DoE: Government deny sex education ‘horror stories’_1

The Department of Basic Education (DoE) have finally set the record straight on some of the more outlandish allegations made towards so-called “changes” to sex education classes in South African schools.


Elijah Mhlanga is a spokesperson for this branch of government, and he has outright denied claims that the textbooks will be too graphic. He reasoned that only one union – which is particularly conservative – has complained, and rejected the notion that the department have failed to consult with all stakeholders.


The Education Department have been forced to deny that the Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) programme is inappropriate for schoolchildren. In fact, they have let rip at those who are allegedly peddling false information. Here’s what the board have come out to deny this weekend:

What you might have to “unlearn” about sex education in SA:

No Graphic illustrations


Something that upset concerned parents and religious groups was the accusation that the textbooks featured “overly graphic illustrations”. One rumour doing the rounds suggested these books featured an image of a young girl inserting a female condom. Others said that an overt depiction of sexual intercourse was too much for their children to learn about.


“These images are not part of the books produced by the department”, the DoE have confirmed. They are upset with how social media has been used to circulate false claims and images, claiming that inappropriate material would be distributed to children as young as nine. This, however, simply is not true.

No “free-for-all” with condoms


Another product of the rumour mill: Religious group FOR SA expressed their concerns that condoms would be handed out “along with stationery” during these sex education classes. The scarcely-believable notion has been dismissed by Mhlanga, who has labelled these claims as “fake”.

There will be no new sex education “curriculum”


According to the Education Department, the introduction of CSE doesn’t mean a change in the curriculum. A spokesperson told TimesLive that reports of “new learning material” featured in a pilot project across five provinces. Around 1 500 schools are said to have taken part.


Mhlanga is adamant there is no “new curriculum” to speak of, and has asked critics to refrain from using that term. It’s also worth clarifying that the topic of “masturbation” will not be introduced to Grade 4 children – this rumour was dispelled months ago, but still seems to persist in some social media circles.