You might have heard something about it recently… in the NEWS or on social media?
Comprehensive Sexuality Education is a curriculum proposal endorsed by UNESCO and many other UN affiliates, aiming to educate school going children on sex and sexuality.
As a society we know that there are many complex issues facing the children of the world especially in developing countries, like South Africa. Our news headlines are bursting with stories of Rape, Teenage Pregnancy, the ongoing AIDS crisis, Sexual Abuse, Pornography, Sex Trafficking, Child Prostitution, Gender Confusion, and more…
Sexual Exploitation in its many different forms, have become a reality in our everyday life. There is no denying that parents and children need to be equipped with the tools and resources that will help protect them from the harsh realities and deal with the social challenges we face in our country.
Well, the state is currently developing new educational material on sexuality education to add to the current school curriculum by 2020. The proposed Textbook and Scripted Lesson Plans in development, will be phased into Life Skills for Primary School Learners and Life Orientation for High School Learners, respectively.
Though the Department of Basic Education (DBE) promised to produce material that is mindful of the broad spectrum of cultural influences, values and belief systems of South Africans, the new content is based on UNESCO’s – International Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education.
There are still many concerns regarding the Technical Guidance and its views on sexuality education. We think that parents, teachers and other stakeholders involved in child protection, education or childhood development, should be aware of the many concerns about CSE material promoted by international agencies.
There is almost no evidence that school-based CSE has any positive impact on children’s sexual health, behaviour and choices.
According to available research, it is ineffective at equipping children with the skills needed to navigate challenges surrounding sexual health and sexuality.
In fact, more than 1 in 4 School-Based CSE programmes outside of the US (including African nations) are correlated with negative effects on the participants’ sexual health, showing an increase in sexual initiation, STDs, number of partners, recent sex, paid sex, forced intercourse (rape), as well as a decrease in condom use.
CSE, as promoted by UNESCO, has also been criticised heavily for a wide variety of reasons, such as early sexualisation of children, promoting abortion, undermining family and ethical values, peddling deviant gender theories, alienating children from parents on the topic of the child’s sexuality, sexual choices and consequences, promoting a fictitious right to CSE and being influenced to a large extent by International Planned Parenthood Federation.
Without a legal obligation to provide CSE in schools, nor evidence to support it from a public policy perspective, it is unclear what the rationale is for its implementation.
The lack of information regarding the content of the learning material that will be taught as part of the South African curriculum, is a genuine cause for public concern.
If the state wishes to implement new mandatory learning material on these topics, we think that parents, teachers and other stakeholders should be able to access the information needed to determine whether the content is in fact in the best interest of children and be allowed to participate in decision-making about the need to develop and implement such content.
As parents, teachers and stakeholders involved in child protection, education of children or childhood development, we should make every effort to ensure that we act in the best interest of children.
We encourage you to get involved by engaging with the Department of Education through existing channels available to you, such as your School Governing Body, School Management Team and other respective oversight and industry bodies (e.g. FEDSAS, NASGB, ISASA, SADTU, SACE, HPCSA and others).
1. Parents, Guardians and Care-givers
2. School Governing Bodies
3. School Management Teams
4. Advocacy groups, including Parental, Family rights and Child Protection organisations
1. Teachers and other School Staff Members
2. Sex Education Providers and Curricula Authors
3. Parenting Training Providers
1. Healthcare providers, including physicians, nurses, occupational therapists, social workers
2. Industry representative bodies (e.g. FEDSAS, NASGB, ISASA, SADTU, SACE, HSPCA and others)
3. Provincial Education Departments
There are a couple of ways you can get involved and spread the word:
1. Stay Informed – Sign Up for updates and information about progress
2. Share the Message – Share with friends and peers via social media, word of mouth etc.
3. Take Action – Use Existing Channels to Engage with the DBE
To find out what you can do as a parent/guardian, educator or related stakeholder, visit our ACTION CENTRE here :
You can sign up here to let us know you care about this issue, and we will provide you with information to get you started and update you on progress made.
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