Community involvement in the implementation of comprehensive sexuality education in rural areas: a case of selected secondary schools in Chibombo district of Central province, Zambia.
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This study was carried out to investigate community involvement in the implementation of Comprehensive Sexuality Education in rural areas particularly in selected secondary schools of Chibombo district of Zambia. The objectives of the study included: to determine the major community stakeholders involved in the implementation of CSE in selected secondary schools in Chibombo district; to examine how head teachers promote community participation in CSE in selected schools in Chibombo district; to establish the challenges that the rural secondary schools face in involving the community in the implementation of CSE in selected secondary schools in Chibombo district and to determine measures which can be put in place to enhance community involvement in the implementation of CSE in rural secondary schools. The research design which was used was Case Study in which qualitative data was collected. Data was collected from 92 respondents: 48 females and 44 males. The 92 respondents were distributed as follows: fifty (50) pupils; seven (7) head teachers; seven (7) heads of department; fifteen (15) teachers; three (3) headmen; six (6) parents and four (4) church leaders. Data was collected using questionnaires, semi-structured interviews, and focus group discussions. The findings of the study showed that teachers, health personnel, parents, chiefs, headmen, church leaders, law officers, and civic leaders were used in the implementation of CSE. The school managers created opportunities for community involvement in the implementation of CSE through the integration of CSE in other programmes in the school such as guidance and counselling, AGMs, infrastructural development, awards day, re-entry policy, controlling of bad behaviour and motivational talks. Traditions, low educational levels and literacy levels, negative attitude to educational programmes, long distance to school, irregular communication between the school and community, the use of English in secondary schools, women willing to be involved but not fully committed, lack of funds from the government and poverty among the members of the community were the major challenges to community involvement in CSE. The measures to be put in place to enhance CSE in rural secondary schools included sensitisation meetings, workshops, opening programmes which were specifically for CSE and include the community. Finally, based on the findings, the following recommendations have been made: The Ministry of General Education must make CSE a standalone subject and must be examinable. There is need to train all in-service teachers in CSE through workshops. Deliberate CSE programmes and activities must be put in place to allow the community to be involved in the implementation of CSE in rural secondary schools. The community must be allowed to use familiar language and not just English when they are involved in the implementation of CSE in rural secondary schools.
The University of Zambia