Question NW1033 to the Minister of Basic Education

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04 November 2019 - NW1033

Profile picture: Tarabella - Marchesi, Ms NI

Tarabella - Marchesi, Ms NI to ask the Minister of Basic Education

(1)How did her department ensure that the views of (a) parents, (b) religious groups and (c) relevant nongovernmental organisations are taken into consideration in respect of the Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) programmes;


1. Since the introduction of Comprehensive Sexuality Education in 2000, the Department of Basic Education has held continuous consultative engagements with education stakeholders at National and Provincial level. The views of parents are represented by School Governing Body Associations who form part of the National Consultative Forum of the DBE, where CSE programmes are continually discussed.

The views of religious groups and relevant non-governmental organisations are represented through the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC), which is the official coordinating structure of the country’s response to HIV and the relationship between Government, civil society organizations and the religious sector among others.

(2) whether the CSE policy is evidence based; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what is the empirical evidence upon which the policy is based;

Response: The Department of Basic Education has no CSE policy. Instead, CSE is embedded in the Life Skills and Life Orientation Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS). The empirical evidence is drawn from the following studies:

  • General Household Survey on Schooling
  • South African National HIV Prevalence, HIV Incidence, Behaviour and Communication Survey
  • South African Youth Risk Behaviour Survey
  • Southern Africa Consortium for Monitoring Educational Quality
  • UNESCO International Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education

(3) (a) can a parent choose to opt out of the CSE by not allowing their child to attend the programmes, (b) were the parents given an opportunity to give their views on the content of the CSE, (c) were their concerns addressed and (d) how was this conducted;

Response: (a) 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. (b) see number 1 above; (c) see number 1 above; (d) see number 1 above.

(4) (a) what actions will be taken against teachers who are opposed to the CSE and (b) is there an option for a teacher to refuse to give CSE programmes?

Response: CSE is provided as part of the Life Skills and Life Orientation CAPS. Teachers are required to deliver curriculum as set in the CAPS. The DBE ensures that teachers are supported on seamless delivery of CSE lessons in life Orientation.


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