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New curriculum to promote sex education in schools

Comprehensive sexuality education is vital in curbing cases of unwanted pregnancies and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases as it ensures that young people are equipped with competencies they need to make safe and responsible choices about their sexual and reproductive health, says Jozef Maeriën, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) representative in Rwanda.

The remarks were made by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) representative Jozef Maeriën, during the official launch of a teacher-training program geared towards equipping teachers and stakeholders in the education sector on key features of the new curriculum and learner-centered teaching methodologies.

The three-day training also aimed at providing deans of studies from 1,508 secondary schools from 30 districts an overview on the importance of comprehensive sexuality education.
The Ministry of Education through Rwanda Education Board embarked on a teacher training plan geared towards equipping teachers and the education sector stakeholders on main features of the new curriculum and on requirements of learner-centered teaching methodologies.

A total of eight cross-cutting topics have been integrated in the new curriculum among which, is Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE). CSE is integrated in five subjects, two in Primary schools (Science and Elementary Technology, and Social Studies) and three in Secondary Schools namely; Biology and Health Sciences, General Studies and Communication Skills including History and Citizenship.

Preparing young people for the transition to adulthood has always been a great challenge which the new curriculum hopes to address. Comprehensive sexuality education emphasizes a holistic approach to human development and sexuality. It views sexuality within the context of emotional and social development and also promotes human rights, knowledge, as well as skills for prevention of HIV and unwanted pregnancies.

''Young people receive an array of contradictory and confusing messages about sexuality often but how we meet this challenge is the greatest opportunity to breaking the trajectory. This renewed optimism that the introduction of a curriculum that includes sexuality education programme, can help in proper nurturing of children into full responsible citizens” Maeriën added.

Parents are encouraged to be able to address the physical and behavioral aspects so that children are able to make responsible decisions regarding relationships and sexuality


Janvier Gasana, the director-general of Rwanda Education Board, said potential partners should embrace the approach of a comprehensive sexuality education and sensitize all stakeholders for successful implementation.

''We need to do everything we can so that young people get the right guidance. With this era of technology they are so exposed and that’s why a sensitive approach is needed to put them on the right track. However this needs to be approached well so that the beneficiaries are not pushed in the opposite direction,” he said.