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The Scary Curriculum

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brianvds
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« on: November 18, 2019, 06:19:15 AM »

Well, the sex ed curriculum that had everyone up in arms has been released, and you can see it here:

https://www.parent24.com/Learn/Learning-difficulties/see-for-yourself-the-comprehensive-sexuality-education-curriculum-is-here-20191114

I briefly scanned through some of the textbooks. A very great deal of the stuff that the controversy was about is not in fact in the textbooks; it was once again just the media spreading rumours. No, they are not teaching kids to wank - the subject is barely mentioned at all. No, they are not giving grade four kids detailed descriptions of sex. In fact, if anything, the grade four curriculum is a waste of time. E.g. they have a whole chapter on HIV/AIDS - which does not one single time mention that it is a sexually transmitted disease. It only discusses how you will NOT get it, and how it can be transmitted via blood.

From grade 9 the curriculum is more graphic (i.e. detailed description of how to use a condom) - as it damn well should be, considering our rates of teenage pregnancy and STD infection. But it does not strike me at all as age-inappropriate, and it emphasizes over and over, in bold, that the safest choice is not to have sex.

More bothersome is that the curriculum does not seem to actually explain anywhere how babies are made; it seems to mostly omit a description of the biological processes involved. It talks about sex without really explaining in much detail what it is. (It occurs to me that such information is perhaps in the science curriculum, which may be why it is omitted here). It says, in the grade 6 textbook, that masturbation will not cause hair to grow on your palms, without explaining what masturbation is (I guess it will fall to embarrassed teachers to explain it). In the grade 8 textbook the term is finally defined in a glossary, without any further mention of the subject.

On the whole, the curriculum actually strikes me as having the same weakness as the curriculum for all subjects in general. In short, it is dry and boring as hell, consisting of bits and pieces, without any overall view. I am grateful I don't have to go to school anymore. :-)

Admittedly, I just scanned through the texts; they may be better than my first impression would suggest. At the least, I cannot see how they will do any harm.

Whether it will have any actual impact on any such issues as STDs, teenage pregnancy rates, bullying, sexual abuse etc. remains to be seen. I'm kind of doubtful.

Reminds me of something a friend of mine told me some years ago. The daughter of a colleague of his fell pregnant in matric, as I recall. Said the colleague: "I don't understand how it could have happened. She has always gotten a distinction for life orientation!" One doesn't know whether one should laugh or cry. :-)

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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2019, 09:41:24 AM »

Hmmm, we had our first official sex ed lessons in grade 7 I think. One could even argue grade 9 is a tad late.

Pretty sure by grade 9 our biology lessons had advanced to us drawing genitalia in our work books and labeling the parts (mostly cause it was the last year of compulsory biology so you had to get all the sex ed in before it became an elective). HOWEVER, I do think some kids skipped that particular lesson based on parental objection.
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brianvds
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« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2019, 10:23:04 AM »

Hmmm, we had our first official sex ed lessons in grade 7 I think. One could even argue grade 9 is a tad late.

Pretty sure by grade 9 our biology lessons had advanced to us drawing genitalia in our work books and labeling the parts (mostly cause it was the last year of compulsory biology so you had to get all the sex ed in before it became an elective). HOWEVER, I do think some kids skipped that particular lesson based on parental objection.

I was at school in the 1970s and 1980s - there was no sex ed, of any kind. In grade 10 we finally learned about the human reproductive system, but that was only if you took biology as subject.

I don't know how this new curriculum differs from the previous one, with which I was never well acquainted, but my impression is that if anything, it is actually less graphic and detailed, so once again it is a mystery what the furore is about. Well, maybe not a mystery: it is about rumours spread in the media, most of which turned out to be false.

Anyway, I have no idea whether sex ed at school is of any use, but it's pretty much standard practice throughout the west, and i don't see how it can really do harm (except perhaps insofar as it gives parents an excuse not to talk to their kids about this stuff.) Most parents will grumble about it for a while, and then get used to it. For the rest, we'll probably see another boost to the private school industry.

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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2019, 10:39:59 AM »


I don't know how this new curriculum differs from the previous one, with which I was never well acquainted, but my impression is that if anything, it is actually less graphic and detailed, so once again it is a mystery what the furore is about. Well, maybe not a mystery: it is about rumours spread in the media, most of which turned out to be false.

