In a quest to fully understand how comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) is learnt in schools, The Art and Global Health Center Africa (ArtGlo) facilitated in depth CSE dialogue between students and teachers at Chikwewo CDSS in Machinga.
The event which involved life-skills teachers, form 1 and 3 students tackled topics such as sexual reproductive health and rights, gender, sex and culture, sexual harassment and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Speaking at the event on Monday, ArtGlo’s Programme Manager, Lekodi Magombo said that the aim of the youth-teacher dialogue event was to create a safe space for students and teachers to discuss experiences with CSE delivery in schools as well as express their needs for CSE.
“The dialogue was designed to provide an opportunity to share information about comprehensive sexuality education and clarify some ongoing misconceptions on CSE. The event is part of an overall look into comprehensive sexuality education to feed into the UNESCO 03 programme.” He explained
Regina Nyemba, a participant at the event and a life skills and social studies teacher at Chikwewo CDSS said that this was an important dialogue to have especially because there are several gaps that exist within the Life-Skills syllabus and hopes that through such dialogues, improvements can be made.
“In Life-skills, we do not have topics like menstruation for instance, these are topics found in Biology, and many times, Biology teachers hardly explain these topics. I have had Biology teachers come to me to help them teach such topics because some are uncomfortable to openly teach these topics.
“I think that these are some issues that have come-out in this dialogue that really need to be addressed,” she said.
The teachers had the opportunity to look back at some of the methodologies that they use in teaching CSE and how they can be improved.
During the event, ArtGlo also introduced participatory arts including short plays and Drama as a way of talking about and teaching CSE in a creative way.
Further, according to Nyemba , using creative arts in giving awareness about CSE is the best strategy that can make the difference and achieve the desired objectives.
One of the participants, a form 3 student Grace Peter expressed gratitude saying the dialogue enabled them to give feedback on improvements in as far as CSE is concerned.
“I have really loved this event because these are important issues but are hardly comprehensively taught. The best part of this event is that we have come from different schools which means we can share knowledge and best practices in teaching and learning CSE,” she said.
The event was funded by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).