Few people would quibble with the fact that there needs to be proper sex education in schools. Teen pregnancy rates – along with HIV infections – are increasing. So, whatever awareness there is about sex is insufficient.
The real question is how this education will be implemented – and what form it will take.
The department of education has confirmed it has already started using the comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) curriculum in some schools. Education spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga said the implementation of such education was a “major issue that cannot wait”.
However, education experts and some religious groups have voiced their concerns about CSE. Firstly, many of the ideas in the curriculum have been imported from overseas and don’t take into account local cultures and morality. Secondly, there is a concern about the shift internationally, from education about safer sex to “sexualised education”.
Critics say it is important parents are aware of the sex education their children are being exposed to and to opt out if they disagree with it.
It is a difficult problem and there is no easy solution. However, South Africans cannot sit and watch as ignorance leads to children destroying their lives with unwanted pregnancies or Aids.