THE Council of Churches in Namibia and some parents have called for the removal of the comprehensive sexuality education from the school curriculum due to what they term immorality.
Revised in 2013, the comprehensive sex education (CSE) course is part of the life skills subject, and meant to give pupils in Grade 4 to Grade 12 the skills and values to make appropriate and healthy choices in their sexual lives.
Speaking to The Namibian on Thursday, the council’s acting general secretary, Ludwig Beukes, said the CCN was not consulted before the implementation of the CSE in schools to contextualise the programme.
After inspecting the programme’s material provided to the teachers, the church felt the information would sexualise children at a tender age, he stated.
“If the lesson is about sexuality, the parents feel their children should play outside when it is that time in class,” he said.
Beukes clarified that the church and affected parents are not against children being taught sexual education, but just prefer for it to be done in a moral way that does not “encourage sin”.
“We are actually supposed to empower parents to do that with their children; the issue is how it is being presented,” he observed. He revealed that the target group for the programme starts as early as nine years, which is another reason the church is against it.
“From the age of nine, they indoctrinate children with the issues of gender ideology, and tell them that it is up to them to choose when they want to have sex, which is what you will see when you go through the curriculum,” he continued.
A concerned mother of five children, Justine Veii, said she is against the programme because what the children are being taught goes against what they are taught at home.
“While we are teaching our children that they need to wait until marriage before sex, this programme says even at age 10, if they feel ready for it, it is alright as long as they use protection,” she decried.
Veii said another concern was how children are being taught to change their genders if they feel like it, adding that the programme will encourage children to become transgender.
“They say if you feel like you are trapped in a body that is not you, just go and change the body parts to align how you feel. What kind of rubbish is that?” she fumed.
Veii added that implementing CSE in schools goes against Vision 2030, which states that due to Christianity being the most popular religion in Namibia, the fear of God would guide decision-making in the country.
“If the Bible teaches that God created male and female, comprehensive sex education says there is transgender, bisexual and all these things that a child at age nine should not be taught about, and that is wrong,” she added.
Another concerned parent, Riikka Ochs, said her problem with the programme was how it would mould the minds of vulnerable children who believe everything their teacher tells them. Contacted for comment, the education ministry’s spokesperson, Absalom Absalom, said topics covered in the programme are not morally wrong, and that morality is part of the programme.
“CSE in Namibia and other African countries was designed and influenced by Namibian culture.
Instead of pupils sinning, they ought to think twice,” he observed.
Absalom said the programme was designed not to promote homosexuality, or engaging in sexual intercourse.
“CSE is meant to safeguard young people by providing them with values and norms necessary to make the right choices and decisions in life,” he stated.
Absalom added that it would not be possible for the programme to be removed from schools because education without CSE lessons would be incomplete.
He said the CCN was consulted on the programme, contrary to their claims, as they were part of the curriculum panel which reviewed life skills curricula and health education programmes.
“The ministry of education had been inviting the CCN to look at and validate the life skills syllabi, and the CCN did not find anything wrong with the CSE-related topic, and this was in 2017 and 2018,” he explained. Absalom confirmed that the programme has been implemented in all schools in Namibia already through their life skills classes and other health education subjects and programmes.
“In Namibia, sexuality education has been imparted through life skills (Grade 4 to Grade 12) as per the reviewed curriculum, Natural Science and Health Education (Grade 4 to Grade 7), Life Science (Grade 8 to Grade 9) and Biology (Grade 10 to Grade 12),” he continued.
Originally published here.