Teacher approaches, attitudes, and challenges to sexuality education: A case study of three junior high schools in Ghana

Benedict E. Ocran

Abstract

While school-based sexuality education programs are established to reduce risky sexual behaviour among young people, teachers who play a central role are challenged by social factors which affect program outcomes. This study aimed to investigate the training and support offered to teachers on the delivery of sex education in three contrasting Junior High Schools in Ghana, the attitudes and approaches to the delivery of sex education, and the response of students to teacher delivery of sex education. A qualitative study design was employed with 13 in-depth interviews with head teachers, teachers, and students. Although teachers received similar training, teachers adopted different attitudes and approaches which resulted in student accounts of disinterest in sex education programs. Applying the health-promoting schools framework, the study concluded that the individual values and attitudes, as well as the type of school support, affects teacher modes of delivery and influences student interest in sex education, and should be considered in the design of in-school sex education programs. (Afr J Reprod Health 2021; 25[4]: 153-166).

Full Text:

PDF

References

Kirby DB. Sex and HIV education in schools. BMJ 1994,

(4), 349-364.

Kirby DB. A review of educational programs designed to

reduce sexual risk-taking behaviours among school aged youth in the United States. National Technical Information Service: Washington DC, US.1998.

UNESCO. Strategy on Education for Health and

Wellbeing: Contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals. Accessed July 22, 2021. Available from: https://unescodoc.org/ark:/48223/pf0000246453.

UNESCO and UNFPA. Emerging Evidence, Lessons and

Practice in Comprehensive Sexuality Education. 2015. Accessed July 22, 2021. Available from: https://www.unfpa.org/sites/default/files/pub-pdf/CSE_Global_Review_2015.pdf.

UNESCO. International technical guidance on sexuality

education: An evidence-informed approach. 2018. Accessed July 22, 2021. Available from: https://www.unaids.org/sites/default/files/media_asset/ITGSE_en.pdf.

UNESCO. International technical guidance on sex

education: Topics and learning objectives. 2009. Accessed July 22, 2021. Available from: unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0018/001832/183281e.pdf.

UNESCO EFA GMR. Education for All 2000-2015:

achievements and challenges trends in Government expenditure for Public Education, 2011-13. 2015. Accessed July 22, 2021. Available from: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0023/002324/232476e.pdf.

UNFPA. UNFPA operational guidance for

comprehensive sexuality education; A gender and human rights focus.2014. Accessed July 22, 2021. Available from: http://www.unfpa.org/sites/default/files/pub.

UNESCO. Emerging evidence, lessons, and practice of

comprehensive sexuality education. 2015.Accessed July 22, 2021. Available from: https://www.unfpa.org/sites/default/files/pubpdf/CSE_Global_Review_2015.pdf

UNESCO Institute for Statistics. New Methodology

Shows that 258 Million Children, Adolescents and Youth Are Out of School. 2019. Accessed July 22, 2021. Available from: http://uis.unesco.org/sites/default/files/documents/new-methodology-shows- 258-million-children-adolescents-and-youth-are-out-school.pdf 2019.

Haberland N and Rogow D. Sexuality Education:

Emerging Trends in Evidence and Practice. JAH, 2015; 56, S15-S21.

Kirby DB. The impact of abstinence and comprehensive

sex and STD/HIV education programs on adolescent sexual behaviour, Sexuality Research & Social Policy 2008, 5(3): 18–27.

Advocates for Youth. Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage

Programs: Ineffective, Unethical, and Poor Public Health. Accessed July 22, 2021. Available from: https://www.advocatesforyouth.org/wpcontent/uploads/storage//advfy/documents/pbabonly.pdf.

Stranger-Hall KF and Hall DW. Comprehensive sex

education for teens is more effective than abstinence. PLOS One 2001, 6(10), e24658.

UNHCR. The Right to health. Accessed July 21, 2021.

Available from: https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Publications/Factsheet31.pdf.

UNFPA. Programme of Action of the International

Conference on Population and Development. Accessed July 22, 2021. Available from: https://www.unfpa.org/sites/default/files/pubpdf/programme_of_action_Web%20EN GLISH.pdf.

Wangamati CK. Comprehensive sexuality education in

sub-Saharan Africa: adaptation and implementation challenges in universal access for children and adolescents, Sexual and Reproductive Health Matters, 2020;28(2):56–61.

