The Ministry of National Guidance and Religious Affairs has said that Zambia should have nothing to do with Comprehensive Sexual Education (CSE), a project being promoted by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
“Zambia is a Christian nation anchored on Christian values, so we have to protect our Christian heritage,” Minister of National Guidance and Religious Affairs Godfridah Sumaili said.
Hon. Sumaili said CSE sharply differs from ordinary sexual education that has been taught in Zambian schools since the 70s, as it promotes values about gender identities, sexual orientation, and reproductive health rights alien to Zambia.
The introduction of comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) in Zambia, after a pilot program was completed in 2019, has put various interest groups on a collision course.
The Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia has strongly opposed its implementation while the National Association of Quality Education in Zambia says it is a good program that should not be stopped.
Bishop Joshua Banda has said the analysis tool done to the Zambian curriculum, its teaching methods and guides, and CSE material and books being used, raised serious concerns about the programme.
He called for the withdrawal of the CSE programme until safeguards and sufficient consultation and consesus were done and achieved.
He said all stakeholders were concerned about the rise of teenage pregnancies, child marriages, STDs, and HIV and sexual abuse but objected to solutions such as contraceptives, abortions, and other services being given to adolescents.
He said the Church however disagreed with the provision of the solution of Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights(SRH&R) and Comprehensive Sexuality Education(CSE) as solutions.
He said the two programs promote the provisions of abortions, contraceptives and acceptance of homosexuality among young people.
He encouraged the Ministry of Education to improve on the old sexual education curriculum than to introduce Comprehensive Sexuality Education developed in Europe and impose it in Zambia despite the cultural, religious, values, and sensitivities of the country.
He also requested the Ministry of Health to revise the SRH&R program.