The ACDP is not convinced by the response it has received from the Department of Basic Education (DBE) to the important question regarding the content of the new Comprehensive Sexual Education (CSE) curriculum, it says in a media statement released yesterday.
“As a result, we have requested a meeting with the DBE,” says the party.
At a Basic Education Portfolio Committee meeting, the ACDP again raised its concern that the DBE is consciously disregarding the rights of parents by forging ahead with the implementation of CSE without full and proper consultation, says the statement.
“The ACDP welcomes the DBE’s commitment, as per our request, to meet with the Basic Education Portfolio Committee and to present it with content relating to the new CSE curriculum. The feeling within the Basic Education Portfolio Committee overall is that the DBE has not consulted broadly enough.
“The research cited by the DBE on CSE seems to be research conducted by global affiliates of UNESCO – which we, as the ACDP, do not view as an independent undertaking,” says the ACDP.
The party says while acknowledging problems in SA society and the need for the DBE to address issues of increasing HIV/AIDS infections and pregnancies among young people in schools, it feels that solutions “need to be aligned with us as an African people”.
The statement concludes: “The ACDP encourages the DBE to extend an opportunity to parents, school governing bodies, and other stakeholders, for them to measure and scrutinise learning materials, such as textbooks, that pertain to the new CSE curriculum. Knowing that this curriculum will significantly impact the welfare of all children, we believe that this undertaking is necessary and will go a long way in ensuring that all stakeholders are satisfied and enabled to engage in a meaningful and constructive manner to achieve a desirable outcome for all parties involved.
“We wish to reiterate our call for parents to demand access to review CSE related materials and textbooks before the implementation of the new curriculum.
“We are of the opinion that regardless of the assurances given by the DBE, there is no real proof that the beliefs and values of most South African parents will not be undermined by implementation of the new CSE curriculum.”