The FG orders sex education to be removed from the Nigerian curriculum.
Nigerian civil society organizations have responded to the resolution of the National Council on Education’s (NCE) 66th ministerial session, which was held on November 3, 2022. The groups claimed they were disappointed to learn that the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) had been given the order by the country’s minister of education, Adamu Adamu, to remove sex education from the curriculum. In a statement, 54 organizations said that the change undoes 20 years of progress done by the ministry of education and other state and non-state players to deliver a well-rounded education that accommodates students at various levels.
The FLHE (Family Life and HIV Education) curriculum in Nigeria, the process that led to the development of this curriculum, and its effects on adolescents and young people all seem to be extremely poorly understood by the minister. Due to the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the increased number of teen and young adult situations, the FLHE curriculum was approved by the same National Council on Education (NCE) in 2002. Adopting measures that will put this vulnerable population at the centre of prevention and response became essential; one such strategy was the customization of the curriculum in the schools.
The FLHE curriculum is detailed process of education.
The FLHE curriculum is described as “a planned process of education that fosters the acquisition of factual information, formation of positive attitudes, beliefs, and values as well as development of skills to cope with the biological, psychological, sociocultural, and spiritual aspects of human living” in its own definition. The curriculum seeks to give students the knowledge and abilities they need to make informed decisions about their bodies, as well as knowledge that can positively influence and alter their behaviors and stop the spread of HIV.
There are six themes: society & culture, personal growth, sexual health, relationships, and sexual behavior. With the appropriate age and culturally sensitive manner, the information is well delivered. Anyone who has interacted with this curriculum knows that it is designed to give adolescents and young people the support and direction they need to get through the crucial and frequently experienced life-changing phases while they are completing their basic and senior secondary education. They would also know that this curriculum is not opposed to any religious or cultural groups or teachings in this country.
Teachers were trained effectively to deliver lessons and adapt.
It is important to note that individuals from all of the Federation’s states, including parents, teachers, traditional and religious leaders, policymakers, and implementers, actively contributed to the FLHE’s content. Similar to a curriculum that has been used for 20 years, the government, funders, and civil society have all put significant resources into making this implementation successful. The NERDC has supported the government’s efforts to provide education that is meeting the needs of a student in the twenty-first century through research, frequent consultations, workshops, training instructors to be equipped to present lessons effectively, and adaptation of various programs.
The implementation helps students deal with challenges related to their social, physical, and mental growth. It encourages healthy behavior and gives the skills needed to establish good relationships with parents, friends, and communities. The honourable minister needs to be reminded that after 12 years of schooling, a student would have spent more than 15,000 hours of their active time in school. The length of time that students in formal education must spend there, which cannot be compared to the amount of time they spend with their parents after school or before school, makes the socialization that occurs there crucial.
Both parents and teachers need help in these situations.
The media has recently highlighted stories about adolescents and sexual behaviors, including sexual violence in secondary schools, one of which resulted in the death of an adolescent in the FCT. These stories have also highlighted the significance of providing accurate information for adolescents, and this cannot be left to the amount of time that students at school age spend outside the academic environment, and this is not just for parents who obviously need the assistance of TAC.
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