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Experts disagree with backlash against SA's UN-approved sex-ed curriculum

19 February 2020 10:19 AM
Tags:
Sex
Tlaleng Mofokeng
Department of Education
Sex education
UNESCO
Adriaan van Wyk
Lester Kiewit
comprehensive sexuality education
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
sex-ed
#LeaveOurKidsAlone
CSE
Lauren Evanthia
Tracy Engelbrecht
Lester Kiewit conducts a panel discussion about the backlash against SA’s sex-ed curriculum, despite its international acclaim.

South Africa’s sex education curriculum is endorsed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco).

Nevertheless, online group #LeaveOurKidsAlone calls it “brainwashing” of children.

The group was created to oppose the implementation of comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) in schools and claims to have more than 100 000 members.

(Also, read: Sex education: 'Parents will be shocked')

Some of the fear and panic around sex ed may have been caused by the circulation of graphic fake images by online groups who fight against CSE, including #LeaveOurKidsAlone.

Potentially harmful misinformation and false rumours (e.g. the education department will distribute condoms with stationary) are rife on these platforms.

To counter the lies, the Department of Basic Education (DBE) has released the full curriculum for public viewing.

Lester Kiewit conducted a panel discussion on CSE.

He interviewed Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng, a Commissioner for the Commission of Gender Equality, Tracy Engelbrecht of Young Moms Support and Riaan Van Wyk a sex therapist.

Mofokeng says she understands parents' concerns bout their children's education but encourages them to read the curriculum thoroughly first.

If something does not sit well with you then take the next step and educate yourself.

Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng ,Commissioner - Commission of Gender Equality

She says this backlash is an attempt to prevent children from gaining crucial information.

It is information that is important for their own development, for their own protection, their own sense of self and autonomy and dignity - an affirmation that they do have rights to information, they do have rights to reproductive health.

Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng ,Commissioner - Commission of Gender Equality

We cannot be allowed to miss another generation based on our own fears.

Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng ,Commissioner - Commission of Gender Equality

many children feel unable to talk to their parents about sex education or ask for their guidance and help, says Tracy Engelbrecht.

The child only goes by themselves to the clinic because they feel they cannot go with their parents. So that's on them. If the child is going off by themselves because they know their mother is going to freak out, the parents need to look at themselves.

Tracy Engelbrecht - Young Moms Support

These children are doing the responsible thing by going to the clinic, she adds.

It is important to understand that children don't mature equally. The best you can do currently is to educate our children in an age-basis manner, while it would be difficult but better to educate them when they are ready in terms of their developmental stage.

Riaan Van Wyk, Sex therapist.

Kiewit also invited #LeaveOurKidsAlone group founder Lauren Evanthia to the discussion but she declined the opportunity.

Listen to the interview below:


19 February 2020 10:19 AM
Tags:
Sex
Tlaleng Mofokeng
Department of Education
Sex education
UNESCO
Adriaan van Wyk
Lester Kiewit
comprehensive sexuality education
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
sex-ed
#LeaveOurKidsAlone
CSE
Lauren Evanthia
Tracy Engelbrecht

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