The new proposed Sexuality Education curriculum has parents and teachers all over the country in hot debate.
Freedom of Religion South Africa (FOR SA) has revealed what appear to be extracts from new scripted lesson plans which include "graphically explicit" scenarios, examples of sexual assault, group discussions on the topic of "private parts", and more.
On social media and in multiple emails to Parent24, some parents are saying that sex education has no place in schools and that discussing these topics should be left to parents.
A News24 poll revealed that 45% of parents don't approve of teachers discussing these topics with their children, with 17% saying that teachers aren't equipped to teach sensitive topics like this.
36% of respondents said that properly trained teachers will do a better job than some parents, but only 2% said they're happy to leave sex ed to teachers, revealing that parents are perhaps quite willing to engage in the 'birds and the bees' conversations with their kids.
"They are taking away the right of the father to talk to his son and the mother to the daughter... Breaking up family values. If you don't see it as the parent's duty or you don't want to do it, that's your problem. I would just teach my kids the right way. Not this unGodly rubbish you are going to teach" says Jerome, via Facebook.
"So basically teachers will be teaching porn to our kids?... I'd rather have my kids sit at home and not go to school at all, no kid of mine will be taught that nonsense on my watch. Never!" writes Sibusiso, via Facebook.
See more readers opinions here: 'It's sex, get over it': South Africans respond to leaked 2020 sex education curriculum
We asked Kate Rowe, founder of explorare.co.za and advocate for sex education for adults and students alike, to share why she thinks that parents being responsible for their kids' sex education could be problematic.
She also discusses what teachers, in the form of support and resources, need to best approach teaching sometimes sensitive content in schools.
Listen to her insights here:
Ultimately, Kate says "I think the important thing to keep saying is that education and providing children with accurate information about the world around them, and giving them opportunity to discuss in a shame-free environment, is essential to their emotional and mental wellbeing and for them to make healthy choices."
*Disclaimer: Kate referenced gender orientation, but she asks that we note she should have said gender identity.
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