I was lucky/unlucky enough to experience school just as these kinds of corcern-politics hit their peak: Abduction, Drugs, Alcohol, Sex, Satanism, Terrorism ... these were all things given special attention in school to save us from the dastardly evils that would be around every corner. Posters with sinister undertones and bloody letters littered the walls of our classrooms...

Anyway, the fact that there's a furore says more about the society we live in and it's biases and closed-mindedness than about the education and the kids. People are not at peace with their own bodies, are not comfortable with their own minds and their own thoughts... and we in SA seem to suffer this almost universally pervasive sexual conservatism moreso than many I've talked to who hail from fields further flung. (Recently re-confirmed on meeting a foreign national who delighted in jokes that caused many a frown for locals...) Talk about sex openly to almost any South African adult and people have an almost learned response to play-act(or are they?) extreme discomfort and/or suspiciousness. It's one of those things that once you start looking for it, you see everywhere. I digress..

Quote
Anyway, I have no idea whether sex ed at school is of any use, but it's pretty much standard practice throughout the west, and i don't see how it can really do harm (except perhaps insofar as it gives parents an excuse not to talk to their kids about this stuff.) Most parents will grumble about it for a while, and then get used to it. For the rest, we'll probably see another boost to the private school industry.

I think one needs to be a bit careful about introducing these things TOO soon, but one also needs to address it before it's too late. It can be a sensitive subject because it's easy to argue that kids don't all develop at the same rate. But, I'd rather it be handled than leave everything up to fate.
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Mefiante
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« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2019, 10:45:28 AM »

HOWEVER, I do think some kids skipped that particular lesson based on parental objection.
See, this is the part that so irks me.  Those parents will insist that they have parental “human rights” that licence them to determine in every detail how they raise their children.  While it’s understandable that they quite naturally operate with this firm conviction—after all, they are the child’s progenitors and are tasked with its upbringing—a little thought will quickly reveal the fly in the ointment.

“Rights,” whether human or otherwise, over another person imply ownership of that person.  (In fact, there’s a compelling argument that all human rights derive from property rights, or are at least contingent on them.)  But ownership of a person, regardless of their age or circumstances, is slavery, and slavery is the deprivation of another’s rights, and thus illegal.  And so, there lurks insidious harm in any and all assertions of these so-called parental “rights.”

There can only be parental privileges, and these come inextricably bundled with significant responsibilities and duties, one of the most important of which is to prepare and equip a child for the world as it is, rather than how the parents wish it were.  And sex is a reality in the world, one that simply won’t be wished away.  It is therefore destructive of both the child’s person and their rights to prevent them from learning about these realities at an opportune age just because the parents, who are already informed about it, may feel some discomfort or prudish twinges or cultural inhibitions about the subject.  No argument can make this reality go away.

Sheesh, there ought to be a law…

'Luthon64
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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2019, 16:38:45 PM »

That is a stellar point Mefi. Moreover with cases like vegan parents causing their babies direct harm, etc....

But, triple moreover... I'm also weary of states that now want to treat gender dysphoria in young children with hormone therapy, against the wishes of the parents, based on this very same argument. It's a very slippery argument that one has to be oh-so-careful about applying because it can mean people with a political agenda imposing their ideas on others in grand social experiments for which nobody knows the outcome (and even where the evidence that does exist predicts bad outcomes).
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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2019, 15:54:36 PM »

Fully grown, breathing, functioning adults post crap like this on Facebook. I wish I were kidding:


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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2019, 13:00:28 PM »

And then theres the western cape wanting to lower the maths pass mark to 20%. 30% not low enough?! WOW!

EDIT:
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maths pass mark's be lowered


Not to mention pass mark's for English.
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brianvds
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« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2019, 13:33:48 PM »

And then theres the western cape wanting to lower the maths pass mark to 20%. 30% not low enough?! WOW!


