Chembe Member of Parliament, Dr. Sebastian Kopulande has called for the immediate suspension of Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) stating that the programme sexualises children and is harmful to children and adolescents.
Presenting a Private Members’ Motion in the National Assembly on Wednesday, Dr. Kopulande appealed to Members of Parliament to support the Motion so as to help safeguard the moral, religious and cultural values of the country.
He disclosed that various studies have demonstrated that the teaching CSE doesn’t prevent teenage pregnancies and the spread of Sexually Transmitted Diseases(STDs) as falsely purported by promoters of the programme.
He said CSE was part of a larger programme called Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRH&R) that promotes use of contraceptives and abortions among adolescents as prevention against teen pregnancies.
Below is the full statement made in Parliament.
PRIVATE MEMBER’S MOTION URGING GOVERNMENT TO SUSPEND COMPREHENSIVE SEXUALITY EDUCATION PENDING WIDER CONSULTATIONS WITH ALL STAKEHOLDERS
DR. SEBASTIAN C. KOPULANDE, MP
7TH OCTOBER 2020
Mr Speaker, I am very grateful that you have granted me this opportunity to move a Private Member’s motion urging Government to suspend the teaching of Compressive Sexuality Education (CSE) in schools so as to allow for further consultation with all stakeholders in the country.
Sir, allow me to state on the outset that this is NOT my motion; it is a motion by the Zambian people who have suffered silently as a result CSE’s intrusion into their Christian, cultural and moral values through the sexualisation of their children.
I am here, therefore, simply as the people’s mouthpiece to bring their silent suffering to the attention of this August House and the listening Government of the Patriotic Front.
Sir, CSE is defined by the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisations (UNESCO) as an age-appropriate, culturally relevant approach to teaching about sex and relationships by providing scientifically accurate, realistic, non-judgemental education.
It seeks to equip young people with the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values they need to determine and enjoy their sexuality – physically and emotionally, individually and in relationships.
The House may wish to note that, Zambia affirmed the Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) Ministerial Commitment on CSE and Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) in December, 2013 which was aimed at accelerating access to CSE and health services for young people in the region.
Following this commitment, the Ministry of General Education revised the curriculum to include integrated CSE in primary and secondary schools without engaging all stakeholder including Members of this August House.
Mr Speaker, The CSE curriculum worldwide including Zambia is replete with controversial topics including teaching young children about sexual pleasure, sexual orientation (or homosexuality), gender identity, access to, and use of contraceptives, abortion and other drugs as well as medical procedures for termination of pregnancies, among others.
For instance the CSE syllabus for Grade 8 teaches girls to consistently use a condom to avoid HIV, STIs and unintended pregnancy (Program 184.108.40.206 p.25) The syllabus for Grade ten (10) contains a chapter that practically demonstrates to pupils steps involved in the use of a male condom. At Grade 11, Sub Topic 220.127.116.11 teaches Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity focusing on describing sexual orientation, factors influencing sexual orientation and finding ways to eliminate stereotypes and violation of the so-called sexual orientation rights.
Sir, it clear from the few examples that CSE is not about teaching our children healthy family formation, far from it! It is about sexualising our children at an early age.
Rather than educating about healthy behaviours, CSE indoctrinates the youth with the idea that sexual promiscuity is normal.
In addition, proponents of CSE argue that sex education provided to our children is age-appropriate.
How can it be appropriate to teach children the use of condoms, contraceptives and abortions?
How can it be age appropriate when it condons homosexuality under the guise of human rights?
Sir, Children need and deserve guidance, not only information. Whatever we tell children, we are also teaching them. Consquently, what we teach our children will shape their personalities, attitudes and values throughout their lives.
Providing children indiscriminately with comprehensive information about sexuality without regard to the level of their physical and mental maturity is detrimental to their well being.
Sir, Unlike traditional sexual education were sex is taught with regard to age of the child, CSE is highly explicit and promotes radical sexual ideologies and behaviours that conflict with our religious and cultural values.
The ultimate goal of CSE is to change the sexual and gender norms of our society by making early sexual activity as normal and a Child’s right.
Mr. Speaker, while proponets of CSE and SRHR claim that it helps reduce teenage pregnancies, transmission of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) and even violence against women and girls, there has been no empirical evidence to support these claims.
On the contrary, studies by the Institute For Research and Evaluation around the world concludes,
“Given the threat posed by STDs, HIV, and pregnancy to the health and well-being of young people worldwide, and the compelling evidence of ineffectiveness by school-based Comprehensive Sex Education after three decades of research, policymakers should abandon plans for its global dissemination and pursue alternative prevention pardigms to prevent the negative consequences of adolescent sexual activity.” (2019).
Here in Zambia, CSE has had opposite results from its intended purpose.
The 2018 Zambia Demographic and Health Survey inhdicated that teenage pregnancies are still on the rise despite this intervention.
According to the Report, 29 per cent of girls aged between 15 and 19 have already began child bearing with 24 per cent having had a live birth, 5 percent having been pregnant with their first Child (Zambia Daily Mail July 3, 2019).
Sir, As people of Zambia, we pride ourselves as a Christian Nation as enshrined in our Republican Constitution.
In addition, we have entrenched cultural values and morals which have helped to shape our attitudes, beliefs and behaviours from generation to generation.
Therefore, the introduction of CSE in our schools without full consultation with key stakeholders is not only morally enslaving but is anathema to the very core values that have defined us as a people since time immemorial.
This is what has led to a cross-section of society to demand for Zambia’s withdraw from the ESA Ministerial Commitment on CSE.
It not a secret that CSE is promoted by powerful and respected international organisations, some of them fund major social-economic programmes in key sectors of our economy.
Further, the CSE agenda is promoted by multi-million dollar organisations whose motive is to profit from health care services they provide through Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) to young children and adults such as condoms, contraceptives and other family planning services, this is affirmed by a study commissioned by the UNESCO in 2016 which concluded that CSE significantly contributed to increased use of condoms and contraceptives, among others.
Are we Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, prepared, with our full conscience, to negate our fundamental norms, principles and values for a piece of silver? The people of Zambia say, No!
As I conclude, Sir, let me emphasise the need for the Government to seriously consider suspending CSE from our schools to allow for consultation with all key stakeholders.
And as we make these consultations, let us ask ourselves, is sexuality education the top-most priority for our nation’s development?
Will it take us out of the poverty trap that confronts our people on a daily basis and threatens their very survival?
Why should we not be teaching our Children instead issues to do with our Christian values, Entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystems, Climate Change mitigation and resilience, Agriculture, etc instead of sexualising them at an early age?
This is a very serious matter, Mr. Speaker as it sits right at the core of our nationhood, at the very foundation of our future.
I therefore wish to ask all Honourable Members of this House to support this motion and request the Government to put a consultative mechanism in place at the very earliest.
Mr Speaker, I Beg to move.