King Zwelithini blasts sex education plans for Grade 4 learners
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Durban - King Goodwill Zwelithini has blasted plans by the Department of Education to introduce sex education to Grade 4 learners at primary schools.
Last year, the department's revelation that they plan to teach Grade 4 learners about sex received criticism around the country.
Speaking on Saturday at the Battle of Isandlwana Commemoration in Nquthu, King Zwelithini said that these plans were an insult to parents, children and teachers alike.
"I am shocked because those who say that children should be taught about sex at such a young age are the very same people who criticise virginity testing of maidens and say that we are violating our children's rights.
"What is befalling us, has God kept us so that we can see this rubbish?
"This thing is happening at a time when we are trying to build these kids and get them on the correct and righteous path," said the king.
"This will violate the rights of the teachers, who are also parents, and the children themselves. Can you imagine a teacher who is a grandmother, a grandfather, a mother and a father to a child teaching that child about sex?
"To me, as your king, this does not go down well," said King Zwelithini.
He questioned whether the country and parents of schoolgoing children had been consulted and allowed to comment on the issue before a decision was taken.
"Have the grandmothers, grandfathers, mother and fathers who are teachers been given an opportunity to point out that the way that they were brought up is not in line with teaching children sex at a young age?"
"As the parents of these children have you been approached on this matter? Are they implementing something that you as parents have agreed to? I don't know, maybe my mind is confused but I don't know whether they have thought it through that these children with the knowledge of what sex is before their time may want to experiment and end up raping those very teachers?"
Imagine these children ganging up on a female teacher, particularly at a time when the safety of teachers in schools and the schools themselves in such a terrible state," said the king.
He also said that children of policymakers often do not attend the same schools where they want this topic to be introduced, but instead, they went to private school with different international-based curriculums.
"It is common for bad things to be introduced to our schools in the rural areas and in the cities while the private schools follow totally different curriculums.
"I have a problem with this, and something that needs to be followed up on is to check which schools the children of those wanting to implement this go to, since they want to teach our young children this," King Zwelithini said.