Assuming this also counts for math literacy, it's not clear to me why they bother at all. If you can only score 20% for math literacy, it means you are basically innumerate. You wouldn't get 50% for even a grade 6 exam. So what's the point then of differentiating between a "pass" and a "fail"? For the lower grades it doesn't necessarily matter whether you officially "passed"; you are often promoted to the next grade anyway. And with 20% for math, you are not going to get into a university, or get hired for a job, irrespective of whether you officially "passed."

So I have to wonder if it is not perhaps time to dispense with the very concept of "passing" or "failing." These concepts have no bearing on reality anymore, because they are no longer based on any kind of reality. Perhaps everyone should simply get a matric certificate with their marks, and that's it. Let universities and employers then decide what they want to do.

If I were an employer in South Africa I would not pay any attention whatever to any form of formal qualifications anyway. Three Ph.D.s in astrophysics, business and gender studies? I couldn't care less: all prospective employees would be subjected to testing to see whether they are suitable for the job, and if not, whether they look like they might be trainable.
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Mefiante
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« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2019, 14:45:12 PM »

It’s simple:  The education “authorities” (and I use that word with all the bottomless disdain it deserves) are intent on preserving the myth of their own adequacy.  The whole spiel is a manipulative PR exercise about dollying up appearances and avoiding accountability that puts pupils and students towards the bottom of the list of priorities.

'Luthon64
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brianvds
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« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2019, 18:02:42 PM »

It’s simple:  The education “authorities” (and I use that word with all the bottomless disdain it deserves) are intent on preserving the myth of their own adequacy.  The whole spiel is a manipulative PR exercise about dollying up appearances and avoiding accountability that puts pupils and students towards the bottom of the list of priorities.

'Luthon64

The fact that the masses keep on falling for it, tells me they probably passed matric with 20%...
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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2019, 23:34:26 PM »

Don't we see this kind of thing all over though?

We have a 'put an ill fitting plaster on the festering wound' government. Just in general.

People dying in record numbers on the roads? Taxi's completely out of control? All your officers now accepting bribes? Solution: Drop the maximum speed by 10kmph on all roads and lower the minimum blood alcohol level so low a baby in the vicinity of a bar would breathe in enough to qualify. There, we did something, now everyone's a criminal. But those darn death rates just won't drop. Man, those naughty suburbian citizens with their fat wallets are REALLY OUT OF CONTROL, best we crack down on them some more...

Your health department is a mess? You can't even provide basic state medical services, there are no beddings in your hospitals, doctors are running for the hills and your poorest citizens just keep dying? CANCEL THEIR CHEAP MEDICAL AID PLANS WITH NO BACKUP! We'll be sure to provide an alternative, someday, somehow... The money? We don't know yet, taxing, of some sort... we'll worry about that later, don't you know poor people are DYING!? We have to do SOMETHING!

etc. etc. etc....
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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2020, 13:39:09 PM »



Bonus points available if you spot it.
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Mefiante
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« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2020, 14:52:30 PM »

Ja, what could possibly hold back a leaner of this calibre?  A government post is assured.

On a tangentially relevant note:  There’s an on-again-off-again columnist by the name of Nicky Roberts who writes for Daily Maverick on the topic of education.  According to her about blurb, she’s “an Associate Professor in mathematics education in the Centre for Education Practice Research (CEPR), University of Johannesburg, Soweto campus.”  She’s written several columns defending her central thesis that SA’s basic education isn’t so bad, and that it has been improving slowly over the years, and continues to do so—and never mind two inescapable countermanding facts which she consistently and flatly ignores: (1) Success and pass rates—i.e., graduates as a fraction of admissions and average time taken to graduate—at SA’s universities have become significantly worse; and (2) Most of SA’s universities have dropped in international rankings.

But we can’t have have some inconvenient facts detracting from a good story, now can we?

'Luthon64
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« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2020, 05:11:51 AM »

I can see now why the pass rate has gone up so magnificently: simply pass everybody. On the other hand, perhaps they only pass you if your name is Knowledge, 'cause why, that should count for something.
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« Reply #15 on: January 21, 2020, 09:48:19 AM »

I can see now why the pass rate has gone up so magnificently: simply pass everybody.

Honestly, this is the cultural divide that I see always. I don't know why it exists, I can't explain it's mechanism, or source, or whatever. But, much like gravity (in days of old), I still observe it even though I can't explain it: The rule of the day is more to appear to have done something than to have actually done something.