Wekesah MK, Nyakangi V, Onguss M, Njagi J and Banga

M. Comprehensive Sexuality Education in Sub-Saharan Africa. Nairobi, Kenya: African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC). 2019. Accessed July 24, 2021. Available from: https://aphrc.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/CSE-in-SSA-FINAL-2019.pdf.

Keogh SC, Stillman M, Awusabo-Asare K, Sidze E,

Monzón AS, Motta A and Leong, E. Challenges to Implementing National Comprehensive Sexuality Education Curricula in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: Case Studies of Ghana, Kenya, Peru and Guatemala. PLOS ONE. 2018; 13(7): e0200513. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0200513.

Smith J. Improving Adolescent Access to Contraception

in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Review of the Evidence. African Journal of Reproductive Health .2020; 24 (1):164.

Kassa GM, Arowojolu AO, Odukogbe, AA,

and Alemayehu WY. Prevalence and determinants of adolescent pregnancy in Africa: a systematic review and Metanalysis. Reproductive Health 2018, 15(195).

Lindgren-Dwyer L, Cork MA, Sligar AS and Krista M.

Mapping HIV prevalence in sub-Saharan Africa between 2000 and 2017. Nature volume. 2019; 570:189–193.

WHO. HIV/AIDS. Accessed July 23, 2021. Available

from: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/hiv-aids.

Ocran BE, Talboys S and Shoaf K, Young peoples’

perspectives on multiple approaches to HIV/AIDS education in schools: A case study of selected schools in the Agormanya sentinel site of the Lower Manya Krobo District in the Eastern Region of Ghana. 2018. Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of Utah.

UNESCO. Facing the facts: the case for comprehensive

sexuality education. Accessed July 22, 2021. Available from: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000368231.

Panchaud C, Keogh SC, Stillman M, Awusabo-Asare, K,

Motta A, Sidze E and Monzon AS. Towards comprehensive sexuality education: a comparative analysis of the policy environment surrounding school-based sexuality education in Ghana, Peru, Kenya, and Guatemala. Sex Education 2018. Accessed July 23, 2021. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1080/14681811.2018.1533460.

Ogolla MA and Ondia M. Assessment of the

Implementation of Comprehensive Sexuality Education in Kenya. African Journal of Reproductive Health, 2019; 23(2):110-120.

Melesse DY, Mutua MK, Choudhury A, Yohannes D,

Neal S and Boerma T. Adolescent sexual and reproductive health in sub-Saharan Africa: who is left behind? BMJ Global Health 2020 ;5: e002231.

Keogh SC, Stillman M, Leong E, Awusabo-Asare K,

Sidze E, Monzón AS and Motta A. Measuring the quality of sexuality education implementation at the school level in low-and middle-income countries, Sex Education, 2020 20:2, 119137, DOI: 10.1080/14681811.2019.1625762.

UNESCO and UNFPA. Comprehensive Sexuality

Education Evidence and promising practices in West and Central Africa. Accessed July 22, 2021. Available from: https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/VF_Brochure%20CSE_EN_WCARO%20%281%29.pdf.

UNESCO and Guttmacher Institute. From ideas to action:

Addressing barriers to comprehensive sexuality education in the classroom. Accessed July 22, 2021. Available from: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000371091.

Awusabo-Asare K, Stillman M, Keogh S, Doku DT,

Kumi-Kyereme A and Esia Donkoh K. From Paper to Practice: Sexuality Education Policies and Their Implementation in Ghana. Guttmacher Institute: New York, US, 2017. Accessed July 23, 2021. Available from: https://www.guttmacher.org/sites/default/files/report_pdf/sexuality-education-ghana-report.pdf.

Ghana Statistical Service. Ghana Demographic and

Health Survey. Accessed July 22, 2021. Available from:https://www.dhsprogram.com/pubs/pdf/FR221/FR221[13Aug2012].pdf. 2008.

Stop CSE.org. Protect Ghana Children Petition! Accessed

July 22, 2021. Available from: https://www.comprehensivesexualityeducation.org/international-map/ghana/. 2019.

