Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) implementing Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) programmes across the country have been called to strictly adhere to the approved guidelines to achieve the desired results.

Dr Esi Awotwi, Programme Coordinator of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Ghana, who gave the advice, said CSE had different contents in different countries and Ghanaian children must not be exposed to the contents of other countries.

She said CSEs of some countries which contain issues bordering on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) rights were insensitive to the Ghanaian culture and allayed perceived public fears that it would never be allowed for assimilation by Ghanaian children.

She was addressing a day’s orientation for CSO professionals on the national CSE guidelines and gender-responsive programming organized by the UNFPA in Accra.

The training was to equip participants drawn from across the country to efficiently deliver gender-responsive CSE programming in line with the national guidelines.

The guideline which was launched by the UNFPA last year seeks to provide young people with the knowledge and skills to make informed choices in life, especially their sexual and reproductive health issues.

Dr Awotwi cautioned the participants to resist any attempt by donor partners to impress on them to use manuals containing LGBT issues which were contrary to the approved national guidelines.

She implored them to be bold to reject any conditionality which would not inure to the benefit of their target audience saying the fact that donor agency was providing sponsorship did not mean sensitivities to the Ghanaian society should be compromised.

Dr Awotwi said a National Coordinating Body would soon be established to monitor all CSE interventions both in and out of schools nationwide to ensure strict compliance of the national guidelines.

Mr Ishmael Selassie, the Youth Coordinator of the Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG), who took the participants through the orientation, said community based CSE by standard of the guideline was age- specific intended to be delivered to young people from age six to 24.

Those in school, he said, should start from age four to 18 which marked the end for the period of pre-tertiary education.

Mr Selassie said topics in the guidelines had been arranged taking into consideration, the horizontal and vertical linkages under school instructions.

He said effective implementation of CSE would improve the critical thinking skills of young people, promote their participation in decision-making and address their vulnerabilities and exclusion.

Dr Miriam Iddrissu, a Gender Consultant, underlined the need for CSOs to address the different needs of both men and women in the implementation of their programmes.

She said it is important to ensure gender analyses at every stage of their project cycle, adding that the process should be systematic to be able to address the gender issues identified.

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