A PRIVATE member’s motion which was moved by Chembe PF member of parliament Sebastian Kopulande, urging government to suspend the teaching of Comprehensive Sexuality Education in schools pending wider consultations with stakeholders, has been rejected by the House.
This was after the majority members of parliament voted against it.
Kopulande moved the motion on Wednesday which was seconded by Chienge FDD member of parliament Given Katuta.
However, the members of parliament from the executive who debated the motion yesterday were against it.
Tourism and Arts Minister Ronald Chitotela said he did not support the motion as Vice-President Inonge Wina had guided on the same, saying government would be advised by the technical team that would be constituted to look into the matter.
“I do not support the motion. PF is a very organised organisation that recognises authority and the hierarchy. Yes, we could have heard concerns by other stakeholders out there and that is the more reason why the Vice-President [Inonge Wina] came to this House and assured those with concerns who are also key stakeholders of government and said ‘yes, we have listened to your concerns but we are not technical to come up with a position. We shall form a technical working group that is going to encompass people that are raising concerns for and those that are speaking against’,” said Chitotela.
Deputy Chief Whip Tutwa Ngulube said the motion appeared to be a BID motion.
“This motion appears not to have come in good faith so it died the moment it arrived on the order paper,” said Ngulube.
General Education Minister Dennis Wanchinga, Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo, National Guidance and Religious Affairs Minister Godfridah Sumaili also debated and opposed the motion.
Earlier, Keembe UPND member of parliament Princess Kasune opposed the motion, saying she was saddened when she saw it on the order paper.
“I am one of the few world renowned HIV positive publicly known lawmakers in the world. Secondly, I have tried to share how I was one of those few teenage mothers at the age of 18. By the time I was in my early eighteens, I had already been married off. So for me, when I speak to this issue, not only do I speak with expertise, not only do I speak passionately about it, but also, it affects, most importantly, our girls. We had an opportunity to interrogate this Comprehensive Sexuality Education in the committee on health and we were exposed to the curriculum. I kept thinking to myself, I almost had tears dropping, wishing I had this education when I was a younger person,” said Kasune.
“When you look at the early marriages in our constituencies, it’s not surprising that when school starts, our young people are in numbers, especially the girls. But because of lack of Comprehensive Sexuality Education, by the time our young girls are in Grade seven, they are fewer. Yet when you compare the same numbers in higher education, let’s say 10th grade, 11th grade, the girls stabilize because they have the information.”
And winding up the debate, Kopulande said he was satisfied that he belongs to a party (PF) which espouses intellectual freedom.
In his motion, Kopulande had said the Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) was an intrusion into Zambia’s Christian, cultural and moral values through the sexualisation of children.
Speaking, Wednesday, when he presented the private member’s motion in Parliament, he argued that CSE was highly explicit and promoted radical sexual ideologies and behaviours that conflicted with the country’s religious and cultural values, hence the need to suspend it from the school curriculum.
“Children need guidance and whatever information we give children, we are teaching them. Unlike traditional sexual education where sex is taught with regards to age of the child, CSE is highly explicit and promotes radical sexual ideologies and behaviours that conflict with our religious and cultural values. As a people, Zambians pride themselves as a Christian nation as enshrined in our Republican Constitution. In addition, we have entrenched cultural values and morals, which have helped to shape our attitudes, beliefs and behaviours from generation to generation. Therefore, the introduction of CSE in our schools without full consultation with key stakeholders is not only morally enslaving, but is an anathema to the very core values that we are defined as a people since time immemorial,” Kopulande argued, as nominated member of parliament Raphael Nakachinda supported the motion by emphasising the need for dialogue to prevail on the matter.