Want to opt out of sex ed classes? Private or home school are your only options, it seems
If you want to avoid exposing your kids to the CSE CAPS curriculum, it seems your options are to send them to private school, or to homeschool them yourself.
Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, explained this week 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."
Since then parents have been reaching out to Parent24 asking "What is an alternative curriculum that meets the required CAPS criteria for competence?" and "What happens to my child during class, if I opt them out of the CSE lessons?"
We called the Department of Basic Education for clarity, and Elijah Mhlanga, spokesperson and Head of Communications at the Department of Basic Education, explained to us that the "sexuality education is added on to the Life Orientation curriculum", and is a compulsory part of learning if you are in a public school in South Africa.
Private school or home school
He told us 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."
He said that the DBE was working on a statement that will soon to clarify this confusion.
For so many South African parents, neither of these choices are a viable option, so we're waiting to hear further from the DBE for clarity.
DA MP Nomsa Marchesi asked Motshekga if parents could opt out of the CSE curriculum being offered among the Life Orientation subjects, after recent objections by Freedom of Religion South Africa (FOR SA), the South African Teachers' Union and many parents and teachers in response to revelations that the DBE's new scripted lesson plans for 2020 include "graphically explicit" scenarios, examples of sexual assault, group discussions on the topic of "private parts", and more.
*This is a developing story
Share your story with us and we could publish it. Anonymous contributions are welcome.
WhatsApp: Send messages and voicenotes to 066 010 0325
Email: Share your story with us via email at chatback @ parent24.com