Strategies That Can Be Used to Improve Effectiveness of Sexual Health Education Programmes in Bulawayo's Mzilikazi District, Zimbabwe


Sibusisiwe Ncube
Onias Mafa


Early teenage pregnancies in the 21st century have suddenly become a major public health issue which has a potential to erode all the gains achieved in trying to empower the girl child for self sustainance.The study through ‘health risk' sensitive lenses evaluated thestrategies  used in the teaching of Sexual Health Education Programmes in  reducing early teenage pregnancies in Zimbabwe.The study was conducted in three selected schools in Mzilikazi District in Bulawayo metropolitan province.The Ecology Theory informed this research. The theory was selected based on four key variables relevant to teenage physical growth and mental development. The variables are interaction and participation, empowerment and adaptation to the environment in which they live. The study adopted a case study approach and employed a qualitative methodology of enquiry based on an interpretivist paradigm. The idea was to build a holistic picture of lived experiences of research participants. Convenience sampling technique was adopted in the selection of the research participants owing to the sensitivity of the subject matter under discussion. The sample size was 70 and all participants freely accepted the invitation without being induced or being enticed to partake in the study. Questionnaires, Focus Group Discussions (FGD) and Interviews were employed as data generating techniques in order to ensure trustworthiness of data. Captured audio/voice responses were transcribed and later slotted into emerging themes.  Data were analysed and synthesised through the use of Word Query. The study established that, training of teachers on the teaching of Sexual Health Education can result in the effective teaching of Sexual Health Education which may culminate in a reduction of teenage pregnancies, providing adequate resources to help in the teaching of the subject, allocation of enough time for the subject in the school curriculum and improving teaching methods are best strategies in the teaching of Sexual Health Education. The study recommends that the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, through the Curriculum Development Unit, calls for teachers' contribution in the research, development and diffusion of Sexual Health Education information to improve ownership of the programme and to decentralise it.