Sexuality Education In Schools Rejected
Ghanaians have rise up in unison against President Akufo-Addo's government plan to introduce sexuality education for primary one pupils in Ghana.
The Ghana Education Service (GES) is expected to introduce the education into the curriculum of basic schools as part of the guidelines for the Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE).
CSE is to integrate gender, human values and sexual and reproductive health rights perspectives into sexuality education in the country.
It is anticipated through CSE, at age six, Primary One pupils will be introduced to values and societal norms and how to interact with the different sexes and groups.
And as they graduate to the upper primary, they will study different modules of sexuality that include relationship, friendship, dating and courtship.
The guideline module for 11-year-olds in Primary Six includes fertility, pregnancy-related issues, childbirth and respecting gender differences.
But Ghanaians are unhappy with the move, and are pushing for government to abort the plan in the interest of the country.
They cannot fathom why Government seems strongly interested in introducing sexuality to children at such early age when indeed it could introduce other courses in civics, culture and or tradition, among others.
Some safe sex and child rights advocates have also joined the crusade against the implementation of the programme, leaving many to wonder whether the Akufo-Addo's administration which prides itself as a “listening government” would have its way to the detriment of the wishes of the masses.
Churches, Teachers Resist
Teachers and churches in the country have equally registered their displeasure over the move.
President of the Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council (GPCC), Rev. Prof. Frimpong Manso has stated that the Churches will resist it if the GES dares to force it on pupils.
The GPCC which is made up of over 200 church denominations in Ghana believes the plan to begin teaching CSE in all public schools to children from five years upwards is satanic.
Also, the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) has observed that it was not consulted.
In addition, the Concerned Teachers Association of Ghana has revealed that teachers in the country are not aware of the CSE course.
Earlier this year, Ghana and the United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) launched the CSE programme which is to be implemented in five other countries.
It is in a bid to empower adolescents and young people to deepen their scope of existing activities to attain a Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE).
Other countries expected to implement the CSE programme are Eswatini, Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Over 20 million learners in 64,000 primary and secondary schools are expected to be reached on the Programme, as well as 47,000 pre-service teachers and 367,000 in-service teachers.
The Programme is also expected to reach 30 million people including parents, guardians, religious leaders, and young people out of school through community engagement activities and ten million young people through other platforms.
However, members of the public are highly likely not to allow the programme see the light of day as they intensify their resistance.
Renowned law lecturer and fierce critic of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) movement, Moses Foh-Amoaning, has raised a conspiracy theory into the debate, saying government was 'pushing' an LGBT agenda with the CSE.
Mr. Foh-Amoaning is the Executive Secretary and the Spokesperson for the National Coalition for Proper Human Sexual Rights and Family Values.
According to him, some texts and modules in the curriculum that will guide the CSE programme in Ghana resonate with LGBT activism.
But the Executive Director of the National Population Council, one of the promoters of the curriculum, Dr Leticia Adelaide Appiah, has clarified that the focus of the CSE is to empower children to make the right choices when parents, religious leaders fail to play their roles.
In trying to justify government's decision to introduce the programme, she indicated that teenage pregnancy was high in the country and that in every 1,000 adolescents, there were record cases of 140 teenage pregnancies.
“It is 16 in 1000 adolescents in the developed countries, in China it is seven in 1000. These should guide what we do or don't do,” she said.
“This will provide an opportunity for young people to develop and understand their values, attitudes, and insights about sexuality,” she stated.