Home News Reproductive Health Education Good If Consistent With Our Culture – UBIDS lecturer

Reproductive Health Education Good If Consistent With Our Culture – UBIDS lecturer

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Reproductive Health Education Good If Consistent With Our Culture – Ubids Lecturer
Reproductive Health Education Good If Consistent With Our Culture – Ubids Lecturer

Dr. Gordon Dandeebo, a lecturer at the Simon Diedong Dombo University of Business and Integrated Development Studies (SDD UBIDS), has said the introduction of reproductive health education (RHE) guidelines in Ghanaian basic schools can be successful if they are consistent with the culture and traditions of the Ghanaian people.

He said this at the sidelines of a regional stakeholder engagement on sexual and reproductive health (SRH) education dubbed “Youth-a-Talk” organized by the Informed Choices for Change (IC4C) Youth Groups, a Norsaac-supported coalition youth organizations in the Upper West Region, in Wa over the weekend.

In efforts to ensure access to accurate reproductive health (RH) education and information, the government of Ghana proposed the introduction of Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) in basic schools and this was met with mixed reactions and large public outcry.

While a section of the public believed the CSE could help adolescents make correct choices about their reproductive and sexual lives, others believed it was going to expose Ghanaian children to immoral teachings.

This led to a halt in the implementation of the CSE and caused the government and stakeholders to review the policy which led to the birth of the Reproductive Health Education (RHE) guidelines, drafted and awaiting implementation.

Dr. Dandeebo, however, was of the view that the implementation of the RHE guidelines would be successful if they were aligned with the cherished values of Ghanaian society.

He said the concept of RH was beyond just the body anatomy, the biological features of males and females, to other aspects that were cultural, information- and rights-based.

“We have to consider other aspects when it comes to issues of consent, issues of how these adolescents take part in decision-making, issues of safe abortions, issues of marriages, and all of that; we have to consider all of these in an integrated manner and not in isolation.

“And also introducing the local content to it; when we are talking about local content, we are very much interested in how consistent these policies are with our culture and traditions,” he said.

Madam Janet Kpan, the Upper West Regional Girl Child Education Coordinator, said the introduction of the CSE was met with loud public outcry because there was limited public sensitization about it.

She said the implementation of the RHE guidelines should be preceded by adequate public sensitization to make parents and other stakeholders aware of the importance of SRH education among adolescents.

“So really, GES, we are not saying that it should not be introduced but there should be some sort of education to the public, let parents understand why it should be introduced,” she said.

She added that teachers should be given in-service training to equip them with appropriate pedagogies for implementing the RHE guidelines in the classroom and school.

Meanwhile, Mr Abdul-Mumin Abubakari, the IC4C Project Manager, said the project has engaged tutors and student teachers in some four colleges of education in the Northern and Upper East Regions on the RHE for young people.

“We have trained some tutors in the four colleges of education, we have equipped them with knowledge and skills and certain pedagogical strategies that they are using to help their students upgrade their knowledge to be able to implement RHE in the various schools.

“We have also been able to train about 120 student teachers across these four colleges of education and some of them are on the field right now implementing various strategies in terms of SRHR for young people,” he said.

He noted that the engagement of the colleges of education was more of a pilot for the RHE in basic schools as it allows student teachers to implement RHE strategies in their teaching and learning processes.

The IC4C Youth Groups formed part of the strategic approach by Norsaac to engender youth voices in promoting SRH information and services under the project, “Informed Choices for Change (IC4C).”

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