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Freetown, 30 August 2022- The Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE), with support from Irish Aid and Global Programme to End Child Marriage through UNFPA on 30 August 2022, held a stakeholders training on community engagement on Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) at Occasion Resort Lakka, Freetown.

 

The training targeted representatives from the Interreligious Council, the Council of Paramount Chiefs and the Sierra Leone Teacher's Union. It briefed stakeholders on CSE's important role in providing young people with the knowledge, values, attitudes and skills needed to make informed decisions on their future. 

 

The workshop also allowed the MBSSE to update stakeholders on the progress made on the rollout of comprehensive sexuality education in primary and junior secondary schools and for them to accept the CSE curriculum rollout in schools.

 

Speaking at the opening of the one-day workshop, UNFPA Representative Nadia Rasheed reflected on the progress made on CSE, noting there is solid international evidence showing the effectiveness of CSE. CSE, Miss. Rasheed said is a significant contributor to the three transformative goals of UNFPA.

 

"We recognized that CSE is critical to empowering young people, enabling them to advocate for their health, well-being and dignity, and protecting them from coercion, unintended pregnancy and sexual transmitted infections. CSE provides a necessary toolkit for knowledge, attitudes and skills to help young people make choices in a meaningful way while also advancing gender equality and human rights," Miss. Rasheed said.

 

In her keynote address, Chief Education Officer, MBSSE, Dr. Yatta Kanu, noted that CSE contributes directly to all four (4) guiding principles of her Ministry- access, equity, comprehensive safety and quality education. 

 

She said the MBSSE is not only returning pregnant girls to school but also providing them with CSE as a tool to succeed. 

 

 Also speaking at the event was the Senior Education Advisor, Embassy of Ireland, Sierra Leone, Cecilia Brown. She said the engagement was critically important for the children of Sierra Leone, especially girls and hoped that the curriculum would positively connect existing knowledge and skills gaps on comprehensive sexuality.