15th November, 2022
Richard Elesho, Lokoja
A non- governmental organization, NGO, Nigerian Feminist Forum, NFF, has appealed to Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, Federal Ministry of Education and the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council, NERDC, to rescind the decision to expunge sex education from the nation’s education curriculum.
In a statement by its Communication and Programme Assistant, Adaeze Ekpunobi, the group said removal of ‘sex education’ will jeopardize the right of students to health education and denied them of its immense benefits to health, well-being and protection from disease, infection as well as teenage pregnancy.
NFF insists that the Minister and NERDC should in the interest of Nigeria and its Public health, quickly reverse the controversial policy on 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.
“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 says contrary to the Minister’s position “Evidence-based researches at national and international levels, outline the benefits of Sex Education to include delayed sexual initiation; reduced risk-taking; increased use ofcontraception; and improved attitudes to sexual and reproductive health.”
It calls on government and policy-makers to provide safe, accurate and incremental sex education to young people in the country, adding 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 group therefore, calls on the Minister of Education to:
● 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 right 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.
They also called on 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.