3. Department Basic Education: SRH Education in schools

Page 1

UCT Symposium

Taboobreaker Love Land

Education in

Ms Managa Pillay

schools 10th October 2022
Context • South Africa – population: 58,8 million at latest count • 30% (17 million - under the age of 30) • Schooling system – 26 000 schools, 400 000 educators, 14 million learners • Schools are a microcosm of the SA society – vulnerabilities of this cohort felt within its walls

Intersecting vulnerabilities (educational outcomes)

Enrolment and retention Drop out Performance Violence Gender stereotypes Customary practices Rural vs Urban Natural disasters Hunger Low quality teaching Lack of enabling school environment HIV &AIDS, TB + COVID19 Lack of Social Security Orphan hood and Child headed households Grief and trauma Disability Poverty


Key Issues affecting young * (Framed CSE development)

Access to contraceptives Unsafe abortions


including gender-based violence


Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)

Orientation and Gender


*UNESCO International Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education, 2018



Priority areas




Comprehensive, coordinated, multi-sectoral response to addressing barriers to learning and development
prevent children
right to education. • Strengthening systems • Partnership • Integrated package of care and support • Legal and policy mandate

DBE National Policy for HIV, STIs and TB : Health goals

DBE Approach

Technical Guidance for SE

Rights-based; scientifically accurate age appropriate; contextual; relevant knowledge, skills, values & attitudes

Evidencebased Focal Issues:

Life Skills


Conceptual integration

/ Life
- Sexual reproductive health and rights - Gender equity and equality - Rights of Gender diverse minorities - Stigma and discrimination - Framed in a series of policies, frameworks, guidelines - Engages both the curriculum and cocurricular spaces - Two definitive streams

Comprehensive Sexuality Education


significant strides

– Review of CAPS against the ITGSE – Gaps come to the fore – Development of SLPs – significant resource – Alignment of Open source text book – Related resources – Creation of enabling spaces within schools and communities – advocacy piece

What is Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE)

CSE is a curriculum-based process of teaching and learning about the cognitive, emotional, physical and social aspects of sexuality.

CSE is offered in formal setting, scientifically accurate, culturally relevant, based on human rights approach, age and developmentally-appropriate: (UNESCO, 2018)

CSE aims to equip children and young people with knowledge, skills, attitudes and values that will empower them to:

§ realize their health, well-being and dignity;

§ develop respectful social and sexual relationships;

Sexuality Education:

Addresses relationships - Addresses the whole person: psychological, emotional, mental and physiological aspects of the human being


Includes morals, life skills and values

§ Consider how their choices affect their own well-being and that of others and

§ Understand and ensure the protection of their rights throughout their lives.


Concerns and misconceptions of CSE in South Africa


CSE leads to early sexual initiation

CSE leads to later debut and more responsible sexual behaviour

CSE deprives children of their innocence

Evidence shows that children benefit from receiving appropriate information that is scientifically accurate, non-judgmental and age and developmentally appropriate

CSE goes against our culture or religion

CSE stresses the need to engage with the local contexts including engagements with traditional leaders, religious communities and local stakeholders. CSE addresses harmful social norms and negative practices that are not in line with human rights or that increase vulnerability and risk, especially for young women and girls

Concerns and misconceptions of CSE in South Africa


Teaching masturbation in Grade 4 No masturbation topic in Grade 4 topics

Teaching of sexual pleasure in the curriculum The focus of the SA curriculum is not on sexual pleasure but on prevention of HIV, STIs, early and unintended pregnancy, healthy lifestyle choices and avoidance of risky behaviours using a rights based approach

Teaching of UNESCO ITGSE LO Curriculum is based on SA context. The ITGSE was adjusted to strengthen the content of the CAPS topics. There are no new topics.

It is the role of parents to educate children about sexuality Parents play an important role in educating young people about sexuality. However, CSE complements this role by providing holistic education in a safe and supportive environment


Concerns and misconceptions of CSE in South Africa


The CSE is using pornographic imagery Images used in the curriculum are based on protocols and standards set by the DBE that ensures protection of human dignity and rights and does not expose learners to offensive content

Teaching of types of sex in the curriculum

The CSE in the CAPS focuses on the total person and is teaching age-appropriate content that focuses on relationships, life skills, values and does not teach learners how to have any form of sex

CSE will be rolled out without teacher training and teachers are expected to teach new content they are not comfortable with

Since 2000, the Department has been providing in-service teacher training on Life Skills and Life Orientation. Training manuals on the Sexuality Education Scripted Lessons Plans has also been developed to build the capacity of LO educators to deliver the strengthened content

CSE Implementation approach

Teach CSE through Scripted Lesson Plans for grades 4-12 ages 10-19

Provide orientation to SGB members in addressing adolescent and youth challenges through CSE Sensitise School Management Teams to support educators in CSE implementation

Parental Support through SGBs (Home)

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Scripted Lesson Plans (Classroom)

Train Officials & LO Educators on the use of CSE SLPs

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Learner & Educator Mentorship (Outside Class)

The Learner

School Management Support (School)

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Access to ASRH Services (Health Facility & School- based)

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Identify leaders (Ambassadors) to support behaviour change of learners. Mentoring and coaching of educators. Strengthen linkages and referrals to services and referrals

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through curriculum

Included in Life Skills and Life Orientation (LO) since 2000

to Curriculum Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS)

- Aligned
- Constructed on the following key themes which are sensitively scaffolded across the curriculum: – Relationships – Values, Rights, Culture and Sexuality – Understanding Gender – Violence and Staying Safe – Skills for Health and Well-being – The Human Body and Development – Sexuality and Sexual Behaviour – Sexual and Reproductive Health

Life Skills

MTV Shuga


Peer Education


Representative Council of


Champions Ambassadors

Scripted Lesson Plans

SLPs - designed to assist educators to teach scientifically accurate, evidenceinformed, incremental, age appropriate and culturally appropriate SE within the Life Skills and LO CAPS in the classroom.

