With Covid-19 onslaught, children are spending more time at home and roaming free. With online learning, children are likely be exposed to adult content. Nowadays, children being exposed to adult content, online and in real life, is not an fleeting idea. It is an existing reality.
Thus, disappointing it is, that we have even debating on whether to introduce sexuality education for our school children. But sexuality education?
There has been a huge misstep, with people calling this a sex education. It should not be so. It is sexuality education.
For sexuality education is not just about sex. It includes lessons about families and social relationships. This learning can benefit children, as young as five, in the very minimum. It will enable children to differentiate between appropriate physical contact and abuse.
It offers children important lessons about gender dynamics, including issues of consent, coercion, and violence. It provides vital lesson for both girls and boys, about their bodies, about their sexual identities.
UNESCO, a multinational agency, reports that each year some 16 million girls, aged between 15-19 (and two million under 15) give birth. This occurrences often marks the end of their formal education. Magufuli, a departed tyrant, had banished pregnant school girls from school, indicating this naivety is not spared even at the upper echelons of decision making.
AUNESCO data shows some 3 million girls, aged 15-19, undergo unsafe abortions each year. These numbers are linked to a lack of education about sex, sexuality, and the human body.
There are certain facts, even as ostrich would bury its neck under self induced ignorance of situation, would acknowledge. It is a fact that humans have sex, often long before their adulthood. In light of this reality, it is immoral, and perverse, to withhold potentially life-saving information from young people. After all, knowledge is power.
Therefore, by giving children a better understanding of their bodies, we can give them the power to protect their health – and their futures. Sexuality education for children is not an agenda for determination. It is an imperative.