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More debate needed on sex education

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Any attempts from the department to suppress further engagement on such an emotional issue are likely to have unintended consequences

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IF THE Department of Basic Education forges ahead with the implementation of the Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) in schools without conducting enough public consultation, the proposal runs the risk of facing a long, drawn-out legal battle from education stakeholders opposed to the move.

This comes in the wake of a growing number of religious organisations, parents, political parties and education stakeholders who voiced their unhappiness with the proposed curriculum.

The organisations have also demanded a meaningful public participation process before the changes to the life orientation curriculum are made.

By rejecting further discussions on such a sensitive matter, the chairperson for the portfolio committee on basic education, Bongiwe Pricilla Mbinqo-Gigaba, is contributing to stifling the debate.

Her argument that the DA had agreed to the proposal and only changed its stance following a flood of objections from concerned role-players does not hold water.

Is Mbinqo-Gigaba suggesting that the DA should have turned a blind eye to the views of its members because they contradicted its earlier stance on the matter?

We believe that further debate on the CSE would help to enrich the proposal. Any attempts from the department to suppress further engagement on such an emotional issue are likely to have unintended consequences.

We believe that more debate is urgently required to reduce the current dissatisfaction on the sex education curriculum proposal.