Uproar over Comprehensive Sexuality Education
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This is according to the South Africa Teachers Union‘s operational director Johan Kruger, who added that the implementation would be unacceptable.
Comprehensive Sexuality Education has been in the spotlight following a media report that from next year, textbooks for Grade 4 to 12 learners would include a curriculum approach that treats masturbation, sexual consent, gender non-conformity and single-parent families as mainstream.
Kruger said the union indicated to its members to leave the curriculum out if not comfortable with it, adding that there would be support provided if action was taken against them.
“This is totally unacceptable. We have actually indicated to our members that if they are uncomfortable to teach this curriculum they can leave it out and if there is action taken against them we will support them,” he said.
Kruger said the teachers needed training as it was a difficult topic to teach.
“It is important that teachers get training in order to be able to handle this topic and present to learners.
“I was a school principal myself, and it is not every teacher that can actually provide sexual orientation education to learners. You have to have training to do it because it is a difficult topic.”
In addition, he said pupils were not ready emotionally, and the implementation would just confuse them even more.
“Children are definitely not ready for this stuff it is very explicit information. Pupils in Grade 4 are emotionally not intelligent to handle this information.
“The information is not applicable for children in that grade and age. You are going to confuse a child even more.”
The curriculum has caused concerns, with some parents questioning why their children should be exposed to such topics at school.
The department previously said the new curriculum would be targeted at Grade 4 to 12 learners and cover healthy lifestyles to sex education.
It said Grade 4 learners would be taught in the most appropriate and sensitive way about how babies were conceived, among other topics.
Last week, the ACDP lambasted the department, calling it to rather focus on improving the appalling state of literacy and numeracy in schools instead of teaching children about sex and masturbation.