A few months ago, footage showing female pupils dancing provocatively with their male counterparts in methods referred to as twerking and lap dancing was captured through the windows of a particular school bus. The video went viral and generated a ton of discussion on social media sites like Facebook, WhatsApp, and Twitter, among others. (Educate children and teenagers about sexuality)
The majority of the general public, and parents in particular, were not at all pleased with witnessing such a video. In fact, this video ignited a fiery debate on one of the ladies’ parent groups where I am. The topic of sexuality education for children and adolescents came up during the heated discussion.
“I think it’s high time the line ministries of Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Ministry of Health, and Ministry of Education and Sports owned up the very garbage they have fed the country on for so long, that is promoting Comprehensive Sexuality Education and Sexual and Reproductive and Health Rights,” one of the parents said. “Dear decent people, with these activities, our children are being led into contraception, abortion, homosexuality or as they describe it, LGBTQI,” the parent continued.
“These are rotten fruits of the sneaked Comprehensive Sexuality Education framework in some schools, the only fruits that can actually be obtained from such a framework that moots for sexual rights, abortion, contraception, and homosexuality rather than chastity or behavioral change,” a different parent chimed in.
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As a midwife, an expert in women’s health, and a supporter of adolescent health, sexual and reproductive health rights, and women’s rights, these words really hit home for me, and I was worried. First, I questioned if parents truly understood the purpose of sexuality education since the majority of them based their arguments mostly on teenage contraceptive use and abortions.
Comprehensive sexuality education (CSE), sometimes known as sex education, is an on-curriculum teaching strategy that attempts to equip students with the knowledge, abilities, attitudes, and values necessary to make responsible and healthy sexual decisions. These primary themes and subjects are included in the Ugandan National Sexuality Education Framework, which was introduced in 2018;
Development of Human Sexuality (knowing oneself, male and female reproductive anatomy and physiology, puberty, human reproduction and body image and sexuality)
Relations and Sexuality (types of love versus lust, dating and courtship, preparing for long term relationship, good versus bad relationship and marriage and family)
Behaviors Related to Sexuality (sexual abstinence and faithfulness, gender-based violence and sexual abuse, deviant sexual behaviors)
Menstrual health and hygiene, preventing pregnancy, the significance of prenatal and postnatal care, the risks of abortion, STIs, and the care and support of those suffering from HIV/AIDS as well as non-communicable diseases (obesity, hypertension, and diabetes) and sexuality are all included in the category of sexuality and sexual health.
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The fact that CSE recognizes that the student population will be sexually active in the future is the advantage that CSE has over abstinence-only sex education that is most frequently cited. And by recognizing this, CSE can nudge students to think ahead so they can make the healthiest possible choices regarding their sexuality. In fact, the bulk of topics, most successfully CSE, including various forms of contraception and refusal skills, are underpinned by this philosophy of preparing students to survive their future sexual experiences.
I therefore urge the government of Uganda, through the ministries of health, education, and sports, as well as relevant NGOs, to increase its efforts to inform and empower the community, particularly parents, kids, and teenagers, about sexuality education. It should also dispel misconceptions and unfavorable attitudes about providing sexuality education for kids and teenagers. (Educate children and teenagers about sexuality – celebrity jazz ug)