Foreign promoters of Comprehensive Sexuality Education in Zambia have set up an urgent Workshop with Members of Parliament and pledged to pay K1000 to each MP that will attend the Workshop.
This is contained in a letter written to targeted and selected members of Parliament dated 7th October 2020 signed by Mr. Roy Ngulube on behalf of the Clerk of the National Assembly Cecilia Nsenduluka Mbewe.
The letter states that the National Working Group on the Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights and Governance Project, in collaboration with the Parliamentary Caucus on Children and the Zambia National Women Parliamentary Caucus will hold the meeting on 20th October 2020.
The Meeting is expected to discuss the recent debate on the possible discontinuation of Comprehensive Sexuality Education in the Zambian Curriculum.
The Meeting will be held under the hybrid system where invited and selected MPs will interact with Resource Persons and promoters of Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights and Comprehensive Sexuality Education.
The letter states that each MP will be paid an all inclusive allowance of K1,000 under the Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights Project.
Recently stakeholders have raised concerns on some aspects of the Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights(SRH&R) being implemented at the Ministry of Health, which promotes the access of contraceptives and abortions services for youths and adolescents.
And under Comprehensive Sexuality Education(CSE), stakeholders have raised concerns that the CSE framework being inplemented in Zambia is graphic, sexualises children and contains matters of concerns related to introduction of learners to strange gender identities and makes learners accept the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) concepts.
The stakeholders have also opposed the action to integrate CSE in all subjects that will make children discuss sexual education the whole day they are at school.
The stakeholders have expressed concern that the integration of CSE in all subjects will desensitise and remove fear and sacredness of sex among children, adolescents and youths in Zambia.
Vice President of the Republic of Zambia and Head of Government Business in Parliament, Hon Inonge Wina told Parliament last week that Government will set up a multi-sectoral technical working group that will broadly consult key stakeholders to review the CSE framework and curriculum before it is implemented.
Hon. Wina stated that the Ministry of National Guidance and Religious Affairs will be the lead Ministry in the matter.
Stakeholders are demanding that the Report and outcome document of the process should be taken to Cabinet for approval and later Parliament for adoption.
But the Pro-CSE Consortium comprising the USA’s Regional Psychosocial Support Initiative(REPSSI, Restless Development of Kabwe, Planned Parenthood Association of Zambia ( PPAZ), and SAfAIDS Zambia, among others, have urged Government to immediately implement both SRH&R and CSE as they have been part of the consultation process.
CSE is one of the proposed mechanism to respond to the rise in teenage pregnancies, STDs, child marriages, sexual abuse and school drop-outs.
Zambia began the process of adopting SRH&R and CSE in 2013, and in 2019 ran a pilot project in schools based in Lusaka and Eastern Provinces.
The CSE is expected to be rolled out in all schools in 2020.