Breaking the Silence

Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) plays a central role in the preparation of young people for a safe, productive and fulfilling life in a world where HIV and AIDS, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), unintended pregnancies, gender-based violence (GBV) and gender inequality still pose serious risks for their well-being.  In South Africa the Department of Basic Education (dbe) has been implementing CSE through the Life Orientation (LO) and Life Skills (LS) Curriculum Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) since 2000.

In 2018, to strengthen the implementation of CSE and engage the broader community, the DBE produced a 13-episode documentary television series on HIV Prevention and Sexuality Education called the Breaking the Silence.  The aim of documentary series is to promote an intergenerational dialogue between educators and learners, using a reality television style; promote awareness of the critical role that CSE plays in equipping young people with the necessary knowledge, skills and values to choose positive healthy lifestyle as well as advocating for support on the CSE content implemented in schools. 

In 2019, in partnership with UNESCO the DBE also launched the Let’s Talk EUP Campaign which is a multi-media campaign aimed at promoting messaging on the prevention of early and unintended pregnancy among adolescents and young people.  The Let’s Talk EUP Campaign seek to promote dialogue with various audiences including policy makers, teachers, parents, community members, parents, traditional and religious leaders, young people including men and boys on their role in the prevention of teenage pregnancy by ensuring young people have access to education, health and rights.

To promote the Breaking the Silence Series and the Let’s Talk EUP Campaign, the DBE in partnership with UNESCO seek to appoint a consultant to manage, coordinate and implement a Social Media Campaign using media personalities (tv, radio and social media influencers) as Goodwill Ambassadors. The Consultancy will be expected to appoint the Goodwill Ambassadors, train them and support them to engage with public using digital and social media platforms on the CSE content in the series as well as in the Lets Talk EUP Campaign.

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An evaluation of the ESA Commitment is needed to assess the effectiveness of the Commitment in achieving targets and improving outcomes for young people. The evaluation will cover the entire implementation period from 2013 to 2020. It will cover the experiences of each member country and in-depth study will be conducted in ten purposefully selected countries from ESA and best practices documented and disseminated. The purpose of the evaluation seeks to;

  • Assess the processes and achievements made through the ESA Commitment efforts
  • Draw lessons that will inform the rationale/baseline for the extension of the ESA Commitment to 2030 to align with Agenda 2030.
  • Provide information on the nature, extent and where possible, the effect of the ESA Commitment to the sexual and reproductive health and rights of adolescents and young
  • Assess the progress made in the specific areas of the ESA Commitment Accountability Framework
  • Assess the efficacy of the multi-sectoral mechanisms employed to realize the Commitment

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Over the last decade, countries in the East and Southern African (ESA) region have taken major strides towards the development and incorporation of life skills education (LSE) and comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) in their school curricula. These strides have been made to counter the threat of HIV and other STIs; help protect girls against early and unintended pregnancy; provide young people with the necessary skills to develop effective decision-making and communication skills; explore values and attitudes and raise awareness of risk reduction skills.

Evidence shows that effective comprehensive sexuality education programmes consistently increase student knowledge about HIV and other health issues, delay age of sexual debut, and increase use of contraception including condoms by young people. Effective HIV and sexuality education requires the capacity and guidance of highly skilled and motivated educators.

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