Comprehensive sexuality education in six Southern African Countries: Perspectives from learners and teachers

Christine Chawhanda, Temitope Ogunlela, Relebogile Mapuroma, Oludoyinmola Ojifinni, Mulekya F Bwambale, Jonathan Levin, Latifat Ibisomi

Abstract

Comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) promotes young people’s healthy sexual decisions. This study assessed the level of provision of CSE in schools in ten sites in six Southern African countries from the perspectives of learners and teachers. The data was from a needs assessment preceding the baseline evaluation of the SRHR-HIV Knows no Borders Project conducted in ten sites in six Southern African countries. A total of 161 learners from 10 schools and 96 teachers from 96 schools were interviewed. Among the teachers, 82.3% reported CSE was part of the school curriculum. Although basic education policies in Southern African countries are in tandem with international, regional and national policies, complete implementation of the policies remains unfulfilled owing to conflicting policies and socio-cultural values of diverse stakeholders. Awareness campaigns and trainings may help to promote positive perceptions among stakeholders about sensitive CSE topics and the distribution of SRH commodities in schools. (Afr J Reprod Health 2021; 25[3]: 60-71).

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