2004. 17 p.
University of Pretoria. Faculty of Education
Reprinted from International Journal of Educational Development, 24, C.G. Hartell and S. Maile, HIV/AIDS and Education: a study on how a selection of school governing bodies in Mpumalanga understand, respond to and implement legislation and policies on HIV/AIDS, 183-199, Copyright 2003, with permission from Elsevier.
Very little research has been done in South Africa on HIV/AIDS and education. This article is a small attempt to plug the gap. The purpose of the research is to investigate the legal and policy provisions and implications regarding HIV/AIDS for rural and township schools in the Mpumalanga district of South Africa. It seeks to answer three questions: (1) What is the status of policy and legislation on HIV/AIDS and Education in South Africa? (2) How do schools understand, respond to and manage issues of law and policy regarding HIV/AIDS? (3) What are the possible areas of conflict between legal and policy provisions and educational practices and behaviours? After examining the different laws relating to HIV/AIDS and education in South Africa a case study approach is used to explore the research questions in a number of rural and township schools. The findings highlight a general ignorance of basic human rights issues, the right to confidentiality, the right to security from discrimination if it is known that a teacher or a pupil is HIV positive, the right to privacy and the right, under certain circumstances, to disclosure. The findings also reveal a distance between policy and practice so that schools need to develop vigilance with respect to any legal challenges that they might face at local level. The findings also show that governing bodies should be made aware of the general legal issues surrounding the individual and HIV/AIDS before they can introduce fair and balanced policies. Copyright 2003 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
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