Lobbies urge State to review proposed sex education curriculum

Friday January 12 2018

A teacher in class

A teacher in class. Lobby groups are urging the government to review the proposed sex education curriculum, terming it destructive and un-African. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By AGEWA MAGUT
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Lobby groups are urging the government to review the proposed sex education curriculum, terming it destructive and un-African.

A petition against Comprehensive Sex Education was presented by an NGO to the Ministry of Education in Nairobi seeking to stop roll-out of the curriculum in Kenya.

“Comprehensive sex education is a highly controversial, rights-based approach to sex education that encompasses a great deal more than just teaching children and youth about sexual intercourse and human reproduction. (This) curriculum is more destructive than Boko Haram or Al-Shabaab,” Ann Kioko the campaigns manager for CitizenGo told journalist after she presented the petition and 4024 signatures from parents and people against the introduction of the curriculum.

Ms Kioko claimed that the sex education was developed in the United States and would bring with it norms that are not accepted in African society.

BISEXUAL

“Children from the age of five years will be taught about masturbation, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) movement and community, contraceptives and abortion. This is Africa, it is not acceptable,” Ms Kioko said.

She further explained that the approach taken to teaching the new curriculum would take away the parents’ authority in children’s lives and give a bigger role to their teachers instead.

She suggested that stakeholders come together to find a more local and responsible approach to the subject.

CURRICULUM

“We should teach them about abstinence. The curriculum should say that virginity is still fashionable,” Ms Kioko said. 

A study done by the African FoPopulation and Health Research Centre and the Guttmacher Intsitute last year showed that a quarter of students interviewed, aged 15 and 17 years had already had sexual intercourse at least once.

The study on sexuality education was conducted in 78 secondary schools and 2,500 students in Homa Bay, Mombasa and Nairobi counties.