Keynote speakers included the Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary School, Mr. Alpha Timbo and the Canadian Minister of International Development, Ms. Marie-Claude Bibeau.
Comprehensive Sexuality Education is a curriculum-based method of teaching and learning about the different aspects of sexuality. It equips young people with scientifically accurate information about sexual and reproductive health. It goes beyond information, to encourage confidence, improved communication skills and critical thinking skills to make conscious, healthy and respectful decisions about relationships and accessing health services. Comprehensive sexuality education is gender-sensitive and firmly grounded in human rights. It empowers children, adolescents and young people to achieve their right to education about their bodies, relationships and sexuality.
Delivering the keynote address, Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education, Mr. Alpha Timbo stated, “With proper implementation, comprehensive sexuality education has been proven to reduce dropout rates by helping to reduce adolescent pregnancy.” He added, “The purpose of comprehensive sexuality education is not to remove all our cultural values in our societies but to merely come together and think of how we can incorporate comprehensive sexuality education within these values that we hold so dearly.”
The main objectives of the workshop included, orienting national stakeholders on comprehensive sexuality education; informing stakeholders about the latest evidence and best practices in comprehensive sexuality education; and lastly, establishing a technical working group to oversee the process of developing comprehensive sexuality education curriculum, training materials, advocacy and training.
Attending the workshop as a special guest speaker, Canadian Minister for International Development, Marie-Claude Bibeau said, “The Canadian Government continues to be at the forefront to end the practice [of child marriage]. “Comprehensive sexuality education will give girls the knowledge they need to decide when and whom they marry,” she added.