By Ermiyas Males
In today’s fast-changing world, it’s essential for education to adapt and cater to the needs of young people. A vital part of this adaptation is introducing and embracing age-appropriate sex education in Kenya’s curriculum. This change is key and resonates to the needs of young people, it respects constitutional rights and promotes a more inclusive and healthy society.
Human sexuality education is like a toolbox of important information about our bodies, relationships, and sexual health. When young people have knowledge about prevention and promoting good health, they can make better decisions about their well-being. Adolescence is a crucial stage where young people are figuring out many things about themselves and the world around them. By including this education in schools, leaders are showing that they care about the health and happiness of Kenya’s youth. It’s like giving everyone a key to understanding and respecting one another.
An inclusive curriculum teaches about consent (which means agreeing to do something), different ways people view their bodies (like being a boy, girl, or intersex), and how relationships work. When we talk openly about these things, it helps us understand and accept everyone, no matter who they are or whom they love. This understanding leads to a society where people are treated with respect, making everyone feel welcomed and valued. It’s like having a big, diverse family where everyone is appreciated for who they are.
In today’s digital age, online interactions are a big part of young people’s lives. Sexuality education can also include lessons on how to behave responsibly on the internet, understanding consent even in virtual spaces, and staying safe from online harm. By learning these skills, young people can create a safer and more positive online environment for themselves and their peers. It’s like giving them the tools to navigate the digital world securely.
Article 53(1)(b) of Kenya constitution, guarantees every child the right to free and compulsory basic education, including comprehensive knowledge. This means that young people have the right to learn about their bodies and relationships. Additionally, Article 43(1)(a) ensures the right to the highest attainable standard of health, including reproductive health care, which is fulfilled through comprehensive human sexuality education. These articles are a powerful promise, ensuring that everyone have access to essential information about their health and well-being. It’s like having a clear statement in the constitution that says every child deserves this knowledge, making it easier for everyone to relate to and understand.
It’s time we stand up and make a difference in the lives of young people. By supporting age-appropriate human sexuality education, we are empowering young people to live healthy and informed lives. Let’s channel our collective voice and energy into urging policymakers and the Ministry of Education to embrace this change.
Ermiyas Males a Youth Advocate in the field of Health at Naya Kenya