Members of Parliament have passed a motion that seeks to introduce comprehensive sex education in schools across the country.
The motion sponsored by Kirinyaga woman representative Njeri Maina, wants sex education to be introduced in schools to curb among other things, teenage pregnancies and related health risks.
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Maina, in the motion which was endorsed by MPs in the National Assembly, wants the national government, through the State Department of Basic Education, to introduce comprehensive health, wellness, and sex education as a core subject in the school curriculum.
The MP argues that Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) is vital for the well-being of children and young people.
She says that the existing education system falls short in equipping children with the knowledge and skills needed to make responsible choices in their lives.
“What is this House doing to protect the future of our children? We can no longer afford to fold our hands and expect the situation to resolve itself,” Maina said during debate on the floor of the House.
“Comprehensive sexual education through school-based programmes, community-based programmes and health care facilities can promote healthy sexual practices amongst young people and reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections, lower the incidences of teenage pregnancies thus increasing school attendance and retention,” she added.
Kirinyaga woman representative Njeri Maina sponsored the motion.
Makueni MP Suzanne Kiamba, in her contributions to the House, however, cautioned against the introduction of sex education that might inadvertently promote values inconsistent with African culture.
“There is a need to identify where the gap is because sometimes, we have foreign ideologies being promoted in the name of health education, which is against our African values,” Kiamba said.
“When we talk about sexual health education, this includes issues like lesbianism, homosexuality among others. First, we need to understand the limits when talking about comprehensive health education,” she added.
Kiambaa MP Njuguna Kawanjiku on the other hand emphasized the potentially controversial nature of comprehensive health and sex education, especially those that concern religious groups.
He advised the government to develop a curriculum addressing specific health issues, particularly HIV/AIDS.
“We need to allow the government to develop a curriculum that will address particular health issues like HIV/AIDS. We cannot ignore and assume that HIV/ AIDS is no longer in existence,” said Kawanjiku.