The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in collaboration with the Malawi Institution of Education and the Ministry of Education have initiated a project called Malawi our Lives our Rights our Future, aiming to create safe learner-teacher relation and discuss experiences on Comprehensive sexuality education in schools.
UNESCO together with the education officials and other players is conducting a Consultant-Teacher dialogue on Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) in Salima District expected to end on Friday 8th October, 2021.
According to United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the majority of adolescents lack the knowledge required to make those decisions responsibly, leaving them vulnerable to coercion, sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancy.
UNESCO Project Officer, Naomi M’nthali said their organization believes that education is a human right throughout life and that access must be matched by quality hence the need to stress the initiative.
“Education reaches all children and is fundamental to everyone’s well-being as well as knowledge and also dealing with developing skills and moving forward. So when it comes to sexuality education, the program ensures that learners have the skills, knowledge, and ability to be able to maintain healthy lives and make right and informed decisions regarding other sexuality”.
Executive Director for Malawi Institute of Education, Freads Kadyomba said as an organization mandated by the government to design, develop and monitor and evaluate curriculum in all levels of education, they are supporting the UNESCO project to enhance education.
“We are here to support the course, and Consultancy of Malawi has developed books which will be used to support learners especially girls in the schools to avoid discrimination, the negativity that is associated with their agenda as it impinges on their education. So this is a very important activity, it is a validation process which has brought together teachers from primary, secondary and even teachers training colleges including officials from Ministry of education to validate materials that have been developed”.
It is believed that there are many gaps in sexual education, leading youth to contract sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and teen pregnancies.
According to the players involved in the dialogue, empowering youth on comprehensive sexual education can help to reduce sexually transmitted diseases, teenage pregnancies and school dropouts.
Comprehensive sexuality education enables young people to protect and advocate for their health, well-being and dignity by providing them with a necessary toolkit of knowledge, attitudes and skills.