1. Home
  2. About Us
  3. Newsroom
  4. Resources
  5. Programmes
  6. Curriculum
  7. Information for...

CSE receives much needed attention in Sub-Saharan Africa

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has reaffirmed its commitment towards promoting positive sexual and reproductive health and education outcomes amongst adolescents and young people in Sub-Saharan Africa. Basic Education Minister, Mrs Angie Motshekga, applauded the UNESCO Regional Office of Southern Africa, the UNESCO East Africa Regional Office and government officials from various countries on the continent for sharing best practice in promoting Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) in public schools. Minister Motshekga delivered her keynote address at the official opening of the Our Rights, Our Lives, Our Future Programme (O3) and O3Plus 2021 Annual Review and Partners’ Meeting held at Montecasino in Johannesburg on 4 May 2022.

The meeting, organised as part of the O3 Programme, seeks to empower young people, particularly adolescents, to remain in school until they complete Grade 12.  To fulfil this mandate, the UNESCO delegation called on countries in Sub-Saharan Africa to continue prioritising CSE in schools. The delegation indicated that, although most countries have made some headway in terms of consolidating CSE policies, teacher development should be given special attention, and schools should support appropriate teacher development in the area of CSE, with linkages to sexual reproductive health services for learners. Most countries were still lagging behind in terms of promoting CSE and education systems in Sub-Saharan Africa should view CSE as a fundamental undertaking to protect adolescents and young people against HIV, Early and Unintended Pregnancies (EUP) and Gender Based Violence (GBV).

Speaking during the meeting, Minister Motshekga said that the commitment demonstrated by UNESCO towards improving education outcomes in Africa, supports South Africa in its mission towards promoting the Bill of Rights. As stipulated in the Constitution, every learner has the right to access basic education and health services. “We are here to review and reflect on how the O3 Programme has contributed to the promotion of the rights of young people towards education, health and wellbeing in our respective countries in the last five years. We are all cognisant of how the Programme has supported and enhanced our efforts in ensuring that all adolescents and young people have access to sexuality education and sexual reproductive health rights. Realisation of these rights for the youth are key for the prevention of HIV, EUP and GBV. Prevention of these vulnerabilities amongst our youth will help our countries in making progress regarding youth development agendas and contribute towards the improvement of quality education in Africa”. Minister Motshekga further emphasised the importance of ensuring that young people are active participants in interventions aimed at their development: “It is therefore essential that adolescents and young people are encouraged to become champions of their lives. This will enable them to contribute to the development of their world in such a manner that they achieve positive educational outcomes. This is where the O3 Programme has been very beneficial”.

The meeting concluded on a high note with UNESCO donor partners commending the progress achieved by the O3 Programme during 2021, despite the COVID-19 challenges and CSE opposition. The commitment of African countries towards the advancement of the health and well-being of adolescents and young people was reaffirmed during the meeting. 

Copyright: Department of Basic Education 2021 Terms Of Use Privacy Statement