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NGO kicks up a storm over sex education in 50 schools

Bernard Gitau @benagitau

The Education ministry could be caught up a controversy following claims by a local non-governmental organisation that pupils aged five were being taught homosexuality and abortion.

The pupils are reportedly being exposed to   and unauthorised and uncensored information on homosexuality through  computer-based World Starts With Me (WSWM) programme.

CitizenGO Africa named 50 schools where it claimed the comprehensive sex education have been going on for years.

It revealed it had raised the red flag in a letter to the Education Cabinet secretary Amina Mohamed but she never responded.

The NGO first came to the limelight recently when it wrote to the Health ministry protesting the closure of Marie Stopes clinic for allegedly offering abortion services.

CitizenGO campaigns manager Ann Kioko yesterday accused Amina of disregarding the letter seeking quick action.

“The teachings are undertaken under World Starts With Me curriculum, which we have in our possession and has been rolled out in over 50 schools,” she said.

Parental roles

Kioko described as chilling the content of the curriculum, saying it also teaches masturbation, access to contraceptives for even five-year-olds, sex as a right, erosion of parental roles and promiscuity.

“We have the list of schools which are teaching comprehensive sexuality education in Kenya under the partnership of Sexual Reproductive Health Rights Alliance (SRHR) Kenya and the Comprehensive Sexual Education (CSE) Alliance,” she said.

Butterfly Works and the World Population Foundation (WPF) developed the comprehensive sexuality education curriculum in 2003 targeting secondary school students and their teachers.

Currently, the controversial “World Starts With Me” curriculum is running in 12 countries, eight in Africa and four in Asia. The curriculum was selected as one of 18 curricula worldwide that were used to develop UNESCO’s International Guidance for Sexuality Education.

Kenya is named as one of the African countries teaching the curriculum on tribal basis as well as Uganda, Ethiopia, Ghana and Malawi.

Attempts to get a comment from both Amina and PS Belio Kipsang  did not yield fruit as they neither answered our calls nor responded to  text messages.

However, a senior ministry official admitted that the matter had been drawn to their attention and that the Quality Assurance and Standards department was addressing it.

In Nairobi, CitizenGO has listed 24 primary and 20 secondary schools in Makadara and Embakasi as those offering the sex education. Other schools are in Kakamega, Bungoma, Siaya, Homa Bay and Kisumu counties.

The NGO has been running an online petition collecting signatures from Kenyans to oppose the implementation of the comprehensive sexuality education , with at least 9, 599 people supporting the petition.

Kioko alleged efforts by some UN organisations to fund and push for implementation of the curriculum in Kenya as a solution to “teenage pregnancies”  The group threatened to go to court if the ministry did not act.

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