DBE rolling out transgender ideology to pre-primary, primary schools: Have your say

You can have your say on the government’s transgender teacher training initiative here

The Department of Basic Education has covertly started training teachers to introduce transgender ideology in pre-primary and primary schools, reports Freedom of Religion South Africa which has launched a campaign inviting religious leaders and citizens to express their view on the training initiative directly to the DBE.

The transgender and gender diversity training known as the Early Childhood Education or ECE Toolkit has already been rolled out in at least five provinces despite opposition from a coalition of religious, spiritual, cultural and traditional associations representing over 20 million members, says FOR SA.

The department has rejected a 35-page Comprehensive Positions statement which the coalition submitted in December last year, outlining its objections and recommendations. It has also ignored requests from the coalition for meetings and interventions by the Minister of Basic Education and the Presidency, says FOR SA in a press release.

Key aspects of the ECE Toolkit which was developed in collaboration with the University of Stellenbosch and funded by a R40 million grant from VVOB, a Belgian-based organisation, include asking young children for their preferred names and pronouns, using gender-neutral language in class, and promoting access to toilet facilities based on children’s gender identities. 

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Critics say that the toolkit imposes a singular ideology that undermines traditional views and values held by many parents and communities.The Coalition emphasises the importance of parents’ rights to raise children according to their cultural, spiritual, religious, and traditional beliefs, as recognised by South African and international law. They say that the ECE Toolkit’s approach could  divide children from their parents and damage the family unit. 

The DBE has defended the Toolkit as part of its strategy to combat gender-based violence by challenging social and gender norms from an early age, says For SA.

It says that critics argue that teaching an ideology that denies the biological differences between men and women risks entrenching GBV, rather than eliminating it. It undermines the status of women, the main victims of gender inequality, discrimination and GBV.

According to the press release the DBE rejected a proposal by the coalition for the formation of a Family Values Unit within the DBE to ensure that educational solutions are rooted in the South African context and not driven by foreign ideologies. Instead, citing the principle of the separation of Church and State, the DBE has established a Directorate: Social Cohesion and Equity in Education.

The coalition remains committed to fostering constructive dialogue with the DBE to find a balanced approach that respects the constitutional rights and cultural diversity of all South Africans, says For SA. It emphasise the importance of considering the best interests of all children, which include taking into account their familial, community, and religious contexts.

Religious leaders and concerned citizens are invited to express their views on the ECE Toolkit through a questionnaire on the Dear South Africa website. More information is avialble on the FOR SA website.

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One Comment

  1. Michael Higgs

    It is absolutely iniquitous to expect children who do not even understand what gender is, or what pronouns are, to make the sort of decisions specified in the transgender ideology. I regard this as an invention of the Evil One, and I come against it in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, who said: “Let the children come to me”.