Lobbies urge State to review proposed sex education curriculum
NGO lobbyists in Nairobi are pushing back against a proposed Comprehensive Sexual Education bill. A petition presented to the Ministry of Education discourages the release of this curriculum.
The lobbyists are pushing for an emphasis on abstinence. Ann Kioko, the campaigns manager for CitizenGo believes that comprehensive sex education will emphasize American social norms that are not encouraged in African society. A study of 78 schools in the Nairobi, Homa Bay and Mombasa counties shows that a quarter of students between the ages of 15 and 17 have already had sexual intercourse.
The classes, which were developed in the United States, will cover more than traditional sexual education which focuses on reproduction and heterosexual sex. Comprehensive sex education teaches about masturbation, the LGBT movement, abortion, and contraception. Kioko claims that these topics will be taught to children as young as five years of age, calling the program ‘destructive’.
Kenya is a conservative country, and lobbyists are afraid this new sex education will interfere with the parent’s right to educate their children and degrade family bonds, instead causing teachers to have a greater influence in students lives than their parents. Kioko says, ‘This is not Africa. This is unacceptable.’
Kioko is urging lawmakers to come together to encourage a ‘responsible’ approach to sex ed.