It's not important to achieve the thing, it's important to be seen to have achieved the thing.

Many years ago, when we were at peak car-makeover-show, I noticed something: the team would be a mixed bag of races but for some reason there was almost a "trope" in all these american shows that seemed to be emergent and constant: White guys under the car working on the engine and/or mechanical parts. Mexicans doing the interior textile work. Black guys doing the flash (iow: paint, chrome detailing, "mags", TV screens, etc).

The more I realised it, the more apparent it was. I didn't want this to be true, it was just true. They were all about the appearance and couldn't care less about the mechanical parts, other guys would take care of it. Of course, since then it's kinda like a punch-buggy hook in my mind, and I see the pattern re-appear everywhere. Confirmation bias? Maybe.
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« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2020, 10:29:18 AM »

I can see now why the pass rate has gone up so magnificently: simply pass everybody.

Honestly, this is the cultural divide that I see always. I don't know why it exists, I can't explain it's mechanism, or source, or whatever. But, much like gravity (in days of old), I still observe it even though I can't explain it: The rule of the day is more to appear to have done something than to have actually done something.

It's not important to achieve the thing, it's important to be seen to have achieved the thing.

Many years ago, when we were at peak car-makeover-show, I noticed something: the team would be a mixed bag of races but for some reason there was almost a "trope" in all these american shows that seemed to be emergent and constant: White guys under the car working on the engine and/or mechanical parts. Mexicans doing the interior textile work. Black guys doing the flash (iow: paint, chrome detailing, "mags", TV screens, etc).

The more I realised it, the more apparent it was. I didn't want this to be true, it was just true. They were all about the appearance and couldn't care less about the mechanical parts, other guys would take care of it. Of course, since then it's kinda like a punch-buggy hook in my mind, and I see the pattern re-appear everywhere. Confirmation bias? Maybe.

In the last edition of Vrye Weekblad there was an article about our current crop of politicians, and particularly their wives, nowadays blatantly showing off their lavish lifestyles on Instagram. I see some of the article's links to the Instagram pics have since gone broken; perhaps the photos have been removed. But there are still plenty, e.g. Mrs. Gigaba:

https://www.instagram.com/p/B1T7VbZpN37

https://www.instagram.com/p/B5NEvYaJA6v/

And Buhle Mkhize, Gigaba's mistress:

https://www.instagram.com/p/B32ZUinpn1E/

https://www.instagram.com/p/B52qhwdpZFd/

Not to mention the extended Zuma family:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BwLPDnMHXS5/

(Apparently being too ill to attend your day in court doesn't mean too ill to party).

And, of course, Comrade Malema:

https://www.instagram.com/p/B6jUcDvgzRy/

https://www.instagram.com/p/BelBlcigZ_N/

https://www.instagram.com/p/BXp0fa8g5lb/

Check out the humble lifestyle of the proletariat...

https://www.instagram.com/p/BTHOODSBEG5/
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« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2020, 11:12:34 AM »

Yeah, being a revolutionary is honest work...
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Rigil Kent
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« Reply #18 on: January 21, 2020, 13:05:57 PM »

Well if that doesn't say freck the poor, nothing does.
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« Reply #19 on: January 21, 2020, 15:24:31 PM »

Well if that doesn't say freck the poor, nothing does.

Seeing as the poor will keep right on voting them back into power, I am tempted to say "freck the poor" myself. Except, er, I am kind of poor... :-)
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« Reply #20 on: January 31, 2020, 08:11:11 AM »

From Vrye Weekblad; I'll repost the full text here. I get a message from the board software that the post is too long, so let me cut it in pieces:

Part 1:

Seksonderrig: Kom ons praat

https://www.vryeweekblad.com/nuus-en-politiek/2020-01-30-kom-ons-praat-nie-oor-die-s-woord/

Ware verhaal: ’n Graad 8-leerder raak swanger, maar sy weier volstrek om dit te glo. Haar kêrel, ’n matriekseun, belowe hy het “uitgetrek voordat hy gekom het” en sy vertrou dat hy die waarheid praat. Als is oraait en sy kan nie swanger wees nie. En só, sê ’n Kaapse onderwyser wat die storie deel, word die skoolmeisie ’n slagoffer van onkunde, skryf ROZANNE ELS.


