Using participatory action research to develop an HIV and Aids school plan
In this article we report on the manner in which participatory action research (PAR) was utilised by teachers in developing a Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) school plan, in collaboration with university researchers. The need for a structured HIV and Aids school plan emerged during the course of a broader research project (of which this study formed part) during which a school principal and teachers expressed a need to support infected and affected children more effectively. The study involved three phases, used interpretivism as meta-theoretical lens, and relied on PAR principles. Following the first phase of data generation, findings indicated that teachers were keen to transfer their knowledge and skills to neighbouring schools in support of the community; they were of the view that the transfer of knowledge and skills was needed to support infected and affected children more effectively in the classroom; and they experienced the need to document knowledge and skills in the form of an HIV and Aids school plan. In addition to determining expectations regarding an HIV and Aids school plan, fundamental principles and implementation of such a plan were identified in collaboration with the participating teachers. In this manner, the content of an HIV and Aids school plan was identified, resulting in a documented plan.
Keywords: education system; HIV and Aids; HIV and Aids school plan; participatory action research (PAR); supporting HIV and Aids infected and affected learners; teachers; vulnerable learners