Students cautioned against reckless sexual behaviours ahead of new school term opening

Friday May 25 2018
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Mr Henry Ssemakula, the Senior Education officer, Guidance and Counselling making a presentation during a stakeholders meeting to discuss the newly launched sexuality education framework policy in Kampala. PHOTO BY ANTHONY WESAKA

KAMPALA. As the second term officially opens on Monday next week, the Education ministry has cautioned students against unnecessary excitement that may land some of them into sexual acts that could ruin their lives.

The warning was made by Mr Henry Ssemakula, the Senior Education officer, Guidance and Counselling, on Thursday during a stakeholders meeting to discuss the newly launched sexuality education framework policy, in Kampala.

The workshop was organised by a civil society organisation, Centre for Health, Human Rights and Development (CEHURD).

"Many young people, especially students have ended up into trouble because of excitement. For example, when some students get the news of having passed their exams very well, they get excited and end up in lodges which sometimes result into unwanted pregnancies and STDs," Mr Ssemakula said.

The recently launched framework policy seeks to streamline sexuality education that is based on broad range of curricular developed by different stakeholders and also in informal settings by parents and community leaders.

The development and launch of this framework was developed amidst calls from various stakeholders and even adversarial actions that included a court suit to challenge the ban on sexuality education in schools and absence of a supporting framework.

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During the stakeholders meeting, Prof Ben Twinomugisha, a law don at Makerere University, punched holes in the sexuality framework policy, saying the framers should have included the option for safe abortion for those students who could find themselves with unwanted pregnancies.

"The framework is anchored on wrong premises. Uganda is a secular state and there is no official state religion. So what about those people who subscribe to other gods and the atheists! So why can't they advocate for safe abortion?" Prof Twinomugisha wondered during the discussion.

MP Jovah Kamateeka, the chairperson Parliament's Committee on Human Rights, who was in attendance, said the priority should be to teach children to abstain from sex but if pregnancy happens, there should be a provision to have safe abortion.

But Mr Ssemakula in response to the abortion concerns, said the Education ministry can't comment about it as the same lies within the mandate of the Health ministry and Parliament.

The launched framework policy is expected to be used to guide, promote and facilitate the development and delivery of sexuality education programmes in the educational system in the country.

awesaka@ug.nationmedia.com

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