The Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) has expressed its strong disapproval of explicit sexual education content found in Grade 7 textbooks.
In a statement issued by KCCB Chairman Paul Njiru at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa, such educational material may inadvertently encourage students to use contraceptives.
The clerics believe that introducing family planning and contraceptive use to young learners could lead to the sexualization of the educational environment. This, in turn, is likely to contribute significantly to the already high rates of teenage pregnancies and abortions.
During a media briefing, Bishop Paul Kariuki further emphasized that the content not only sexualizes the learning atmosphere for minors but also stands as a significant catalyst for the alarming rates of teenage pregnancies and abortions.
Kariuki noted that this content violates the Ministry of Education’s policy, which strictly forbids exposing children to explicit material.
“Looking at the Grade 7 Learner’s book titled “Top Scholar Health Education” by the Kenya Literature Bureau under Strand 7 on Human Reproductive Health, sub-strand 7.2 on Reproductive Health on page 127 and Grade 7 Teacher’s Guide titled “Health Education in Action” by Oxford University Press under Strand 7 on Human Reproductive Health, sub-strand 7.2 on Reproductive Health on page 153 have created room for introduction of family planning and encouragement of the use of contraception to very young learners,” Bishop Kariuki Stated.
The KCCB raised concerns that, if not addressed, the promotion of family planning at the primary education level could potentially result in a surge of teenage abortions.
In response, the clergy urged principals of Catholic schools to continue emphasizing and instilling strong moral values in their students.