IN 1991 reik die Amerikaanse treffergroep Salt-N-Pepa een van hul grootste treffers uit: “Let’s Talk about Sex”. Byna 30 jaar later weerspieël die lirieke – ’n geweldige catchy pleidooi om openhartig oor seks te praat – ’n deel van die Suid-Afrikaanse departement van basiese onderwys (DBO) se dagtaak om jong mense prontuit oor seks en seksualiteit in te lig.

Let's talk about sex for now

To the people at home or in the crowd

It keeps coming up anyhow

Don't be coy, avoid, or make void the topic

Cause that ain't gonna stop it

Andersyds weerspieël die lirieke ook verset – om welke rede en vanuit talle oorde teen so ’n gesprek - maar dié weerstand het verander soos nuwe generasiekonflikte in die samelewing uitspeel.

Die destydse besware teen gesprekke in die breë oor seks met kinders en tieners het ten dele plek gemaak vir meer genuanseerde twispunte. Die “coy and avoid” soos Salt-N-Pepa dit stel, boer nou in die “hoe, waar, wanneer en met wie” dié onontkomelike gesprek plaasvind voort.

Die rusie wat tussen die DBO en belangegroepe soos die Suid-Afrikaanse Onderwysunie (SAOU) einde 2019 ontstaan het, is nóg ’n verwerping van die DBO se omvattende seksualiteitsonderrig-leerplan (CSE), nóg ’n verwerping van skole se verpligting om dié mandaat uit te voer.

Die ongelukkigheid is nader aan die oppervlak: Hier gaan dit oor die DBO se pogings om met voorgeskrewe lesplanne, leerderboeke, voorgeskrewe assessering en plakkate die hoe, waar en wanneer vir onderwysers voor te skryf, sê Chris Klopper, die SAOU se uitvoerende hoof.

Maar ná maande se redekawel oor dié aangepaste leermateriaal vir seksualiteitsonderrig in skole, gee die DBO verlede week bes: Onderwysers sal nie gedwing word om dié veelbesproke lesplanne en leerderboeke in die klaskamer te gebruik nie.

Hoewel die seksvoorligting-leerplan steeds uitgevoer moet word – oor seks en seksualiteit móét die kinders leer, is die meerderheid van die onderskeie rolspelers dit eens – is onderwysers nou bemagtig om self oor die materiaal vir die klaskamer te besluit.

Dié verwikkeling volg na afloop van ’n reeks konsultasiegesprekke met geloofs- en tradisionele leiers, beheerliggaamorganisasies, die SAOU, asook ander belangegroepe. Die onderskraging van onderwysers se diskresie stel egter ’n taai tameletjie oor seks in die geheel bloot: vooroordeel.

Die kritiek van die breër publiek teen die DBO rakende die aangepaste seksualiteitsonderrig-lesplanne is ongelukkig vol feitefoute, lui dit herhaaldelik in mediaverklarings vanaf die departement.

Die DBO plaas die oorsprong van die waninligting voor die Sunday Times se deur, en volgens die departement is die regstel hiervan ’n naas-onbegonne taak. Die koerant se artikel “Grade 4s to Learn About Masturbation in New Life Orientation Curriculum”, gepubliseer op 12 Mei verlede jaar, is ten sterkste deur die departement veroordeel.

Anders as wat in die artikel gemeld is, word masturbasie nie in die Graad 4-lesplanne behandel nie, en is die materiaal saamgestel om ouderdomsgeskik te wees, aldus die DBO.

Uit dié artikel het verwardheid en “massahisterie” onder die publiek ontstaan en tot nog meer fopnuus gelei soos rondte na rondte van die kinderspeletjie Telefoontjie op sosiale media uitgespeel het.

Nee, die plan seksualiseer nie kinders nie. Nee, dit lei nie tot meer seksuele aktiwiteit onder skoolkinders nie. So ook nie tot meer waaghalsige gedrag nie.

