Wellbeing learning outcome. Some LO educators commented that not much emphasis is placed on sexuality education. The LO educators indicated the need for educators to be trained on short skills courses like HIV counselling and Rape victim management. Conclusion: The study highlights educator’s experiences when teaching sexuality education as embedded in the Life Orientation curriculum. Educators verbalized that having sexuality education embedded in another aspect of LO limits the information that is given as the educators are guided by the DoE guidelines. It also became evident that some educators experienced difficulties in dealing with the HIV positive learners and those that have been raped. This challenges the DoE to gradually train and update the educators on short courses like HIV counselling, dealing with rape and teenage pregnancies to improve LO educators’ confidence when faced with such situations in a classroom during LO education.
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