Helping Orphaned and Vulnerable Children to Manage Cognition and Learning Crises through Policy: The Case of Zimbabwe
This qualitative enquiry tried to find out ways in which policy could further assist orphans and vulnerable children to manage their cognition and learning crises. It is based on the policy issues of the Zimbabwe National HIV and AIDS Strategic Plan (ZNASP, 2006-2010), the National Action Plan for Orphan and Vulnerable Children (NAP for OVC 2006-2010), the Zimbabwe Education Act (Chapter 25:04) and the Zimbabwe Millennium Development Goals (2004). The triangulated data were collected through participant observations, open-ended questionnaires, interviews and focus group discussions held at four secondary schools. The purposefully selected participants comprised 20 double orphans and vulnerable children, four headmasters, eight teachers, one Education Officer and one Social Welfare Officer, making a total sample of 34. The findings confirmed that even though some OVC reported occasional receipt of aid through donors and the government’s facilities such as the Basic Education Assistance Module (BEAM), not all OVC were lucky enough to remain beneficiaries up to the end of their secondary schooling. Orphanhood was found to be a psychological deterrent to cognition and learning. Therefore the local community, education administrators, policy makers, and children’s rights advocates together with the children’s representatives should map out life lines ideal for enhancing the cognitive learning of double OVC residing in CHHs.
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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)
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