Civil Society Organisations, CSOs, have condemned the directive from the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, to the National Educational Research Development Council to expunge sex education from the Nigerian educational curriculum.
The Executive Director, Education as a Vaccine, Mrs Toyin Chukwudozie, who spoke on behalf of 53 organisations, in a statement issued to Vanguard, Tuesday, in Abuja, said the directive was untoward.
It was reported that the minister at the 66th Ministerial Session of the National Council on Education had given the directive to remove sex education from the curriculum.
The minister argued that sex education should be left in the hands of parents and religious institutions and not to be taught in schools in a manner that would further corrupt little children who are having access to phones and technologies.
Adamu emphasised that Nigeria was a religious country and as such the morals and values taught in the Church and Mosque in addition to efforts of the parents were enough to bring up a child with solid character.
Reacting to this, Chukwudozie said anyone who had interacted with the curriculum would know that it was set to provide the support and guidance for adolescents, and young people.
She said: “These young people need to navigate through the changing phases of their lives that are so critical, and mostly experienced while they go through the basic and senior secondary education.
“This development is very unwelcome and erodes 20 years of progress made by the ministry of education and other state and non-state actors to provide wholesome education that meets the needs of learners at different levels.
“It appears the minister has not been provided appropriate information and advisory by relevant officials about Nigeria’s Family Life and HIV Education curriculum, the journey towards having this curriculum, and the impact for adolescents, and young people.
“The FLHE curriculum was approved by the same NCE in 2002 because of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the constant rising incidents among adolescents and young people.
“It is imperative to adopt strategies that will centre this vulnerable group at the heart of prevention and response, one of such strategies was the adaptation into the school curriculum.”
According to Chukwudozie, the FLHE curriculum is a planned process of education that fosters the acquisition of factual information, formation of positive attitudes, beliefs and values as well as development of skills’.
She said this would help them to cope with the biological, psychological, sociocultural and spiritual aspects of human living.
She said that the curriculum was aimed to provide information and skills that were necessary for young people to make rational decisions about their bodies.
She added that the curriculum was not against any religious or cultural groups or teachings in the country.