Reitumetse Mahope
3 minute read
23 Oct 2019
9:11 am

ACDP says sex education in schools is ‘anti-family, anti-marriage and anti-Christian’

Reitumetse Mahope

The party believes educating learners about sex is an attempt by the government to poison the minds of the country's children.

The ACDP embarking on a march to stop sex being taught in schools, to 'protect the innocence' of children. Image: Centurion Rekord

Numerous children and hundreds of African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) members and supporters marched to the department of basic education in Pretoria Central on Saturday.

The party was marching for the second time this year to call for the scrapping of the government’s planned introduction of Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) into the Life Orientation syllabus, reports Centurion Rekord.

The marchers chanted: “Don’t impose your immorality on our children.”

ALSO READ: Our teachers and schools aren’t fit for sex education

The ACDP handed in a memorandum and Neo Sediti and Stanley Ndlovu accepted it on behalf of the department of basic education.

ACDP president Rev Kenneth Meshoe said: “We refuse to allow the government to poison the minds of our children.”

Meshoe said the education system needed original South African solutions to its problems and not the CSE programme from Unesco.

“The president of Ghana has said he will not allow CSE to be taught to his children, and we want President Cyril Ramaphosa to do the same.”

He said South African children were already struggling with mathematics and science but the government would rather give more sex education.

Meshoe said his party supported the current sexual education taught in Life Orientation.

“It is very important to the development of learners that they have a basic understanding of anatomy and biology,” said Meshoe.

However, he said the proposed CSE “is anti-family, anti-marriage, and anti-Christian”.

He said the CSE promoted sexual pleasure as a right and an important component of sexual health; encouraged young children to experiment sexually with individuals of their own or opposite sex; and encouraged acceptance and exploration of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities among young children.

However, according to the department, CSE was deemed appropriate for learners as part of the Life Orientation subject.

Deputy Minister Reginah Mhaule said research by the department had found that there was a great need to educate learners on sex and other aspects around it.

“Apartheid patterns of family disruption and parental male absence, as well as cultural barriers and conservative attitudes, were found to be preventing open conversations about sex and sexuality,” she said,

The department said the CSE had been part of the LO subject since the year 2000 and this was only the introduction of new content.

Mhaule said it had become necessary to review the LO curriculum to evaluate the learning material and teacher training for Life Orientation and CSE curriculum delivery modalities.

Mhaule said the reviews led to the development of scripted lesson plans such as the development of state-owned LO textbooks, an online teacher training course, the development of the “Teaching for All” initial education teaching programme and considerations of strengthened Continuing Professional Teacher Development (CPTD) courses.

She said a 2016 review of International Technical Guidelines on Sexuality Education found that the evidence base for CSE had expanded since 2008.

This rigorous scientific review found that:

– CSE does not sexualise children;

– Sexuality education does not increase sexual activity, sexual risk-taking or STI/HIV infection rates. On the contrary, CSE delays sexual debut and promotes safe sexual behaviour and increases knowledge of different aspects of sexuality and the risks of early and unintended pregnancy, HIV and other STIs;

– Decreases the number of sexual partners;

– Reduces sexual risk-taking;

– Increases the use of condoms and other forms of contraception.

The department said since 2013, it had been implementing CSE through several co-curricular programmes.

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