Minister of General Education David Mabumba says government carefully analyses all content related to Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) before it is incorporated into the school curriculum to ensure that it is not at variance with Zambia’s cultural and religious beliefs.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Ministers Conference on Education, Science and Technology in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Mabumba said although Zambia subscribed to International treaties and Conventions that promote CSE in schools, countries had national systems of choosing what kind of content was appropriate for its citizens.
This is according to a statement issued by Zambia’s First Secretary for Press in Ethiopia, Inutu Mupango Mwanza.
He said the major source of concern that had been topical even at the conference was deciding on what age is appropriate for the introduction of CSE as the target for this kind of education in Africa was mainly pupils in primary schools.
The Minister said Zambia couldn’t avoid introducing sexuality education in schools because it was signatory to International treaties that stated that sexuality education and health was a fundamental right for pupils.
He said the 2014 curriculum of CSE targeted to resolve vices such as early marriages, preventive measures from HIV and general sexual behavior of both girls and boys.
And Mabumba said Zambia would next year introduce Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics -STEM- in schools to encourage pupils to have an interest in innovation when they as are still at a tender age,
He said it was not enough for government to promote innovation when pupils left schools but wanted children to have an interest in innovation before completing their school so as to encourage more pupils to enroll for engineering and technological studies at Universities.
The Minister said Government was committed to ensuring that it produced more innovators for sustainable national development.
Meanwhile, Zambia’s Permanent Representative to the African Union Emmanuel Mwamba said he was pleased that the Ministry of Education in Zambia was implementing the program by taking into consideration concerns.
He said CSE had been categorized as too graphic, not age appropriate, offended cultural, religious, social norms, and potentially broke the legal environment of Africa.