by Cause For Justice
On 12 May, the Sunday Times published an article on Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) that led to public outrage concerning claims such as “children as young as nine years old will learn about masturbation when new life orientation textbooks are rolled out next year.”
In response, the Department of Basic Education (DBE) released a statement to calm the uproar, distancing itself from the Sunday Times article and calling it “misleading” and “a complete misrepresentation of the work the department is doing”.
Subsequently, CFJ Executive Director and Legal Counsel Ryan Smit met with the DBE on more than one occasion in order to confirm what will be taught to children in the new life skills/life orientation curriculum (LO/LS curriculum), and also where the controversial content originates from. Another important question asked of DBE was whether parents would be able to opt their children out of parts, or the whole, of the new LO/LS curriculum should they not agree with its content.
In the blog and video below, Ryan discusses the action CFJ has taken and what it has learnt, the processes followed and the information gaps that still persist, as well as the actual evidence of the effectiveness of CSE (spoiler: a proper interrogation of the evidence provided by UNESCO, the originator and promoter of CSE, indicates that CSE in school settings has shown little success and may be detrimental, doing more harm than good!).
You can learn more about CSE and the work CFJ is doing in three quick and easy ways:
Check out the CSEtalk website (learn how you can get involved and take action): http://csetalk.co.za/
Watch an informative 7-minute video interview with Ryan Smit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMvP-l55Mw4
Read Ryan’s full CSE blog post: https://causeforjustice.org/2019/05/31/comprehensive-sexuality-education/
Cause for Justice (CFJ) is a non-profit human rights and public interest organisation. It is comprised of legal experts who proactively identify and take on causes to ensure a just and flourishing society. These causes align with CFJ’s five core values, namely: (1) the responsible exercise of constitutional freedoms, (2) protecting and promoting human dignity (inherent worth), (3) protecting the vulnerable in society (social justice), (4) ensuring accountable government action and (5) protecting the family against destructive outside (and inside) forces. To this end, CFJ participates in law and policy-making processes in Parliament and government structures, and also acts in court cases to promote and protect laws in keeping with its core values.