The role of Sex Education in mitigating teenage pregnancy in selected secondary schools in Namwala District of Zambia
Mweembe, Sikasukwe Eglinah
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This study was undertaken to investigate the role of sex education in mitigating teenage pregnancy in selected secondary schools in Namwala district of Zambia. The researcher employed qualitative research strategies to collect data from 42 respondents through interviews. The respondents included school administrators (Head teachers, Deputy Headteachers Heads of Departments), teachers and pupils. The Head teachers. Deputy Head teachers. Heads of Department and teachers responded to the one to one interview guides. The pupils responded to focus group discussions. The findings of the study were that through sex education, learners acquired skills in dealing with their sexuality and knowledge about how human bodies function and how to deal with their sexuality. Sex education also helped to change learners' attitudes and values in dealing with their sexuality which had resulted into the reduction in teenage pregnancy and transmission of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs. Additionally, sex education helped learners to make informed and responsible decisions about their sexuality and helped them to become responsible adults. However, in school, sex education was not very much emphasized. Thus, learners did not receive enough knowledge and skills on sexuality education due to lack of materials designed specifically for sex education. There was also lack of trained teachers to teach the subject. The findings also showed that traditional beliefs and values hindered the effective delivery of sex education. This was so because of the traditional myths associated with sex education and because discussions of sexual matters in were viewed as a taboo in the African traditional society. The other findings also showed that sex education was integrated in other subjects and as a result it received little attention or no emphasis compared to the other subjects. This is so because sex education was not a standalone subject and was not allocated on the school time table. Sex education was not examinable and as a result most teachers did not put much attention during lesson delivery as they did with other subjects. Based on these findings, the researcher made some recommendations. The prominent ones were that the Ministry of General Education through Curriculum Development Centre should come up with relevant teaching and learning materials for sex education and also make sex education a standalone subject so as to allocate more time to teaching it. Furthermore, the researcher recommended that the Ministry of General Education should allocate resources to support the training of sex education teachers and schools through the office of Guidance and Counseling should maximize the sensitization of learners on tradition beliefs and values that hindered the effective teaching of sex education.
University of Zambia
Master of Education in Educational Management