Adu-Baffour, C. Comprehensive Sexuality Education not

approved for basic schools-Govt. Daily Graphic. 2019. Accessed 22nd July, 2021. Available from: https://www.graphic.com.gh/news/general-news/

ghana-newscomprehensive-sexuality-education-not-approved-for-basic-schools-govt.html.

Ghana Education Service. School Health Education

policy guidelines. Ghana Education Service: Accra, Ghana; 2012.

Ghana Education Service. HIV/AIDS Alert School Model.

Ghana Education Service: Accra, Ghana; 2007.

Ghana Education Service. Guidelines for the Enhanced

School Health Education Programme(e-SHEP). Ghana Education Service: Accra, Ghana; 2015.

Ghana Education Service and UNICEF. Life Skills Based

School Health Education: A manual for Peer Educators in Junior High Schools. Ghana Education Service: Accra, Ghana; 2014.

Ghana Education Service. Enhanced School Health

Education Manual. Ghana Education Service: Accra, Ghana; 2013.

Ghana Health Service. Adolescence Health Policy and

Strategy (2026-2020). Accessed July 22, 2021. Available from:

https://www.afro.who.int/sites/default/files/201710/ADOLESCENT%20HEALTH%20SERVICE%20POLICY%20%20AND%20STRATEGY.pdf.

Ghana Health Service. Reproductive Health Strategic

Plan 2007-2011. Accessed July 22, 2021. Available from: http://www.moh.gov.gh/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/GHS- Reproductive-Health-Strategic-Plan-FINAL.pdf.

GSS and MoH. Ghana Demography and Health Survey

Accessed July 22, 2021. Available from: http://www.dhsprogram.com/pubs/pdf/FR221/FR221[13Aug2012].pdf.

Vanwesenbeeck I, Westeneng J, de Boer T, Reinders J

and van Zorge R. Lessons learned from a decade implementing Comprehensive Sexuality Education in resource poor settings: The World Starts With Me. Sex Education 2016, 16(5):471-486, doi:10.1080/14681811.2015.1111203.

UNESCO. International Technical Guidance on Sexuality

Education: An Evidence Informed Approach. Accessed July 22, 2021. Available from: http://www.unaids.org/sites/default/files/media_asset/ITGSE_en.pdf.2018.

Dooris M. Healthy settings: challenges to generating

evidence of effectiveness. Health Promotion International 2005; 21(1):55-65.

WHO. What is health promoting school? 2016. Accessed

July 21,2021. Available from: http://www.who.int/school_youth_health/gshi/hps/en/.

IUHPE. Facilitating dialogue between the Health and

Education Sectors to advance School Health promotion and education. Accessed July 22, 2021. Available from:

www.iuhpe.org/index.html?page516〈=en.

Ahinkorah BO, Hagan JE, Abdul-Aziz S, Mintah JK,

Sambah S, Schack T and Hormenu T. Examining Pregnancy Related Socio-Cultural Factors Among Adolescent Girls in the Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem Municipality in the Central Region of Ghana: A Case-Control Study. Frontiers in Public Health 2019, 7(93): 1-9, doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2019.00093.

Britwum, AO, Akorsu, |AD, Agbesinyale, PK and Aikins

KS. Case study on girls who have dropped out of school due to pregnancy and factors facilitating and/or preventing their re-entry into school after delivery. UNICEF. 2017. Accessed July 22, 2021. Available from https://www.unicef.org/ghana/media/1361/file/UN263291.pdf. 2017.

King, N. What is template analysis? Basic description of

approach. Accessed July 22, 2021. Available from: http://www.hud.ac.uk/hhs/research/template-analysis/what-is-template-analysis/.

UNESCO. International technical guidance on sex

education: Topics and learning objectives. Accessed July 22, 2021. Available from http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0018/001832/183281e.pdf.

WHO. Health-promoting schools: A healthy setting for

living and working. Accessed July 22, 2021. Available from: www.who.int/school_youth_health/media/en/92.pdf

WHO. Schools and pre-schools promoting health and

well-being for all children and adolescents. 2016. Accessed July 22, 2021. Available from: http://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/324658/Thematic-Paper-2-Education.pdf.

Young H, Shek DTL, Leung E and Shek EYW.

Development of Contextually-relevant Sexuality: Education: Lessons from a Comprehensive Review of Adolescent Sexuality Education Across Cultures. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(621):1-24.

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.