This study aims to increase access to education and learning for young people living in high HIV prevalence areas in Malawi and Lesotho, by developing a new, more flexible model of education that uses open, distance and flexible learning (ODFL) to complement and enrich conventional schooling.
ODFL initiatives, structures and networks that are already in place to implement HIV/AIDS policies will firstly be identified through analyses of secondary data. Case studies will then be developed in contrasting communities severely affected by HIV and AIDS to identify contextual factors that can lead to exclusion from conventional schooling and dropping out. The case studies will be complemented by data collected using a range of approaches such as semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions, informal discussions with family members, participatory activities and observation.
Based on this formative research, a pilot intervention will then be made through secondary schools to identify and trial a small-scale ODFL intervention package designed to overcome the barriers to conventional schooling identified in the case studies. The intervention will be evaluated qualitatively and also quantitatively using an experimental design.