See for yourself: The Comprehensive Sexuality Education curriculum is here

In response to parent and teacher outcry over the content of the updated Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) scripted lesson plans, due to be rolled out in 2020, the Department of Basic Education (DBE) has released the full curriculum for public viewing.

Last month, FOR SA published 'leaked' content from the new scripted lesson plans, and social media erupted as concerned parents expressed their shock and disgust at the "graphically explicit" content that teachers were supposedly mandated to teach pupils from Grade 4 to 12.

In under two weeks, nearly 60 000 people joined a Facebook group called #LeaveOurKidsAlone, calling for a total stop to CSE in schools, and we received hundreds of emails, messages and social media comments from worried parents.  

Also read: #LeaveOurKidsAlone: Leader of anti sex ed group says they'll bring the country to a standstill

Safe and healthy lives

The DBE has repeatedly explained that the 'leaked' content in not an accurate reflection of the new lesson plans, and has refuted parents concerns that CSE will sexualise children.

They have reiterated that the core aim of CSE and the new structured lesson plans is to "help learners build an understanding of concepts, content, values and attitudes around sexuality, sexual behaviour as well as leading safe and healthy lives".

Their latest statement reads "CSE has been part of the curriculum since the year 2000. The only change is that in 2015 the DBE developed  Scripted  Lesson  Plans  (SLPs)  which  are  currently  being  tested  in  five provinces  in order  to  strengthen  the  teaching  of  CSE  in  schools. SLPs  are  learner  and  teacher  support materials that  are  designed  to aid  teachers  and  learners  to  address  these important topics in a systematic manner." 

Also read: 'CSE does not sexualise children': DBE addresses specific concerns raised on new CSE lessons

The DBE explains that the "global evidence base for CSE is significant", and that CSE is NOT Sex Education, does not teach learners how to have sex, does not sexualize children and does not only focus on only the physical relationships between humans. 

Parents are skeptical though, and the leaked content and associated fake news that skewed stakeholder's viewpoints has many people in uproar.

See the full curriculum and lesson plans below, or on the DBE website, and decide if you're happy for your kids to learn these lessons at school, or not.

DBE Note: It  is  important  to  read  all  the  documents  for  context  and  to  understand  that  the  content topics used by teachers have been provided for in the CAPS documents. CAPS was finalised after an exhaustive consultation process which lasted several years.

Sexuality Education in Life Skills Lesson Plans:

Grade 4 Educator Guide
Grade 5 Learner Book
Grade 5 Educator Guide
Grade 6 Learner Book
Grade 6 Educator Guide
Grade 7 Learner Book
Grade 7 Educator Guide
Grade 8 Learner Book
Grade 8 Educator Guide
Grade 9 Learner Book
Grade 9 Educator Guide
Grade 10 Learner Book
Grade 10 Educator Guide
Grade 11 Learner Book
Grade 11 Educator Guide
Grade 12 Learner Book
Grade 12 Educator Guide

Opting out?

Whether or not parents can opt out of this portion of the curriculum is yet to be clarified, as conflicting statements from the DBE have left parents in confusion.

The Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, recently explained in a written response to parliamentary questions on the updated CSE curriculum, that "all learners in public schools receive set provisions as per the CAPS. Parents have a right to opt out of the current curriculum, provided that they can produce an alternative curriculum that meets the required CAPS criteria for competence."

However, Elijah Mhlanga, spokesperson and Head of Communications at the Department of Basic Education, told Parent24 that "there is no opting out", directly contradicting Motshekga's response, and explained that "if you want other alternatives you can choose to take your child to a private school or home school, because those two options offer other curricula that is not CAPS."

Compiled for Parent24 by Elizabeth Mamacos

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Read more:

'CSE does not sexualise children': DBE addresses specific concerns raised on new CSE lessons

Want to opt out of sex ed classes? Private or home school are your only options, it seems

Parents can opt out of new CSE lessons says DBE Minister