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Studies of the relationship between HIV/AIDS and children’s educational attainment largely focus on the direct impacts of parental illness and death, overlooking the potential indirect impact that parental knowledge and perceptions of their HIV status may have on children’s school enrollment. Drawing on both quantitative and qualitative evidence from Malawi, this paper finds that women’s real and perceived anticipation of future health shocks has a positive impact on their children’s educational attainment. …
Despite the potentially extremely serious impacts of HIV/AIDS on education in Malawi, very little attention had been devoted to this fundamentally important problem. No robust research had been undertaken that systematically analyses all key quantitative and qualitative impacts of the epidemics on education. The study focused on three key questions: A) How has the HIV/AIDS epidemic affected primary and secondary schooling? B) What would be the likely impacts of the epidemic on education provision during the next 10-15 years? C) What should be done to mitigate these impacts?
This study puts forward ideas for improving children's learning against the background of the growing HIV/AIDS epidemic such as linking younger and older children in support programmes and providing tailored materials for students who have to miss school. Undertrained teachers could be helped by providing all-inclusive teaching materials and contingency planning put in place for absent teachers.