Namibia’s secondary school science teachers and learners are critical to the success of the country’s science, technology, engineering, and mathematics renaissance project. However, due to the high prevalence of HIV, there are fears that they may succumb to AIDS. Despite the eminent threats of HIV/AIDS on science education, there are no specific data that speak to the impacts of HIV/AIDS on science teachers and learners. In this cross-sectional study, data on the perceptions of HIV/AIDS impacts were collected from 829 secondary school science learners and 61 science teachers located in 18 schools from six education regions. The results showed that the perceived death of secondary school science teachers due to putative HIV/AIDS illnesses was low. But the perceived mortality of science teachers due to AIDS-related conditions was significantly high in the Kavango and Omusati regions. Science learners perceived to be coping with HIV/AIDS exhibited stress and poor concentration in class. With the advent of free antiretroviral therapy, the study found that the perceptions of HIV/AIDS were in transition from quantitative (mortality) to qualitative (stress) impacts. This finding points to a paradigm shift in our perceptions of HIV/AIDS impacts on education and calls for interventions to manage HIV/AIDS-related stress in schools.
Key words: HIV/AIDS impacts, secondary school, science, teachers, learners.
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