Paper recommends scripted lessons,
Paris, 12 June— Comprehensive sexuality education is an essential part of a good quality education that improves reproductive health and contributes to gender equality, argues Facing the Facts, a new policy paper by the Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report at UNESCO that seeks to dispel social and political resistance to sexuality education in many countries.
Globally, each year, 15 million girls marry before the age of 18, some 16 million
“It’s time to face the facts,” argues Director of the GEM Report, Manos
The new policy paper presents
Children and young people should receive comprehensive sexuality education before they become sexually active. This helps them protect themselves from unwanted pregnancy, HIV and other sexually transmitted
Nevertheless, vocal resistance to comprehensive sexuality education by some groups in a number of countries has been rising. In Uganda, a public backlash led the Ministry of Education to withdraw the national sexuality education curriculum, which was subsequently revised.
Introducing comprehensive sexuality education in the curriculum is insufficient without adequate teacher training to bolster instructors’ motivation and confidence in addressing the full range of topics concerned. Namibia has tackled this by creating scripted lesson plans for teachers, while Tanzania has created online resources that teachers can turn to when in doubt.
The paper has six key recommendations for countries
- Invest in teacher education and support,
- Make curricula relevant and evidence based,
- Develop monitoring and evaluation mechanisms and ensure implementation,
- Work with other sectors to bring about real change, notably with the health sector to link schools with health services and leverage funds,
- Engage with community and parent organizations to overcome resistance that is not based on facts.