Dallas Morning News Examines Impact of HIV/AIDS Epidemic on Zambian Education System
The Dallas Morning News on Sunday examined how Zambia's education system has been negatively affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Some studies indicate that teachers in the African nation are more likely to be HIV-positive than Zambians who have less formal education. In addition, one study found that the death rate among young Zambian teachers was 70% higher than the national average. Although there has been little research on the subject, some researchers have speculated that teachers' increased mobility and high social status could contribute to their unusually high HIV prevalence rate. When teachers become ill as a result of HIV/AIDS, some schools merge classes -- sometimes putting more than 100 students in one classroom -- and others cancel classes until the teacher is well enough to return. However, when HIV-positive teachers are not sick enough to stay home, some "do more harm than good" by having sexual relationships with students, an occurrence that is "not exactly the norm" but "not rare" either, according to the News (Benton, Dallas Morning News, 9/12). The complete article is available online.