Government has been advised to put more focus on teaching religious education other than sexuality in schools like it plans to do.
Government through the Ministry of Education mooted plans to introduce sexuality education in the national curriculum right from nursery school to university.
Speaking during a public dialogue organised by Public Interest Law Clinic and Makerere University School of Law at Makerere University on Friday, Dr.Josue Okoth, a concerned citizen and Christian said instead of wasting resources to teach sexuality education, government should focus on teaching religious education in schools.
“85 percent of people in Uganda are Christians which indicates that the largest number of people have chosen to live and Christian life .There is something wrong that we need to rectify by teaching religious education to our children,”Dr.Okoth said.
“Sexuality education that government wants to teach is only targeting symptoms and not root causes.”
The concerned citizen argued that the current problems the society faces including rape, defilement and sex for marks among others can only be addressed right from their root cause, adding that sexuality education cannot solve it.
He said that Christian Religious Education taught in school is very shallow that it does not go deep into inculcating religion into lives of children but said if government focuses more on it, immorality can be checked.
“Why not modify it to fit into science and biology that is already being taught in schools? Programs like this (Sexuality education) are dictated by whites with strings attached and we should not accept it. If it continues the way it is right now without being modified, the results from sexuality education will be negative,” Dr.Okoth said.
Rev.Fr.Deus Nkurunziza who spoke on behalf of the Catholic Church termed sexuality education as a multi- billion dollar project that whites want to dictate on Uganda. He said that sexuality education should be revised before being implemented by government.
“Sexuality education is not a Bible that it is cast in stone and cannot be revised. Let government revise it. We already have the Presidential Initiative on AIDS Strategy to Youth(PIASCY) which more or less teaches the same. There is therefore no need of introducing sexuality education,”Rev.Fr.Nkurunziza said.
He argued that sexuality education in its current form is intended to manipulate Ugandan children and also indoctrinate them by the whites.
Govt defends move
Henry Ssemakula, a senior education officer in charge of guidance and counselling in the Education ministry said sexuality education is not meant to teach sex to children but rather create awareness in regards to body changes and how to deal with it.
“There is a lot of information making rounds on social media , media and the internet in regards to sexuality that children read and watch but we need to control this. We are not going to be teaching marriage to children but teach them religious, cultural and ethical values,”Ssemakula said.
He said sexuality education will prepare children face various challenges in regards sexuality as they grow up.
“Some children are wasted in drugs but with such education, we can help them recover. The children can also be guarded against any harm and problems that may come their way.”
Francis Mondo Kyateeka, an assistant commissioner in the Ministry of Gender said sexuality education will help equip children with information that is not given to them by their parents.
“Parents have abrogated their duties but for how long are we going to sit back and look on as things go the way they are going. If we don’t teach these things to children, social media and internet will teach them the wrong way,” Mondo Kyateeka said.
“Many parents are pretending to be busy but this strategy will help fill the gap by equipping the children with the correct information. In absence of parents, someone needs to do it.”
The church which is an instrumental player in provision of education services through schools has protested against the implementation of sexuality education in its current form.
Should the National Sexuality Education Framework remain unchanged, with provisions and directives contrary to our Christian values, the common position of the Catholic church, shared by our brother of the Church of Uganda and the Orthodox church, is that we shall not be able in conscience to have it introduced and taught in our Christian-founded schools,” Gulu Archbishop John Baptist Odama, the former chairperson of the Uganda Episcopal Conference, said last year.