Basic Education Angie Motshekga. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency(ANA)

Cape Town - Teachers who refuse to teach comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) face being hauled before a disciplinary hearing by the Basic Education Department.

This is according to Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, who indicated this in a written response to a parliamentary question posed by DA MP Nomsa Marchesi.

Marchesi asked what action would be taken against educators who refused to teach CSE based on moral or religious objections. CSE has in recent months sparked outrage after explicit content and pictorial representations in some of its scripted lesson plans appeared in public.

Marchesi also asked what support the department provided to teachers who were not comfortable teaching the curriculum.

Motshekga maintained that teachers were provided with a three-day training course that would cover the content and teaching methodologies used. This, she said, included how to use the scripted lesson plans and lesson demonstrations. “Subject advisers are also provided with coaching and mentoring training to be able to provide continuous support to teachers during implementation.”

Marchesi yesterday could not be reached for comment to further respond to Motshekga’s stance.

Freedom Front Plus MP Wynand Boshoff said CSE had been piloted at some schools, but that “teething” challenges experienced during the piloting phase had to be sorted out.

“They failed to positively respond to the findings of the report in a way of playing open cards.” National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of SA president Basil Manuel said: “The reply is arrogant and does not consider the real situation.”

Manuel also said nobody would know what went on inside the classroom, but his union encouraged teachers to teach the curriculum. “We agree that there is nothing wrong with the curriculum as it is. It’s the teaching material that is problematic Some of the material is shocking.”

National Teachers Union president Allen Thompson said they were happy with the last workshop they had with the director-general where CSE was supposed to be part of the agenda but was subsequently withdrawn.

“As much they never shared details, we ask ourselves what the reason is for hiding information from teachers.”

He said union members had expressed discomfort after they received their CSE textbooks. “We have decided to wait for the department to formally pronounce on what we are supposed to teach.”

Sadtu could not be reached for comment at the time of going to print.

Political Bureau