Kirinyaga County Women representative, Jane Maina has moved a Motion urging for the introduction of comprehensive health, wellness and sex education in the curriculum as a core subject in schools by the National Government through the State Department of Basic Education.
Hon. Jane Maina argues that, improving public health is a fundamental responsibility of the Government and is imperative to address pressing reproductive health challenges faced by young people.
These challenges include poor sexual and reproductive health, inadequate information regarding sexual health, and exposure to sexually transmitted infections.
“Comprehensive sexual education through school-based programmes, community-based programmes and health care facilities can promote healthy sexual practices amongst young people and reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections, lower the incidences of teenage pregnancies thus increasing school attendance and retention.” noted Hon. Jane Maina in her moving notes.
Seconding the Motion, Deputy Majority Whip Hon. Naomi Waqo stressed that it is the responsibility of the Government to give every citizen an equal opportunity to access good healthcare services.
The Member congratulated Hon. Maina for introducing the Motion. She told legislators that African cultural barriers have for long barred the society from entrenching sex education alongside other parental guidance leaving children to be exposed to sexual behaviour from their environments.
She emphasized the need to help children understand the risks posed by irresponsible sexual behaviour from an early age.
Moiben MP, Hon. Phyllis Bartoo who supported this motion, stated that in the digital age where children have easy access to mobile phones with all manner of information from the internet, there is need to have the curriculum incorporate sex education.
She decried that a number of children between the ages of 15 and 19 may have had sexual experience,while others may have been exposed to sexually transmitted diseases through risky sexual behaviours.
While contributing to the motion, Baringo County legislator, Hon. Flowrence Jematiah lauded the lawmaker for Motion which she termed as timely. She pointed out that recent statistics have indicated that there has been an influx of teenage pregnancies due to little parent-children interactions to help children understand biological changes in their bodies as they go through adolescence.
The legislator said that it is time for the society to sit down and guide the future generation accordingly.
Rising to support the Motion, Imenti North MP, Hon. Rahim Dawood observed that comprehensive health education is a good subject but cautioned against too much unnecessary exposure on the subject.
He argued that the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC),which is characterized by the tenets of a good education system suffices to inculcate value systems on children.He also emphasized on the need to educate children on their legal rights in the event of incidences like sexual abuse.
On her part, Kisii County MP, Hon. Donya Aburi agreed that there is need for proper sex education to enable children make informed choices in life. She noted that at the Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital, 60 to 65 percent of pregnancies recorded at the hospital emanate from teenage pregnancies .
All Members who spoke on the matter supported the Motion underscoring the need to expose children to matters involving their bodies from a young age to alleviate risks brought about by ignorance .
They also called on the community to take up the role of educating their children on matters to do with sexual health.