Hierdie stellings grond die DBO op ’n evaluering van die Internasionale Tegniese Riglyne oor Seksonderrig in 2016, skryf die minister van basiese onderwys, Angie Motshekga, in ’n geskrewe antwoord op ’n brief van die Family Policy Institute einde verlede jaar.

In die brief spreek die instituut hul ongelukkigheid uit oor onder meer lesplanne wat ’n kind se reg om te besluit wanneer en met wie hulle seks wil hê, bevorder – eerder as om onthouding te predik.


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« Reply #21 on: January 31, 2020, 08:11:25 AM »

Part 2:

Wat gaan ons vir die kinders sê?
“Wat gaan ons vir ons kinders sê? ‘Julle mag nie seks hê nie?’ En dan gaan hulle stop en nooit weer seks hê nie? Moenie naïef wees nie.”

Dis weer die Kaapse juffrou wat praat. Sy gee klas by ’n vooraanstaande, voorstedelike skool en vertel oor haar grootwordjare in ’n konserwatiewe, gelowige, Afrikaanse huis. Sy is ’n voorstander van onthouding tot die huwelik en erken dat in die jare voordat sy getrou het, sy effens ongemaklik was wanneer sy seksvoorligting gegee het.

Sy het egter, benadruk sy, nooit gevoel dat dit teen haar eie oortuigings en geloof indruis nie. Haar primêre rol as ’n onderwyser is tog om kinders te beskerm “en as dit vereis dat ons soms ’n kurrikulum moet aanbied wat ons uit ons gemaksones vat, dan moet ons dit doen. Dit is ons verantwoordelikheid.”

Hoewel sy dink dat seksvoorligting primêr by die huis moet plaasvind, spreek sy die realiteite – eerder as ’n gewenste ideaal – aan: “Ons bly ongelukkig in ’n land met baie gebroke gesinne en waar kinders aan die hoof van die huis staan, of plekke waar ouers self deur (seksuele) trauma is en dit nie met hul kinders wil bespreek nie.”

Dit val dus op skole om feite weer te gee eerder as om leerders “aan hul eie genade oor te laat” om antwoorde vir hul vrae en kommernisse te vind, hetsy by pelle, sosiale media, Google.

“As jy iets op Google intik, gaan jy op baie erger goed afkom as enigiets wat in die CSE is. Ouers onderskat beslis wat hul kinders weet en doen, en dis ’n gebrek aan kennis wat hulle in moeilike situasies plaas. Ouers wat dink dit is nie in hul (kinders) se verwysingsraamwerk nie, is doodeenvoudig naïef.”

Dié juffrou het self twee jong kinders en meen dit is belangrik om hulle op ’n vroeë ouderdom bloot te stel aan onder meer die regte benaming van liggaamsdele. Jy seksualiseer nie kinders só nie, “jy voed hulle op oor hoe om verantwoordelike keuses te maak en te besef wat langtermyn-implikasies is. Dat ’n besluit wat hulle op 10, 11, 12 maak ’n invloed het op 15, 16, 17.”

Seksvoorligting is sedert 1994 verpligtend as deel van die vak lewensoriëntering, en die huidige leerplan, CSE, is reeds sedert 2000 in gebruik.

Ten spyte van die vredeskeurings tussen die belangegroepe, is daar wel allerbelangrike punte waaroor hulle saamstem: dat weerlose kinders teen seksuele uitbuiting beskerm moet word, dat die hoë voorkoms van tienerswangerskappe aandag moet kry en dat leerders bemagtig moet word om ingeligte besluite te neem.

“Ons verstaan ten volle die realiteite. In sekere gemeenskappe is daar ’n groot persentasie van enkelouers, leerders wat aan die hoof van die huishouding is, tienerswangerskappe en die probleem van seksuele eksploitering van kinders…ons stem 100% saam dat daai goed aandag moet kry, maar ons sê net dit kan nie 'n sogenaamde one size fits all-benadering wees vir alle gemeenskappe nie,” sê Klopper.

Soos met Afrikaans en ander skoolvakke wil hulle toesien dat daar meer as een “handboek” is, meer as net een stel lesplanne, om die voorgeskrewe leerplan aan te bied.  

