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Attack on ‘sex’ textbook reveal Cameroonians still consider CSE a taboo topic

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Cameroonians went wild recently with rage after it was revealed that a text book titled “L’excellence en Sciences” which has a section on sex education, will be taught to form two pupils this academic year.

The attack on the 116 page textbook was based on its section four, which deals with reproductive health care. Many criticised the fact that the book identifies and defines nine sexual cultural practices to reproductive health and highlights sexual practices like homosexuality and Zoophilia.

Wild with rage, politicians, parents and bloggers all took to social media criticising both government and education stakeholders for promoting juvenile delinquency and moral decadence among young pupils.

Screenshots of the book was on almost every news platform, news magazine as many called for its withdrawal from the country’s school curriculum.

While many criticised, others wondered why parents couldn’t see the book as a preventive measure by the government and a means to help young pupils make informed choices about their sexual health rights.

For what would have been considered as an achievement for CSE advocates, the resistance and criticisms reveal that much work still needs to be done.

View of the criticized textbook

For one thing, research has proven that the absence comprehensive sexuality education in society is even more dangerous for young persons everywhere. In Cameroon for instance, 141 out of 1000 girls aged 15-19 have been pregnant at least once and HIV still stands at 5% in the country. In fact there was an estimated 35% increase in Adolescent HIV deaths in 2015. All these, research has proven is due to the huge barriers to accessing information, education and services which are generated by negative social norms and myths to sexual education.

It is believed that the introduction of progressive comprehensive sexuality education in schools will no doubt empower young adolescent girls with the knowledge and tools necessary to guide them in making informed and healthy choices concerning their sexual and reproductive health rights.

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