Investigating the implementation of comprehensive sexuality education in selected public schools in Samfya District, Zambia.
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The controversy on the usefulness of Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) in reducing teen pregnancy in Zambian schools raises concern among educationists and stakeholders. This study sought to investigate the implementation of CSE in selected public schools in Samfya District of Luapula province, Zambia. The study employed a qualitative case study research design involving 27 participants who were purposively selected from three schools in the district. Data were collected using lesson observations, document analysis, semi-structured interviews and Focus Group Discussions). Data analysis was carried out using thematic analysis. The results showed that CSE is implemented in public schools through sensitization of teachers about CSE; integration of CSE into existing subjects; and the use of extra-curricular activities. However, the integration of CSE was not as comprehensive as it should be because teachers tended to focus mainly on topics bordering on human development and sexual and reproductive health, with more emphasis on abstinence, which were already part of the curriculum of the existing subjects. Other important components of CSE such as values, attitudes and skills; culture, society and human rights; sexual behaviour and relationships, were not emphasized upon because teachers, when integrating, did not use the actual CSE framework. In addition, findings suggested that teachers were not adequately trained in CSE delivery as they were just sensitized by others who attended a workshop on CSE. Furthermore, CSE was not fully integrated in extra-curricular activities. There was also no involvement of key stakeholders such as the local community in the implementation of CSE.This led to the conclusion that the implementation of CSE has not been comprehensive because of inadequate training of teachers, failure by teachers to properly integrate CSE using a CSE framework and inadequate extracurricular activities, and less community involvement. Therefore, the study recommends that guidance and counselling teachers should coordinate CSE implementation in schools. Secondly, while CSE themes are covered in other subjects as cross cutting issues, it should also be a standalone subject taught by guidance and counselling teachers. Thirdly, teachers should be adequately trained on how to integrate CSE using a CSE framework.
Journal of Education and Practice
Article on comprehensive sexuality education in Zambia.