By Male Marvin
KAMPALA – The First Lady and Minister for Education and Sports, Hon. Janet Kataha Museveni has responded to complaints forwarded by Church leaders in regard to the proposed National Sexuality Education Policy Framework.
In a press statement released Thursday, Hon. Janet Kataha Museveni said the new policy seeks to offer solutions to the country outcry about a programme that had been smuggled into the country called “comprehensive sexuality education.”
“The people who were behind this programme still use some non-governmental organisations to do some secret seminars and they try to confuse the media that what they do may be known as Ministry of Education Sexuality Policy framework,” the First Lady said.
Mrs Museveni said it is important for the public to know that the Ministry’s new programme is still in the making until “we get all our stakeholders in agreement for the sake of our children.”
“If there are aspects of this policy that we all agree are not good for the young people, then they can be re-considered for the good of us all,” she said.
Towards the end of December 2018, Church leaders under their umbrella organisation the Uganda Joint Christian Council (UJCC) expressed reservation about the proposal to introduce sexuality education to children attending pre-primary (aged 3-5) and lower primary classes (aged 6-9).
“We are concerned that this sexual education framework will neither help the Parents, the Church nor the Country to obtain the goals of Education in Uganda,” the Church leaders said.
“We as leaders of the UJCC have resolved to reject this framework for the dangers that it will create in the Church, Families and Nation at large. There are more questions this framework has raised than it seeks to answer,” they added.
Mrs Museveni said that sexuality education is neither sex education nor just “teaching children about sex” or “matters of the bedroom.”
While sex education has been defined as “a broad term used to describe education about human sexual anatomy, sexual reproduction, sexual intercourse and other aspects of this human behaviour”, Mrs Museveni asserted that is important to note that sexuality education aims at developing and strengthening the ability of children and young people to make conscious, right, healthy, deliberate, safe and respectful choices regarding emotional and physical health and boy/girl relationships.
“In today’s world, there is a greater need more than ever before to aid children and young people with the right information on this subject as early as possible, knowing that indeed this is the information age, and if the children do not get the correct information, timely and from the right places, they may get information from the many available resource centres,” she said.
She further explained: “But what kind of information will it be and what direction will it lead them into?Therefore, sexuality education delivered in a safe and protective environment is known to have a positive and life-long effect on the health and well-being of young people.”
“These Children and young people need all of us in these challenging times to hold hands together and create a safety net under them so that they can be saved. Otherwise, the more time we waste in disagreement, the higher the statistics of teenage pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, sexual abuse etc,” Mrs Museveni said.