By Kola Adeyemi
The Nigerian Feminist Forum (NFF), a non governmental organisation says the proposed removal of ‘sex education’ from the nation’s basic education curriculum will amount to infringement on the rights of students to health education.
The NFF in a statement on Tuesday said this is so given the immense benefits of sex education to the health, well-being and protection of the child from disease infection as well as teenage pregnancy.
The Communication and Programme Assistant of the Non-governmental organization, Adaeze Ekpunobi, who signed the statement appealed to the Minister of education, Malam Adamu Adamu, Federal Ministry of Education and the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) to rethink and rescind the decision in the overall interest of the country.
“NFF insists that the Minister
of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu and NERDC should in the interest of Nigeria and its Public health, reverse the policy with quick prescission of the government’s decision on the controversial sex education review.
“The NFF believes that the directive is ill-advised and stems from a place of ignorance on the
value of sex education as a right and vital aspect of health education and holistic wellbeing
of school-aged young Nigerians,” the statement said.
The Nigerian Feminists Forum, which is a policy advocacy forum of Nigerian Feminists, further argued that ” sex education in school curricula in Nigeria will play an important role in preparing young people for a safe, productive, fulfilling life in a world where HIV and AIDS,
other sexually transmitted infections, unintended pregnancies, illegal abortion, gender-based violence and gender inequality still pose serious risks to their well-being.
“Expunging sex education from the Nigerian school curricula, exacerbates myriads of
sex-related risks that young school-aged Nigerians are exposed to.”
The NGO insisted that contrary to the Minister’s position on sex education, “evidence-based researches at national and
international levels, outline the benefits of Sex Education to include delayed sexual initiation; reduced risk-taking; increased use of contraception; and improved attitudes to sexual and reproductive health.”
It called on government and policy-makers to provide safe, accurate and incremental sex education to young people in the country.
It added that ” Sex education in schools, is imperative in today’s information age, where young people can access information from the Internet and social media.
“The Nigerian government cannot afford to neglect the right to health and holistic well-being
of millions of school-aged Nigerians.
“The repercussions of such carelessness and retrogressive action will impact on all aspects of the Nigerian society.”
The Nigerian Feminist Forum, therefore, calls on the Minister of Education to immediately “withdraw his directive on Sex education to NERDC and the federal ministry of education;
“Ensure that mechanisms are put in place across the country to protect the rights to health and holistic well-being of every school-aged Nigerian.
“Ensure that the sex education curriculum in the country is in line with the International technical guidance on sexuality education.
“We also call on Nigeria Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) to “ensure that the policy on sex education in Nigerian schools curricula is maintained;
“Ensure that public policies on sexuality education in the country is culturally relevant, accurate, incremental, age, and developmentally appropriate;
“Create accountability in the evaluation mechanisms that allow for public engagement
with young people, parents, teachers, gender experts and other
relevant stakeholders in the process of delivery and assessment of sexuality education programmes in Nigerian schools,” Akpunobi explained in the statement. (vitalnewsngr.com)