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Teaching and learning about HIV and AIDS through William Shakespeare’s plays

Publication year: 
Author (s): 
Kaharai, Leslei
Publication details: 
Harare, University of Zimbabwe, 2013

This study explores the use of William Shakespeare’s works; Romeo and Juliet, As You Like It, Antony and Cleopatra and Hamlet to teach Zimbabwean students studying Literature in English in Form Three and Form Four ,issues about HIV and AIDS. Secondary school students are a very youthful population, a vibrant segment of the society that is vulnerable to the HIV and AIDS pandemic. The extirpation of this group by HIV and AIDS not only portends a diminishing of the
future workforce but more so endangers regeneration and societal continuity. The use of William Shakespeare’s plays in teaching and learning about HIV and AIDS fits well into Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Education, Arts, Sports and Culture. This is particularly so in the Secondary School Curriculum where teachers are expected to use participatory and learner centred methodologies when conducting HIV and AIDS and Life Skills and Education Lessons. This study is significant
within the area of HIV and AIDS information dissemination and will emphasise on the inclusion of drama that not only imparts instruction through pleasure but more so provides an after performance for the discussion .The study also furthers the existing body of knowledge on the utilization of didactive cum entertainment medium of drama for the circulation of life saving information on HIV and AIDS to this highly vulnerable segment of the society. Using William Shakespeare’s plays sets a novel technique in HIV and AIDS communication processes in Zimbabwean Schools using theatre for development as a methodology.