The Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB) has opposed the Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) materials in the current form.
ZCCB says Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) materials in their current form cannot be taught in Catholic Schools in the country.
Recently, pictures emerged on social media allegedly extracted from the yet to be introduced school text books on Comprehensive Sexuality Education.
The pictures showed families of same-sex marriage.
ZCCB National Education Secretary Fr. Leonard Namuhuma says the Catholic church holds on the biblical understanding of family as designed by God and its definition of a family ‘as those of the same household’, and as the pairing of a man and a woman, along with their children.
He explained the other five well-known types of families as nuclear, single-parent families, extended families, childless families, stepfamilies and grandparent families.
Fr. Namuhumba said the text books need to be revised so that there is the right material for the right age.
Fr. Namuhumba added that the books that have been published do not stress the role and place of cultural and Christian values on family, marriage, sex and sexuality.
“Sex and sexuality education need to be contextualized in such a way that only the right material is given to the appropriate age group unlike a situation where pupils are being exposed to unnecessary information,” he said
Fr. Namuhumba further explained that the Catholic church’s teaching on family structure, gender and family life is not by human design, a reason it cannot be changed.
Fr. Namuhumba revealed that ZCCB submitted a number of suggestions to the Ministry of Education which included careful consideration of teaching of children in matters of sexuality in social, cultural, religious and political contexts as the issue has been a challenge.
He said while the curriculum is well intended, and has always been taught in carrier subjects, the framework and all the learners’ books must be re-packaged and made age appropriate, and introduced diligently and gradually.
“Care must be taken not to sexualize the children which may lead to moral degradation of the learners and allow room for perverts to take advantage of the created ‘fertile’ mind to abuse them. All efforts must be made to protect the cultural, traditional and religious fibre of our society,” Fr. Namuhumba said.
The Ministry of Education (MoE), through its Curriculum Development Centre (CDC) with the support from UNESCO and the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) has produced a curriculum in life skills that focuses on the Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE).
The curriculum framework was developed to enrich the provision of Reproductive Health and Sexuality Education (RHSE).
In its introductory comments of the framework, the MoE explains that this curriculum framework was prompted by data from research indicating high alarming numbers of school dropouts due to pregnancies.
The Catholic Church teaches that a family naturally springs from marriage of man and woman. And this marriage is “ordered to the procreation and education of children.”
“God is love and in himself he lives a mystery of personal loving communion. Creating the human race in his own image .God inscribed in the humanity of man and woman the vocation, and thus the capacity and responsibility, of love and communion.God created man in his own image – male and female he created them;116 He blessed them and said. Be fruitful and multiply.When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them Man when they were created.Sexuality affects all aspects of the human person in the unity of his body and soul. It especially concerns affectivity, the capacity to love and to procreate, and in a more general way the aptitude for forming bonds of communion with others.Everyone, man and woman, should acknowledge and accept his sexual identity. Physical, moral, and spiritual difference and complementarity are oriented toward the goods of marriage and the flourishing of family life. The harmony of the couple and of society depends in part on the way in which the complementarity, needs, and mutual support between the sexes are lived out.In creating men ‘male and female,’ God gives man and woman an equal personal dignity.Man is a person, man and woman equally so, since both were created in the image and likeness of the personal God.Each of the two sexes is an image of the power and tenderness of God, with equal dignity though in a different way. The union of man and woman in marriage is a way of imitating in the flesh the Creator’s generosity and fecundity:Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh. All human generations proceed from this union,” states the Catechism of the Catholic Church.