Making the Connection - News and Views on Sexuality: Education, Health and Rights
A quarterly international newsletter on sexuality, sexual health, and sexuality education.
Volume 1, Issue 1 Spring/Summer 2000
APPROVAL OF GUIDELINES FOR COMPREHENSIVE SEXUALITY EDUCATION IN NIGERIA FOR NIGERIAN SCHOOLS
In January 1999,
Action Health Incorporated, a leading adolescent sexual and reproductive health
organization based in
As a result of this
conference and the efforts of NGOs like AHI, the federal Ministry of Education
made a historic commitment to implementing sexuality education throughout
Nigerian schools. The declaration was made at the 46th annual meeting of the
National Council on Education (NCE) held in
MEMORANDUM BY THE FEDERAL MINISTRY OF EDUCATION
Sexuality education is a life long process of acquiring information and forming attitude, beliefs, and values about one's identity, relationship and intimacy. It encompasses sexual development, reproductive health, interpersonal relationships, affection, intimacy, body image, and gender roles.
Sexuality education addresses the biological, social-cultural, psychological and spiritual dimensions of sexuality from:
The cognitive domain
The affective domain
The behavioural domain.
Including the skills to communicate effectively and make responsible decisions.
1. Assist individuals in having a clear and factual view of sexuality; i.e. the totality of who they are as human being males or females.
2. Provide them with information and skills about taking care of their sexual health; Help them acquire skills to make decisions related to their health and development now and in the future.
2. TRENDS IN THE REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH STATUS OF NIGERIAN ADOLESCENTS
We are all living witnesses to the present trends in our young people's sexual and reproductive health lives. Before now, virginity was a virtue and the norm was for a Nigerian girl to go to her husband's house on her wedding day as a virgin. Not anymore; many parents now insist on the bride-to-be "sprouting" a pregnancy: before they agree to contract the marriage. This is done simply to secure assurance that her womb is still intact and that she can bear them grandchildren to keep on the family name. Research has shown:
7 out of
every 10 males and 5 out of every 10 females attending secondary school in
· Over 80% of patients presenting at Nigerian Hospitals with abortion related complications are adolescent girls.
Young boys and girls are now being denied admission
into our Medical and
Much more than ever before, the time has come for us as a country reputed for caring and valuing our children, to "take the bull by the horn" and address the sexual health hazards being posed to our children's lives.
3. THE MYTH VERSUS THE FACT ABOUT SEXUALITY EDUCATION
The provision of
sexuality education has continued to be a sensitive issue in
4. THE GUIDELINE FOR COMPREHENSIVE
SEXUALITY EDUCATION IN
The Guideline for
Comprehensive Sexuality Education in
It serves as an important step to help young people acquire accurate knowledge and develop responsible behaviour that will help reduce the present high rate of unwanted teenage pregnancy, complication from unsafe induced abortion, sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS, being witnessed in the country today.
The guidelines provide answers to many important questions like: "What key concept should be taught in sexuality education?" and "At what age should specific information be taught?" The framework presented in the book should serve as a guide to be used to conduct sexuality education sessions for school age youths, as well as for parents and relevant communities.
The Guidelines for
Comprehensive Sexuality Education in
In the light of the above, The Council is respectfully invited to:
a. Note that the Guidelines for Comprehensive Sexuality Education is based on a carefully constructed, scoped and sequenced approach to the delivery of sexuality education which takes full cognizance of our cultural and religious needs.
b. Note that it provides a more realistic starting point for curriculum development at the national level and will guide state policy makers and local education authorities in evaluating existing or proposed programmes.
c. Note that its availability has solved once for all, the issue of what key concepts to teach in sexuality education, at what age. Specific information should be taught and how to teach it.
d. Urge the approval of the use of the "Guidelines for Comprehensive Sexuality Education" in schools in Nigeria as the basis for providing appropriate guidance that will ensure a better quality of health and life for our young people.