‘Sê die S-woord en mense val van stoele’
“Gemeenskappe het verskillende benaderings. Party ouens het ’n baie oop benadering oor die goed, want hulle hou daarvan om daaroor te praat en dit is nie ’n probleem vir hulle nie. Ander ouens…as jy die S-woord sê, val almal van die stoele af. Jy moet sensitief wees daarvoor.”

Hier, sê hy, handel dit ook oor wat “gepas” is ten opsigte van ouderdom en waardes, asook tradisionele, kulturele en geloofspraktyke. Nadat onderwysers van die aangepaste leermateriaal te hore gekom het, sê Klopper, was daar van hul lede wat ondubbelsinnig gesê het dit staan hulle nie aan.

“As dit so op hulle afgedwing word,” het hulle hom meegedeel, “gaan daar moeilikheid ontstaan.”

Dan kyk ’n mens na die syfers. Deur die loop van die afgelope paar maande se heen-en-weer-twisgeskrifte is kommerwekkende statistieke aangehaal.

Tussen April 2017 en Maart 2018 het 2,716 tienermeisies in die ouderdomsgroep van 10 tot 14 jaar oud geboorte geskenk. Onder tieners van 15 tot 19 jaar oud was die syfer aansienlik hoër: 113,700. In 2017 was die getal selfs hoër vir tieners in dié ouderdomsgroep: 119,645 tieners het ma geword.

Met sulke syfers is dit noodsaaklik vir die staat om in te gryp, klink dit vanuit die DBO se geledere.

Verlede week se samesprekings was noodsaaklik om klaarheid onder die verskeie rolspelers daar te stel, sê die DBO.

Die uitnodiging na die sessies meld die blywende impak van apartheid soos vergestalt in konserwatiewe houdings, kulturele hindernisse asook gevolge soos die afwesigheid van ’n vadersfiguur en die ontwrigting van families soos hulle uitmekaar geskeur is.

Die impak van apartheid is blywend en verhinder “oop gesprekke oor seks en seksualiteit”. Juis daarom is die departement genoodsaak om die inhoud van die lesplan te versterk, lui die dokument.

Klopper verwerp die departement se volgehoue aanspraak dat ’n konsultasieproses gevolg is om rolspelers te betrek. Volgens hom kon hierdie herrie verhoed gewees het, mits alle partye in die saak geken is.

Ná afloop van hul ontmoeting met die DBO verlede week het die SAOU laat hoor dat hoewel hulle deel van alle konsultasieprosesse met die DBO vorm, “kan (ons) nie ’n proses van ‘kosmetiese konsultasie’ ondersteun waar ’n proses reeds uitgerol is en nou moet goedkeuring van aandeelhouers ná die feit bekom word nie".

Tydens die vergaderings met die verskillende aandeelhouers het die DBO bevestig dat hulle loodsskole graag wil aanmoedig om die lesplanne en materiaal te gebruik, maar dat dit nie afgedwing kan word nie.

“Skole moet steeds die inhoud soos in die kurrikulum onderrig, maar kan nie verplig word om die lesplanne, leerderboeke, voorgeskrewe assessering of plakkate te gebruik nie.”

’n Finale weergawe van opgedateerde leermateriaal sal na verneem word binnekort aan aandeelhouers beskikbaar gestel word.

’n Paar verse later in Salt-N-Pepa se bekende treffer lig hulle ’n kernaspek van die debat uit.

Let's tell it how it is, and how it could be

How it was, and of course, how it should be

Those who think it's dirty have a choice

Daar skort iets baie belangrik in die debat: Geen woord oor of kinders met keuses bemagtig gaan word as onderwysers se diskresie teen hul oortuigings indruis nie.

Dit is onbekend of leerders as aandeelhouers behoorlik in die saak geken gaan word en of diegene wat met die DBO saamstem dieselfde bemagtiging gaan geniet as “those who think it’s dirty” – diegene wat die materiaal as onvanpas sien.

* Die departement van basiese onderwys is telkemale via selfoon, e-pos en WhatsApp-boodskappe vir inligting en kommentaar genader, maar geen terugvoering is ontvang nie.



Comments: I did not realize just how catastrophic South Africa's rate of teenage pregnancy is.

Another lesson to be learned (once again, as if we don't all know it already): do not believe one single word of what gets reported in the "news" media.
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