Stakeholders in the education sector in some states of the North West and North East have expressed divergent views on the teaching of Sexuality Education in schools and at home.
In a survey conducted by News Agency of Nigeria, some of the stakeholders said early knowledge of the subject was necessary to protect children from sex predators while others said it would corrupt morals.
Those against the idea also claimed that the two major religions in the country, Islam, and Christianity, did not support the teaching of the subject to children.
In Kaduna, a mother, Mrs. Okene Oloruwagba, said parents should take up the responsibility as soon as children gain consciousness of their sexuality, particularly when they start asking questions about their sexual organs.
“Parents should not hide the truth from their children, but teach them what they need to know based on their level of comprehension and take them gradually as they develop.
“The rationale is to catch them young and prevent them from getting the wrong information from outsiders who may eventually exploit them.
“If you don’t teach your children the right things about sex and how to protect themselves, someone else would teach them the wrong things and jeopardise their future.”
Mr. Bayo Yusuf, the Administrator of Marafa Comprehensive School, Kaduna, said sex education should be a combined effort of parents and schools.
“Children need to know about pregnancy, the implication of teenage pregnancy and the dangers of getting pregnant out of wedlock and its implications on their future.
“When children or teenagers are properly guided about their sexuality, it would not only help in safeguarding their future, but will equally prevent teenage pregnancy and curb the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases,’’ he said.
He maintained that although sexuality education may be in conflict with religion and tradition, teaching the subject early “is a necessary evil.’’
“Let us not for the sake of religion and culture put the future of our children in jeopardy, even our religion commanded that we train our children in the way they should grow, which include sex education.
“Our society has become very complex with the growth of technology which exposes our children to obscene contents.
“This alone made it crucial for the family and schools to properly guide our children, “Yusuf said.
On his part, Malam Dahuru Anchau, a Director in the Kaduna State Ministry of Education, said mothers were better placed to teach their children about sexuality.
According to him, teaching sex education in schools by fathers will be in conflict with religion and culture, because it is not in line with African culture for men to discuss the subject with their children.
However, a teenager, Adekoniye Adeola, said that teaching sexuality education would greatly equip young boys and girls to acquire all the information they need to effectively protect themselves.