There is need to integrate the social and cultural aspect of sexual reproductive health in teachers’ training to create better educators, a new study says.
The study, “An Assessment Of Barriers for Teachers to Carry out Sexual Education In Rwandan Schools”, and conducted by International Medical Cooperation Committee (IMCC) Rwanda and Medical Students’ Association of Rwanda (MEDSAR), aimed to identify barriers to offering sexual education in primary and secondary schools.
The findings were launchedreleased Rwanda’s College of Medicine and Health Sciences.
According to the study, the lack of sex education and knowledge about family planning and reproductive health are influencing the incidence of people getting sexually transmitted diseases (including HIV/AIDS), especially in the younger population. It affects the number of children born per woman and the number of teenage pregnancies, it said.
“There is a big effort needed in order to empower the teacher to carry out quality sex education in Rwanda. We need more training for teachers who are already in fieldwork and those who are still in university, specifically in the social and cultural aspects of sexual reproductive health. At the same time, parents need to be involved in sexual and reproductive health education of the Rwandan youth to make the next generation of Rwandans better responsible, in caring for their own sexual and reproductive right,’’ said Gerard Mbabazi, the president of MEDSAR.
In teacher-training, focus is placed more on the anatomy and not the physiology of sexual reproductive health, according to the study.
“We found out that the previous curriculum did not put enough effort in sex education in schools. Now that they have included sex education in the new curriculum, we saw the need to find out the barriers that teachers face in schools,” Mbabazi said.
Rwanda Education Board last year developed a new curriculum, which will be implemented in schools in the 2016 academic year. And, recently, deans of studies from 1,508 secondary schools from the 30 districts across the country were trained on how the comprehensive sexuality education programme under the new curriculum will be implemented.