Educator Guides and Learner Books Grades 4 – 12

Development of

SLPs SLPs aligned to the Life Skills / Life orientation Annual Teaching Plans 80 Activity-based (Grades 4 to 12) SLPs - scripted for both teachers and learners: Educator Guide and Learner Book • Review of Curriculum against the ITGSE • Established gaps in content Key: challenges of educators in teaching the content • SCRIPTED LESSON PLAN Development –main focus and a immediate win !!! - Is a Tool that scripts a lesson for the educator: - Content - Pedagogy (How) – participatory to ensure maximum learner engagement and knowledge acquisition § Rights based § Scientifically accurate § Age appropriate and contextual § Relevant knowledge, skills, values & attitudes § Evidence-based § Graded § Conceptual progression and integration § Classroom-based andfocused

SLPs content per phase, grade and age

Intermediate Grade 4-6 (10-12yrs)

Senior Phase Grade 7-9 (13-15yrs)

FET Phase

10-12 (16-18yrs)

Safety of learners empower them against abuse and bullying (basis for GBV later). Link learners to psycho social services (PSS).

Risk reduction, contraception and HIV prevention messages, prevent SGBV and provides information to the learner to make the right choices. Link to health services.

Risk reduction messages, contraception and support the learner to finish matric and lead a productive adult life post high school. Link to health services.



Advocacy & Mobilisation Campaign Radio – CSE radio series (community radio) TV – Breaking the Silence series Digital Platforms / Social Media –social influencers Jamborees Community based activities advocacy

Implementation lessons

CSE SLPs were easy to implement in schools where SMTs, SGBs and parents were sensitised (ENABLING ENVIRONMENT)

Provincial and district officials cofacilitated training was very effective when it came to implementation. (INSTITUTIONALISATION)

Community engagement and work with parents is critical to its success


Educators with educator and learner books were more likely to implement than those who did not have books.


Critical that educators get support in and outside the classroomstakeholders support for CSE Implementation

Learners really need support hence linkage to health, care and support is critical (DEMAND CREATION)

Where to from here (future plans)

Increase coverage of CSE

Strengthen multi-sectoral partnershipspursue strategies to shift negative behavioural patterns and narratives

Increase access to youth-friendly SRH services

Implement the recommendations of the South Africa Sexuality Education Review and Assessment Tool (SERAT) to identify areas of strength and weakness.

Strengthen monitoring (scale-up & quality) of the implementation of CSE

Continue to invest in both pre-service and in-service teacher training

Explore implementation of CSE for learners with disability

Integrated School Health Programme


– Policy 2012 – currently under review – Made provisions for Health Services within schools (important strategy in achieving Education for All – better educational outcomes – Children spend formative years in school - ideal opportunity for health education – Brought partners together, focused on providing services – More systematic approach – Health Education critical component – places SHR here, extends to the cocurricular space – SHR – on site (dual protection – HIV, STIs, pregnancy) – provision of HCT


Guidelines for Schools to involve parents in the ISHP

– 2017 • To guide practical implementation with parents • Information on provision of SRH services • SRH services if required • Sensitive matter – parents MUST be informed – Provision of Sexual and Reproductive Health Services in Schools – Lit review – 2018 • Access to SRH (and CSE) services is desirable in schools • Review found substantive lack of data on the provision of SRH services • Models exist – general absence of full package – defer to private provision of SRH services • School based services – condom provision and contraceptive access – remains controversial – Report of the consultation of Learners, Educators and Parents on the provision of SRHS to leaners in high schools – 2019 • Looked at understanding, accessibility and acceptability of SHR services in school • Need for additional and improved education, SHR was limited (HIV and abstinence) • Need for increased access to comprehensive information and advise • Educators – discomfort and lack capacity (not the preferred source) • Parents often not the appropriate source – negative and authoritarian styles, social and cultural norms and taboo • Suggested mobile platforms – preferable over peers – SOPs for provision of SRHRs and Social Services in Secondary Schools – 2019 • Guidance on how – learners in secondary schools

Reflections – What are we doing ‘wrong’

International Conference on Population and Development(1994):

- Reproductive health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well -being

- Not merely the absence of disease or infirmity

- People are able to have a satisfying and safe sex life with capability and freedom of choice

Sexual health:

- Includes aspects of sexuality that move beyond reproduction

- Recognises that people have sex for the purposes of pleasure and have health needs related to such sexual activity

- Requires a positive approach to human sexuality

- By recognising sexual health and sexual rights – health and education systems can prevent and treat the consequence of sexual violence, discrimination and coercion….

United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Africa Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child:

- When sexual and reproductive rights are recognised and giving access to age appropriate SRH information – young people are able to deal with the practice and outcomes of sex in a responsible and respectful way with satisfying relationships – respect and mutual concern


Issues related to sex and sexuality – framed within the morality (in the dark and under the covers)

• Young people are not to be seen as sexual beings

• CSE removed the focus on sex for pleasure - silent (sex for pleasure)

broader social issues (sexual diversity)

• Educators are not formally trained to teach CSE at the scale that is needed (lobbying higher education)

Content is constantly evolving – need a brand that finds young people and a brand that appeals

Consistent, persistent, pervasive messaging

Work of Haley McEwen

organised counter-movement (pro-family, anti-progressive international opposition to SRHRs


Thank You Thank You

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