Stakeholders debate sexuality education draft framework

Friday October 25 2019

 

By ANTHONY WESAKA

As the National Sexuality Education Framework (NSEF) takes shape, various stakeholders have given in their views on what it should look like.
In 2018, the education ministry, introduced the first ever NSEF with the objective of creating an overarching national direction for providing sexuality education in the formal education setting for young people specific to Uganda’s context.

During a stakeholders’ validation workshop on the research findings on sexuality education in Kampala on Wednesday, Kyenjojo District Woman MP Spellanza Baguma, said she does not support the teaching of comprehensive sexuality education in schools but she is in support of the current draft under review.

“I was among the many MPs that called for the banning of comprehensive sexuality education in schools because it was wide as it was teaching our children homosexuality and other sexual orientations. I will never support such teaching to our children,” MP Baguma, who doubles as the vice chair Parliamentary health committee.
“The current draft under review is good because it considers age appropriateness and homosexuality matters do not arise. Even the First Lady is in support of this draft,” she added.

Likewise, Mr Muhammad Aluma, an official from Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC), submitted that the Arch Bishop elect, Samuel Kaziimba is supporter of the new draft of the sexuality education before calling upon the various stakeholders in attendance not to be anxious.
The various stakeholders, mainly from the civil society world, had expressed fear that the new Arch Bishop just like his predecessor, Stanley Ntagali, would reject the teaching of sexuality education in schools.
The stakeholders also suggested that musicians should be involved to influence the passing of the current draft given their high social influence in society.

The need to have a sexuality education policy in place was informed by the fact that the government recognizes that sexuality education is essential in equipping young people with information about their sexuality to enable them make healthy choices about their sexual and reproductive health.

The sexuality education is also aimed at enabling them utilize life skills in developing values, attitudes and relationships that maximize their God–given potential.
The workshop organized by Centre for Health, Human Rights and Development, was part of the ongoing bid to collect views from the general public about the framework.
The civil society organization is among others seeking to interrogate what the public thinks about sexuality education, whether the NSEF adequately addresses the knowledge gaps of teachers and their parents and what messages will influence parents and teachers to deliver quality sexuality education to the children.

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In 2016, government through the Gender ministry, banned the teaching of comprehensive sexuality education in schools. The ban came after the discovery of sexual reproductive literature in more than 100 schools that included sexual orientation and a ground for teaching homosexuality on grounds that it was against Uganda’s cultural values.
After the ban, government formulated the NSEF framework, which they think will best guide the teaching of sexuality education in schools.
The framework has since been grouped into five categories.

The early childhood group of between three to five years, the lower primary level which has children between six to nine years, the upper primary level which has pupils between 10 and 12 years, the lower secondary group that has students between 13 to 16 years and the last group with the age bracket starting from 17 years.
The new draft is still under review.

awesaka@ug.nationmedia.com

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