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Malawi government to introduce sexuality education

All secondary school pupils in the country will from next academic year start learning Comprehensive Sexual Education (CSE).

CSE Young People Today website describes CSE as an age-appropriate and culturally relevant approach to teaching about sexuality and relationships by providing scientific, accurate, realistic and non-judgmental information.

This was revealed at a capacity building meeting to enhance uptake of CSE and access to sexual reproductive health (SRH) by young people in communities across selected Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) countries currently underway in Harare, Zimbabwe.

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) Malawi Programme Officer, Jessie Kazembe Chisala, said the Malawi secondary school curriculum assessment review started in 2013 and was completed in 2014.

“The process was consultative where a large number of stakeholders, including parents and guardians were consulted. During the review, all subjects, including life skills education were reviewed. For life skills education, the curriculum was reviewed to include a new core subject of sex and sexuality and the new curriculum will be implemented from September 2015,” she said.

According to Kazembe, Unesco has trained 221 secondary school teachers, 240 parents teacher associations in sexuality education.

Unesco Regional HIV and Health Education Adviser, Patricia Machawira, said her organisation strongly believes in the important role education plays in the global response to HIV.

“Schools are a venue for implementing well-designed CSE and that provides knowledge and skills essential for young people to practice safe behaviours,” she said.

Machawira added: “Research tells us that school attendance reduces sexual risk behaviours. Numerous studies on the region are also clearly showing that young people, who attend school, are less likely to initiate sex at an early age than those out of school.”

Information sourced from on Young People Today website indicate that 60 percent of young people from Eastern and Southern Africa lack basic knowledge to prevent HIV due to their limited knowledge to sexuality education.

In 2013, ministers of Health, and Education from 20 African countries, including Malawi, endorsed a commitment to deliver CSE and Sexual Reproductive Health services for young people.

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