The Department of Basic Education has released, on its website, the scripted lesson plans which are being used in the pilot phase of Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) in selected schools.
The pilot is being conducted in areas that have recorded high HIV infection rates and a prevalence of sexual abuse.
The CSE has been part of the curriculum since the year 2000. The only change is that in 2015 the department developed scripted lesson plans (SLPs) which are currently being tested in five provinces in order to strengthen the teaching of CSE in schools.
Scripted lesson plans are learner and teacher support materials that are designed to aid teachers and learners to address these important topics in a systematic manner.
The core aim of the CSE and its SLPs is to ensure that learners are helped to build an understanding of concepts, content, values and attitudes related to sexuality, sexual behavior change as well as leading safe and healthy lives.
The department said it was extremely concerned that there seems to be lower sexual debut and increasing risky sexual behaviour among adolescents and HIV prevention knowledge has declined among learners.
It said early sexual debut leads to mental health issues such as depression, vulnerability to violence and poor educational outcomes.
“Research findings indicate high birth rates among adolescents and teenagers; in addition, more than a third of girls and boys (35.4%) experience sexual violence before the age of 17.
“This has necessitated the great need for the department to provide age appropriate child abuse prevention education that builds resilience, confidence and assertion amongst young people, who often do not know when they are being violated by sexual predators,” said the department on Wednesday.
Last week, the Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga launched the “Let’s Talk!” Early and Unintended Pregnancy Campaign. The campaign is driven by multiple factors that include poverty, lack of information and access to reproductive health services, cultural norms, peer pressure and sexual coercion and abuse.
“Let’s Talk” is a social and behavioral change campaign which seeks to reduce early and unplanned pregnancies across 21 countries in the Eastern and Southern Africa region, which has one of the highest adolescent fertility rates in the world.
The department reiterated that there is no new content that has been added to the Life Orientation subject in schools.
“The Comprehensive Sexuality Education has been part of the curriculum since the year 2000. The only change is that in 2015 the DBE developed scripted lesson plans (SLPs) which are currently being tested…”
The scripted lessons plans can be found at https://www.education.gov.za/Home/ComprehensiveSexualityEducation.aspx.
The department said it remains open to further consultation and engagement on this matter.