EXPO HIGHLIGHTS IMPORTANCE OF VALUES-BASED SEXUALITY EDUCATION(DECEMBER 2021)
Values-based Sexuality Education Expo 2021
We cannot afford to ignore or remain ignorant about important issues affecting our children’s internal and social well-being, including their need for identity and belonging, as they develop towards sexual maturity and seek how to express and channel their sexual awareness in the most beneficial ways. Cause for Justice takes the best interests of children seriously. That is why we hosted a Values-based Sexuality Education Expo during the final quarter of 2021.
The Expo consisted of –
- an informative panel discussion
- presentations by four values-based sexuality education programme providers
- a presentation on how to use alternative learning materials in the classroom, and
- exhibits on available programmes and supplementary learning materials.
It was a great opportunity to make parents, teachers and child protection stakeholders aware of:
- The ideological prejudices implicit in the Department of Basic Education’s Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) scripted lesson plans;
- The availability of values-based sexuality education programmes that can be used as alternatives to the CSE in the classroom; and
- How values-based sexuality education materials can be practically implemented in the classroom.
Setting the stage: State-sponsored CSE – Context, background, content, philosophical roots and practical implications
The Expo kicked-off with an engaging and eye-opening panel discussion.
Cause for Justice Executive Director and Legal Counsel, Ryan Smit, discussed the context and background to the state-sponsored CSE scripted lesson plans, as well as the actual content that is currently being rolled out into South African public schools.
Parenting coach, Drikie Atherstone, considered parents’, counsellors’ and therapists’ concerns about CSE in schools – as well as their experiences of the impact of the material on children and on the parent-child relationship.
Professor of political science, Nicola de Jager, discussed the intrusion of the state into the private domain, and how diversity is stifled by promoting the adoption of a single ideology (radical gender ideology) in the public sphere, including public schools. She also considered the philosophical roots of radical gender ideology (gender theory), including the origin of the use of the term ‘gender’ in the context of male-female societal relations and how it is used in our current cultural context and for what purposes.
Professor of medicine, Reitze Rodseth, from a medical perspective, clarified some of the terminology at the intersection of ‘gender dysphoria’ (also called ’gender identity disorder’) and radical gender ideology. He considered how the term ‘gender’ is used – and abused – in the context of drug-based and surgical interventions to achieve conversion of bodily sexual characteristics to accord more closely with the physical attributes of the opposite sex. He also discussed the impact of medical interventions to bring about conversion of physical attributes, on children.
Values-based Sexuality Education Programmes
After the panel discussion, four (4) owners of values-based life skills and sexuality education programmes introduced their learning content to the audience. These are learning materials that can be used as alternatives to CSE content in the classroom. The four presentations can be viewed in this four-video series:
- Tomorrow’s Leaders in Training – presented by Mr Burt Ronald;
- Life at the Crossroads – presented by Mr Marais Koegelenberg;
- No Apologies (Focus on the Family) – Presented by Mrs Noluthando Moshesh; and
- Smart Life – Presented by Dr Darleen Edwards-Meyers.
Schools that have implemented values-based approaches and programmes, are reaping the rewards where it matters – in the form of healthy and grounded children. If by now, you can’t wait to implement a values-based programme in your school, watch a headmaster sharing his school’s experience with implementing and benefitting from values-based approach to determining which learning materials to use in the classroom.
As part of our work in this field, we also prepared a summary of values-based programmes and learning materials, sets out the pertinent aspects of each programme – including content overview, the format of the learning material, to which age groups it applies, cost, and opportunities for training. We also included a summary of the Life Orientation (LO) CAPS alignment of each programme – to help schools, LO subject heads and educators determine the extent and ease with which to make use of the alternative programmes in the classroom.
Do not hesitate to contact us for more information about values-based learning programmes/materials.
CSE is Ineffective – and Not Compulsory
Cause for Justice Executive Director and Legal Counsel, Ryan Smit, also gave a presentation on –
- the ineffectiveness of CSE,
- why the state-sponsored CSE scripted lesson plans are not compulsory, and
- what strategies are available for those who do not want to make use of the CSE scripted lesson plans in the classroom.
We also shared with our guests, a copy of a letter from the Department of Basic Education, confirming that public schools may use alternative learning content and/or programmatic material to teach the Life Skills (LS) and LO subjects in the classroom.
DID YOU KNOW: You are well within your rights to make use of alternative programmes and CAPS alignment summaries to approach your child’s school and request them to rather use one of the alternative learning programmes, instead of the DBE’s CSE SLPs to teach the LS and LO subjects – by replacing it with learning content that is in keeping with your own family and community values.
We are grateful for the opportunity to take hands with parents, teachers, school governing bodies and other child protection stakeholders to ensure that the best interests of South African children are upheld when it comes to the sexuality education they receive.
Sadly, many South African children do not enjoy values-based sexuality education at home or school. As a result, they are not equipped with a resilient response to harmful messages about sexuality and male-female societal relationships – and the destructive behaviours flowing from it.
That is why we need to raise awareness about the beneficial impact of values-based programmes and the unwanted impact of CSE. Together we can ensure our children receive the best education to prepare them for life!