Society magazine’s Agnes Bateta talked to a few individuals in Kigali to see what their views on sex education in primary schools were.
“I think the basics of sex education should be taught in the lower primary levels but a lot more effort should be put into the upper classes because they are closer to adolescence and need it the most.”
Jack Habimana, Primary Education expert at the Ministry of Education
“I think it would be more appropriate if age was taken into consideration. For example, younger kids only need to learn about their body parts. As they grow, they learn that boys and girls are different. Only during upper primary should they be taught about reproduction. Younger kids have no business learning about the reproductive system.”
Maureen Mirembe, Primary teacher at Sparrow Parent’s School, Kabuga
“The earlier the better because that way, kids can protect themselves from HIV/AIDS and other worrying issues affecting them today. Since some of these girls get their first menstrual period much earlier than normal, it is imperative that they understand the trouble they could find themselves in if they are not careful.”
Jane Mukarumonji, 37, mother of 6 and businesswoman
“Sex Education will help them handle themselves better as adolescents. If they leave primary school without learning anything about it they will definitely get into trouble in their later years.”
Juma Iyamuremye, Welder and electronic wiring engineer
“It should be taught from when kids are starting primary school. Kids need to learn about their bodies, gender, and everything else that sex education has to offer. They need to understand the changes they will go through in adolescence so that it doesn’t come as a surprise. Some girls go into their menstrual period and have no clue what is happening to them.”
Chantal Umuhoza, Project Coordinator SAAF project
“I think that is a great idea seeing as they will grow up knowing pretty much everything there is to know about their bodies. However, it shouldn’t be left to teachers alone – parents must take responsibility too. Most of these kids do not understand sex and end up doing things they think are harmless because they don’t know any better.”
Sosten Nzaramba, Construction worker and resident of Nyarutarama.