Zambians have risen up in arms against the introduction of comprehensive sexual education for learners in early grades, a project promoted by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
The introduction of the new project has ruffled feathers across many sectors of the society who are calling for its withdraw.
A number of stakeholders have since condemned the introduction of the project in early grades of primary schools across the country.
Although the program is not entirely new, its reintroduction has put various interest groups on a collision path.
Zambia completed a pilot study in 2019 and has rolled out the program in schools across the country.
But Paul Mususu, Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ) chairperson said the project should be withdrawn from schools immediately because it has the potential to expose learners to homosexuality and other forms of sex against the order of nature.
In remarks delivered during a media briefing, he wondered why some western countries were pushing for comprehensive sexuality education for young learners instead of partnering with developing countries to improve the curriculum in some traditional subjects.
The organization has since written to the Ministry of General Education to withdraw the project in schools until wider consultation with various stakeholders is done, he added.
According to him, about 75 percent of schools in the country are already rolling out the project.
Bishop Joshua Banda, former chairperson of the National AIDS Council (NAC) and Overseer of the North mead Assemblies of God said parents should take an active role in sensitizing their children on sexual orientation which is against the order of nature.
A traditional leader in the northern part of the country, Paramount Chitimukulu condemned the program, saying it has the potential to dampen the fight against early pregnancies, local media quoted him as saying.
Minister of National Guidance and Religious Affairs Godfridah Sumaili said Zambia should have nothing to do with the project as the country is a Christian nation founded on Christian values.
Emmanuel Mwamba, Zambia’s Ambassador to Ethiopia said instead of focusing on teaching children on sexual issues, the developed world should focus on providing training in money, business and trade in the schools.
“We will benefit more from vocational, money, business, and trade training being taught in our schools from primary schools than the sharp interest in comprehensive sexuality education,” he wrote on his Facebook page.
According to him, the project was designed to make the next generation “less homophobic”, accept sex as a matter of right and exclude parents from sex education of their own children and adolescents.
He noted that most countries are now calling for the disbarment of the project and for the adoption of a sex education that is friendly, approved by parents, the Church and stakeholders.
He further said African traditions have sex education that could be adopted, modernized and adopted without eroding the culture.
As the debate on the introduction of comprehensive sexual education in schools rages, it still remains to be seen on whether the government will withdraw it or not.