[:en]Lessons learned in Lesotho: The importance of local dialogue in breaking the barriers and stigma surrounding sexuality education

Implementing Life Skills Education that incorporates comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) can be a challenging process. Even more so: the challenge of ensuring that community leaders and organizations are in full support of CSE integration. What do you do if they are hesitant?

UNESCO in collaboration with PHELA Health and Development Communications and with help from the Ministries of Health and Education conducted informative regional, district and national dialogue sessions in Lesotho, to discuss important lessons learned regarding how to effectively incorporate Life Skills-based sexuality education and CSE into curricula.

In 2013, the Lesotho Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) revised and strengthened its Life Skills curriculum to include CSE. However, key stakeholders, including religious figures, parents, teachers and community leaders believed that teaching CSE in schools would lead to early sexual debut and countered the local culture and religion. Critics argued that parents wouldn’t agree to the teachings, and teachers would be uncomfortable and lack skills.

In order to address concerns about Life Skills-based sexuality education and CSE in Lesotho, UNESCO in collaboration with PHELA Health and Development Communications and with help from the Ministries of Health and Education held regional district and national dialogue sessions with key influencers in the community. Participants included senior church leaders, local chiefs, councilors, parents and school representatives.

Conversations centered on why these groups were anxious about sexual reproductive health and education for young people, and provided an opportunity to explain the benefits of Life Skills-based sexuality education and CSE. At the national level, young people were invited to showcase their wanting and need for CSE and sexuality information from reliable sources. The process culminated in the signing of Gatekeepers SRHR Statement pledging collaborative efforts by all to promote access to sexual reproductive health (SRH) information and education and services.

Important lessons were learned during the process. It was determined that in order to be successful, SRH programmes need to take into account culture and religion in the implementation process. Furthermore, it is very important that SRH programmes address lack of information and feelings of inadequacy among key stakeholders. Finally, it was recommended that a school community network be created for young people. The support network must provide SRH information and services in schools where Life Skills based sexuality education curriculum is implemented.

Lesotho has made great advancements in sexuality and reproductive health education implementation methods – and it starts by ensuring we’re all on the same page.[:pt]Lessons learned in Lesotho: The importance of local dialogue in breaking the barriers and stigma surrounding sexuality education

Implementing Life Skills Education that incorporates comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) can be a challenging process. Even more so: the challenge of ensuring that community leaders and organizations are in full support of CSE integration. What do you do if they are hesitant?

UNESCO in collaboration with PHELA Health and Development Communications and with help from the Ministries of Health and Education conducted informative regional, district and national dialogue sessions in Lesotho, to discuss important lessons learned regarding how to effectively incorporate Life Skills-based sexuality education and CSE into curricula.

In 2013, the Lesotho Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) revised and strengthened its Life Skills curriculum to include CSE. However, key stakeholders, including religious figures, parents, teachers and community leaders believed that teaching CSE in schools would lead to early sexual debut and countered the local culture and religion. Critics argued that parents wouldn’t agree to the teachings, and teachers would be uncomfortable and lack skills.

In order to address concerns about Life Skills-based sexuality education and CSE in Lesotho, UNESCO in collaboration with PHELA Health and Development Communications and with help from the Ministries of Health and Education held regional district and national dialogue sessions with key influencers in the community. Participants included senior church leaders, local chiefs, councilors, parents and school representatives.

Conversations centered on why these groups were anxious about sexual reproductive health and education for young people, and provided an opportunity to explain the benefits of Life Skills-based sexuality education and CSE. At the national level, young people were invited to showcase their wanting and need for CSE and sexuality information from reliable sources. The process culminated in the signing of Gatekeepers SRHR Statement pledging collaborative efforts by all to promote access to sexual reproductive health (SRH) information and education and services.

