The education ministry will not introduce sex education to curb teenage pregnancies but will instead bring a comprehensive subject that will deal with the issue, the ministry’s public relations officer Absalom Absalom has told The Villager
The programme, sexuality education is a cross-curricular subject and has already been introduced in Grade 1 to address issues of sexual abuse.
“Sexuality education is already built into the Life Skills Curriculum and is not a separate subject. The ministry aims to empower teachers to be able to teach sexuality education better to ensure that learners are equipped with the correct information to allow them to make responsible and healthy decisions about their sexual and reproductive health and rights. All research shows that when learners are empowered with the correct information they are less likely to engage in sexual activity, and their sexual debut is delayed,” he said.
He added that the ministry has revised the education policy for prevention and management of learner pregnancies and the sector policy on the Prevention and Management of Learner Pregnancy was conducted in collaboration with UNICEF and Harvard University.
Absalom also said that the review took into consideration the contextual factors that impact on learner pregnancy and identified the gender and sexual norms in Namibian society, power imbalances between men and women; poverty; low socioeconomic status, living in rural areas and significant risk-factors for learner pregnancy.
“Learner pregnancy is a multi-dimensional issue, and not one policy can be sufficient in addresses the issues surrounding learner pregnancy. Parents and community stakeholders must be involved in the implementation of interventions to address learner pregnancy. Reproductive Health (SRH) issues at home as research has shown that SRH education has a big impact on the reduction of learner pregnancy,” he said.