Dear Venus, [Venus Mushininga, Zimbabwe]
"In Zimbabwe the school curriculum has been recently changed to include appropriate sexual education at an early age."
Please can you say a bit more about the new school curriculum? At what age does sexual education start in Zimbabwe and how is it delivered?
You make the important point that sexual education can assist 'in navigation of information overload from the Internet and social media'. To this we may also add harmful myths and misinformation that are spread by social media.
This seems a strong argument for appropriate, comprehensive sex education, perhaps starting at the age of 10/12, as suggested by Clare Hanbury (Children For Health, UK)
Opponents of comprehensive sex education may argue that 'sex education should be done by parents, not by schools'. But if it is not done by schools in a safe, controlled environment, then it seems inevitable that the child/adolescent will be much more vulnerable to misinformation on social media.
It would be interesting/important to hear the perspective of any HIFA members who are concerned about th eintroduction of comprehensive sex education, or who know of others who are concerned.
Best wishes, Neil
Joint Coordinator, HIFA Project on Family Planning
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HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - www.hifa.org ), a global community with more than 18,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on five global forums in three languages. He also currently chairs the Dgroups Foundation (www.dgroups.info), which supports 800 communities of practice on international development, health and social justice.
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