Important lessons were learned during the process. It was determined that in order to be successful, SRH programmes need to take into account culture and religion in the implementation process. Furthermore, it is very important that SRH programmes address lack of information and feelings of inadequacy among key stakeholders. Finally, it was recommended that a school community network be created for young people. The support network must provide SRH information and services in schools where Life Skills based sexuality education curriculum is implemented.

Lesotho has made great advancements in sexuality and reproductive health education implementation methods – and it starts by ensuring we’re all on the same page.[:fr]Leçons apprises au Lesotho: L’importance du dialogue local pour faire tomber les barrières et les préjugés entourant l’éducation sexuelle.

Mettre en oeuvre l’éducation pour les compétences à la vie courante, intégrant en même temps l’éducation sexuelle complète peut être un processus difficile. Surtout lorsqu’il s’agit d’obtenir par les dirigeants, les leaders de la communauté et les organisations un appui total sur l’intégration de l’éducation sexuelle. Que faites-vous s’ils sont hésitants ?

L’UNESCO, en collaboration avec PHELA santé et communications pour le développement, et avec l’aide des ministères de la Santé et de l’Éducation, a organisé des sessions de dialogue informatif régional, national et local au Lesotho, pour discuter des leçons importantes sur la façon d’intégrer efficacement l’éducation sur les compétences pour la vie et l’éducation sexuelle complète dans les programmes scolaires.

En 2013, le ministère de l’Éducation et de la Formation du Lesotho a révisé et renforcé son programme de compétences pour la vie pour inclure l’éducation sexuelle complète. Toutefois, les parties prenantes clés, comprenant des personnalités religieuses, des parents, des enseignants et des dirigeants communautaires, pensaient que l’enseignement de l’éducation sexuelle complète dans les écoles conduirait à avoir des relations sexuelles précoces et s’opposerait à la culture et à la religion locale. Les critiques ont soutenu que les parents n’accepteraient pas les enseignements et que les enseignants seraient mal à l’aise et manqueraient de compétences.

Afin de répondre aux préoccupations concernant l’éducation sexuelle fondée sur les compétences pour la vie au Lesotho, l’UNESCO, en collaboration avec PHELA santé et communications pour le développement, et avec l’aide des ministères de la Santé et de l’Éducation a tenu des sessions de dialogues informatifs au niveau local et national avec les principaux prescripteurs de la communauté. Les participants comprenaient des autorités religieuses, des chefs locaux, des conseillers, des parents et des représentants des écoles.

Les discussions ont souligné la raison pour laquelle ces groupes étaient inquiets vis-à-vis de l’éducation en matière de santé sexuelle et reproductive pour les jeunes, et elles ont donné l’occasion d’expliquer les avantages qu’offrent l’éducation sexuelle basée sur les compétences pour la vie et l’éducation sexuelle complète. Au niveau national, les jeunes ont été invités à présenter leur souhait etleur besoin d’avoir accès à une éducation sexuelle complète et à des informations relatives à la sexualité provenant de sources fiables. Le processus a abouti à la signature de la déclaration « Gatekeepers SRHR » engageant des efforts de collaboration de la part de tous pour promouvoir l’accès à l’information, l’éducation à la santé sexuelle et reproductive, et aux services de santé.

D’importantes leçons ont été apprises au cours du processus. Il est apparu que pour être menés à bien, les programmes de santé sexuelle et reproductive doivent tenir compte de la culture et de la religion dans le processus de mise en œuvre. En outre, il est très important que ces programmes abordent le manque d’information et le sentiment d’inadéquation des parties prenantes clés.

Enfin, il a été recommandé qu’un réseau communautaire entre écoles soit créé pour les jeunes. Ce réseau de soutien doit fournir des informations et des services de santé sexuelle et reproductive dans les écoles où les programmes d’éducation sexuelle basée sur les compétences de la vie courante sont mis en œuvre.

Le Lesotho a fait de grands progrès concernant la mise en œuvre de l’éducation à la santé sexuelle et reproductive – et cela commence en s’assurant que nous sommes tous sur la même longueur d’ondes.[:]