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Basic Education Department concerned about continued misleading reports on Life Orientation curriculum, 29 October 2019

The Department of Basic Education has noted with concern the continued misrepresentation of facts regarding some of the content in the Life Orientation subject.

The Department on a number of occasions clarified the matter and went further to provide details of what is contained in the sexuality section of the curriculum. 


The core aim of the CSE is to ensure that we help learners build an understanding of concepts, content, values and attitudes related to sexuality, sexual behavior change as well as leading safe and healthy lives.


In seeking to find a comprehensive and all-encompassing curriculum that seeks to address real world challenges and issues faced by learners in their day-to-day lives, the Department has through various consultation platforms allowed for the evolution of the content within both the Learner and Teacher Guides.

The Department’s approach is informed by comprehensive research. The 2016 rigorous scientific review of International Technical Guidelines on Sexuality Education found that:

  • CSE does not sexualise children;
  • Sexuality education does not increase sexual activity, sexual risk-taking behaviour or STI/HIV infection rates. On the contrary, CSE delays sexual debut and promotes safe sexual behavior; Increases knowledge of different aspects of sexuality and the risks of early and unintended pregnancy, HIV and other STIs;
  • Decreases the number of sexual partners;
  • Reduces sexual risk taking;
  • Increases use of condoms and other forms of contraception.



    On concerns raised by the organisations campaigning against CSE, here are the facts;



Untrue facts


True facts


Will engage in group discussions to identify each other's “private parts”. (Yes your innocent little girl will have her private parts identified by a group of young boys).

Lesson 4.2 in the Grade 4 SLP on Respecting the bodies of others and the activity A: The group discussion in the lesson has no reference to learners identifying each other’s private parts rather it asks learners to discuss which parts of their body are private and they would not allow others to touch using a worksheet with a picture of a boy and a girl not using their own bodies as the writer of this article implies.


Grade 5's will be taught – risks of intrusive lesbian relationships, homosexual molestation and sexual assault.


Grade 5 topics in SLP include:

  • Body Image
  • I can choose my relationships
  • This is my body and I can say what happens to it
  • The benefits of good and safe relationships
  • Child Abuse-Keeping myself safe from abuse
  • Dealing with violent situations: “What is sexual violence”
  • Learning from our Elders
  • Should boys and girls be treated differently
  • Dealing with the stigma of HIV
  • Changing attitudes towards people infected with HIV and AIDS

The reading on 5.6.1 deals with identifying sexual violence at schools and learners talk about situations that are potential risk to them in everyday life and also shows that this violence does not only happen to girls but also to boys. The lesson also equips learners with skills to deal with sexual violence and how to respond and how to protect oneself and where to find help.


Grade 6s will be asked their views on sexting topless photos on WhatsApp


This is not true. In Grade 6, Learners are taught about Bullying and Cyber bullying as  one the ways of bullying and this lesson uses scenarios to teaches learners that sending nasty or embarrassing messages on the internet or social media threatening to say something that is not true on a public space to hurt other persons  is not correct.


Are taught about masturbation and how perfectly "normal" it is.


Grade 7 Lesson on Understanding Puberty:

This section of the lesson talks about changes adolescents experience during puberty and it refers the learners to talk to parents or doctors as a good way to have information and ask questions that they may have about how these changes affect them and relationships.  It further lists questions that learners may need answers to including about kissing, dating and masturbation and sex.  The reading on the question provide some of the answers that learners might get including masturbation which is not going to discussed or taught by a teacher as learners are referred to ask these questions from parents.


Grade 8s will have their teacher describe what happens during vaginal, oral and anal sex. (Please see picture attached) Children will also be given "sexual heroes and role models" and will be encouraged to respect and imitate them. Most of the "heroes" are HIV positive and 80% of the "heroes" identify as LGBTQ.

There is no such lesson or activity for Grade 8 in the approved SLPs  with the DBE.

No sexual heroes and role models are mentioned in our curriculum. This is pure conjecture and a blatant lie

Lesson 8.3 for grade 8s deals with making healthy sexual choices and knowing your limits


The Grade 9 material seems completely to be bent of minimizing the importance of heterosexual relations between a man and a woman in favour of either homosexuality, transgender, or any other "alternative" lifestyle sexuality.


This is the writer’s perspective as the Grade 9 lessons include the following:

  • Setting Goals and reaching  your potential
  • One partner at a time
  • Using SRH resources in communities
  • Are you ready for parenthood
  • Sexual Consent
  • Power and control in relationships


The Department consulted extensively on CSE, and remains open to further consultation and engagement on this matter. Curriculum development is an ongoing process and inputs are always welcome. Truthful and honest engagement is also welcome.


Elijah Mhlanga, Head of Communications
Cell: 083 580 8275

Thobeka Magcai, Intergovernmental Communications
Cell: 076 018 9125

Terence Khala, Media Relations
081 758 1546

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Written By: Administrator Account
Date Posted: 10/29/2019
Number of Views: 4369

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