The new ‘Connect & Learn’ Community of Practice (CoP) on Comprehensive sexuality Education (CSE) was officially launched by UNESCO through a public regional webinar held on the 9th November 2022. The webinar was attended by more than 200 participants across a wide range of profiles that included primary and secondary school teachers, policymakers, parliamentarians, traditional and religious leaders, CSOs, NGOs, academics, social media content creators and interested individuals.
‘Connect & Learn’ is a Sub-Saharan Africa Regional CoP, established under “Our Rights, Our Lives, Our Future” (O3) Programme led by UNESCO. The CoP aims to support young people to build strong foundations for their life. The CoP connects teachers and various multi-sectoral stakeholders on a platform where they can share knowledge and experiences; build specialized knowledge, and access useful and innovative resources in the delivery of CSE. The newly established “Connect and Learn” CoP seeks to improve knowledge dissemination, facilitate and promote learning and creativeness, while also providing strategic linkages and opportunities for collaborative approaches to CSE implementation.
This launch enabled participants to learn about ‘Connect & Learn’ objectives and its key features. It detailed the ways of engagement across the 33 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, explained the registration processes, and presented the CoP mobile application. The launch also provided an opportunity to consult with participants on their expectations for the CoP and key thematic areas and CSE-related topics they would like to see covered during upcoming webinars.
The participants emphasized the need to scale up training and information dissemination on CSE among teachers, parents and communities. CSE reduces the rates of teenage pregnancy, unintended pregnancies and STIs among young people. It provides every child and adolescent with the knowledge, attitudes, and skills they need to safely navigate significant milestones in their life. Through adequate training and understanding, we can bridge the knowledge gap within communities, thereby safeguarding the health of young people in Sub-Saharan Africa.