Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has reiterated that if there were parents who were against the Comprehensive Sexuality Education in schools they have a right to opt out, reports IOL news
But “reiterate” may be stretching believability a little as what the minister reportedly said in reply to a question in parliament on Wednesday is significantly different from what she said a few weeks ago — also in reply to a question in parliament.
In a written reply to a question on November 13, she said parents could opt out of CSE provided they “can produce an alternative curriculum that meets the required CAPS criteria for competence”.
Subsequently, Department of Basic Education spokesman Elijah Mahlanga “clarified” that what Motskekga actually meant was that parents who wanted to opt out of CSE could do so by opting out of the entire CAPS curriculum, which would necessitate homeschooling their children or sending them to private schools.
But this week, it seems that it is the minister’s turn to “clarify” what she actually means by opting out. IOL News reports: “Answering questions on the CSE [she] said if parents did not want their children to learn what other children were learning they can come and sit out with them until the lessons were finished.”
“Ja-Nee” seems a fitting response to Motshekga’s latest iteration of opting out.
The DBE has been under increasing fire from concerned parents, teachers and interest groups for pushing ahead with its plans to implement UNESCO-sponsored CSE scripted lesson plans in public schools without consulting with key stakeholders; despite evidence that the material fails at reducing teenage pregnancies, HIV/STD infections and sexual abuse; and despite concerns that it is age-inappropriate.