“Our current school curriculum leans heavily towards academics,” observed ChildFund Senior Project Officer Mcleen Pikachu.
“There is not much on social relationships and character development.” Mr Pikachu shared these reflections with UNFPA during a one-day consultation on the implementation of a Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) curriculum.
The consultation was conducted with support from the National Department of Education and Family Planning New South Wales, as part of the Spotlight Initiative to end violence against women and girls.
“We want a future where our future generations have respectful relations and are respectful to the
most vulnerable in our communities,” said Mr Pikachu.
“I want to see people having healthy relationships and believe with the introduction of comprehensive sexuality education, we can tackle this issue.
Comprehensive Sexuality Education – sometimes called Family Life Education, or Character and Social Development – includes scientifically accurate and age-appropriate information about human development, anatomy and reproductive health.
This education includes discussions about family life, relationships, culture and gender roles, and also addresses human rights, gender equality, bodily autonomy and threats such as discrimination, sexual abuse and violence.
“The sustainability of this curriculum is the biggest challenge that I see,” shared Mr. Pikachu.
“This process is currently tied to sponsored projects. What happens after the project ends? Will the schools, especially tertiary schools, carry it on?”
UNFPA, in partnership with the National Department of Education and Family Planning NSW, and with support from the Spotlight Initiative, is continuing consultations on the curriculum to ensure that it is fit-for-purpose for Papua New Guinean classrooms.
About the Spotlight Initiative
The Spotlight Initiative is a global initiative of the United Nations which has received generous support from the European Union. Its aim is to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls.
In Papua New Guinea, Spotlight is implemented by UNFPA, UN Women, UNDP and UNICEF across 11 provinces.
The Programme works to address gaps between legislation, sub-national institutions and service delivery, in addition to addressing the causes of violence in promoting behavior change and respectful relationships.
Spotlight was launched in 2020 and will conclude in December 2023.