While different definitions of comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) have been developed over time, this study used the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) definition (Box 2.1).
While different definitions of comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) have been developed over time, this study used the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) definition (Box 2.1).On the basis of the UNFPA definition, this study explored sexuality education according to three dimensions: information and topics covered, values and attitudes nurtured, and life skills developed.In the three geographic areas included in the current study, adolescents living in Homa Bay county were more likely to initiate sex at an early age (24% of females and 39% of males) than were those living in Mombasa (6% and 26%, respectively) or Nairobi county (10% and 17%, respectively).
Reviews of policies and curricula pertaining to sexuality education have shown that while many countries have established curricula, little is known about their use in schools—the degree of implementation, the mode and quality of the instruction, the existence of program monitoring and evaluation tools, the adequacy and quality of teacher training, the level of support for or opposition to the subject, and the effectiveness of existing programs in achieving desired knowledge and behavioral outcomes among students.
Small-scale reviews of school-based programs run by nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have been conducted in Kenya, but there has not been a review of the government’s sexuality education program in schools.
In contrast, comprehensive sexuality education programs that recognize sexual activity during adolescence as normative behavior, that seek to ensure the safety of such behavior, and that focus on human rights, gender equality and empowerment have demonstrated impact in several areas: improving knowledge, self-confidence and self-esteem; positively changing attitudes and gender and social norms; strengthening decision-making and communication skills and building self-efficacy; and increasing the use of condoms and other contraceptives.
Despite efforts targeting these reproductive health issues, recent studies indicate a persistently high need for SRH information and services, further emphasizing the need for high-quality sexuality education.
In recognizing that improving adolescents’ access to high-quality information and services is essential for ameliorating negative health outcomes, key stakeholders in Kenya have proposed policies and programs regarding adolescent SRH, including those related to sexuality education.
Implementation of new policies, however, has been difficult in the absence of official legislation to enforce them.This report provides a snapshot of how sexuality education policies in Kenya are translated into practice in secondary schools, and what students, teachers and principals think about them.Data from official documents, key informant interviews and school-based surveys were used to examine how sexuality education programs in three counties were developed, implemented and experienced.The topics considered in this study reflect a broad approach that could reasonably be expected in Kenya, given cultural contexts.We did not include topics such as sexual pleasure or desire, which are not culturally appropriate in the country setting.One aim of the study was to measure the comprehensiveness in the range of topics offered.Although the Kenyan government does not claim to be providing comprehensive sexuality education in schools, we assessed the range of topics according to international standards, in order to provide a baseline measure for developing policies or curricula in the future.There is also evidence that adolescents are particularly vulnerable to severe complications from clandestine unsafe abortions.A 2013 study on the incidence of and complications from unsafe abortion in Kenya indicated that 10–19-year-olds accounted for 17% of all women who sought postabortion care in public facilities, and that 74% of the moderate or severe complication cases were among this group, partly because of their use of less-skilled providers.Contact us if you experience any difficulty logging in.This report presents an analysis of policies and curricula on sexuality education in Kenya and their implementation in secondary schools, focusing on key stakeholders and the experiences of principals, teachers and students in three geographically and ethnically diverse counties: Homa Bay, Mombasa and Nairobi.