New Sex Education Curriculum Causes Stir

Prof Opoku-Amankwa – GES Boss

THERE
IS a growing public concern about the move by education authorities to
introduce sex education at basic school level, starting from Primary One in the
country.

The
Ghana Education Service (GES) is expected to introduce the sex education into
the curriculum of basic schools as part of the guidelines for the Comprehensive
Sexuality Education (CSE). However, the move has met stiff opposition from
religious bodies in particular.

CSE
is to integrate gender, human values and sexual and reproductive health rights
perspectives into sexuality education in the country.

It is
anticipated through CSE that at age six, Primary One pupils will be introduced
to values and societal norms, and how to interact with the different sexes and
groups.

And
as they graduate to the upper primary, they will be made to study different
modules of sexuality that include relationship, friendship, dating and
courtship.

The
guideline module for 11-year-old pupils in Primary Six includes fertility,
pregnancy-related issues, childbirth and respecting gender differences.

But it
appears a larger section of the public are not in favour of the move, and are
pushing for government to scrap the plan in the interest of the country.

Churches & Teachers

Heads
of religious bodies and even some groups of teachers who are supposed to
implement the policy are registering their displeasure against the move.

President
of the Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council (GPCC), Rev. Prof. Frimpong Manso,
has stated that the churches will resist it if the GES dares to force it on
pupils. He even described it as ‘satanic’.

The GPCC which is made up of
over 200 church denominations in Ghana believes the plan to begin teaching CSE
in all public schools to children from five years upwards is satanic.

Teachers Unaware

Already the National
Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) has claimed that it was not consulted
before the policy document was prepared.

In
addition, the Concerned Teachers Association of Ghana has revealed that
teachers in the country are not aware of the CSE course.

Targets

Over
20 million learners in 64,000 primary and secondary schools are expected to be
reached on the programme, as well as 47,000 pre-service teachers and 367,000
in-service teachers.

The
programme is also expected to reach 30 million people including parents,
guardians, religious leaders and young people out of school through community
engagement activities, and 10 million young people through other platforms.

LGBT Agenda

However,
members of the public are highly likely not to allow the programme to see the
light of day as they intensify their resistance.

Law
lecturer and fierce critic of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender
(LGBT) movement, Moses Foh-Amoaning, has raised a ‘conspiracy theory’ into the
debate, saying government was ‘pushing’ an LGBT agenda through the CSE.

Mr.
Foh-Amoaning — who doubles as the Executive Secretary and the
Spokesperson for the National Coalition for Proper Human Sexual Rights and
Family Values — said some texts and modules in the curriculum
that would guide the CSE programme in Ghana resonate with LGBT activism.

GES Reacts

The
GES yesterday clarified that the CSE curriculum has not
been approved as being claimed.

According
to the Executive Secretary of the National Council for Curriculum and
Assessment, Dr. Prince H. Armah, the curriculum is yet to be endorsed by the
relevant learning and teaching agencies.

“It’s
a draft; it has not been approved. There are aspects that have been rejected by
the GES; it’s not a policy,” he said on radio.

Population Council

The
Executive Director of the National Population Council, one of the promoters of
the curriculum, Dr Leticia Adelaide Appiah, also clarified that the focus of
the CSE is to empower children to make the right choices when parents,
religious leaders fail to play their roles.

She
said teenage pregnancy is high in the country and that in every 1,000
adolescents, there were record cases of 140 teenage pregnancies.

“It
is 16 in 1,000 adolescents in the developed countries. In China, it is seven in
1,000. These should guide what we do or don’t do,” she said.

“This
will provide an opportunity for young people to develop and understand their
values, attitudes, and insights about sexuality,” she added.

Partnership

Earlier
this year, Ghana and the United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural
Organization (UNESCO) launched the CSE programme which is to be implemented in
five other countries.

It
is in a bid to empower adolescents and young people to deepen their scope of
existing activities to attain a Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE).

Other countries expected to implement the CSE programme are Eswatini, Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

BY Melvin Tarlue



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