Govt, stakeholders to fashion best approach to sexuality education for young people —Minister Siakalima


Government through the Ministry of Education has denied developing the text book on sexual education that is making rounds on social media.

Douglas Siakalima, Minister of Education,said in a statement on Wednesday that his ministry had revised the curriculum in 2014 that included information to help adolescents cope with numerous challenges as they transition from childhood to adulthood.

“The information covering various topics from Grade five-12 was put in a document called Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) Framework,” Siakalima stated.

Unlike other countries, he said CSE in Zambia was integrated in career subjects such as integrated science, home economics, social studies, religious education and civic education.

However, Siakalima said towards the end of 2020, there had been concerns from some members of society on the content of CSE.

“In responding to the demands from stakeholders, government appointed a multi-ministerial technical committee to review the CSE Framework.,” he said.

The review was preceded by consultative meetings which were conducted in all the 10 provinces of Zambia, with sittings in three district per province totaling 30 districts, classified as rural, peri-urban and urban which were sampled in each province.

The concerns and suggestions were submitted by traditional leaders, religious leaders, parents, learners, head teachers, teachers, community leaders, civil society organisations, standards officers, line ministries, service providers and Ministry of Education officials.

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He said findings indicated that the CSE was useful in their lives as it enabled them to make informed decisions and protect themselves from STIs and early pregnancies.

Siakalima said teachers were however, not comfortable with the title CSE and that parents and most religious leaders said that contraceptives should not be taught to school children but emphasis should be on abstinence.

“Most traditional leaders suggested to change CSE to another appropriate name. Stakeholders did not find any content that is promoting homosexuality in the textbooks produced by the Ministry of Education which are used from grade five to 12,” he said.

Siakalima said the technical committee has completed reviewing the CSE framework by addressing the concerns raised by stakeholders.

He said the name has since been changed to Life Skills and Health Education Framework.

Nevertheless, Siakalima said the revised framework was yet to be validated.

“This is because, following the Presidential directive to reform curriculum, CSE is also under review since it is integrated in carrier subjects,” he said.

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