Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has said parents have the choice to opt out of the sexuality curriculum by not permitting their children to attend the programmes.
This was possible provided parents could produce an alternative curriculum that met the required competencies in the curriculum assessment and assessment policy statement (Caps).
Motshekga revealed this in a written response to a parliamentary question by DA MP Nomsa Marchesi, who asked if parents could reject the curriculum being offered to their children.
Marchesi also asked if parents were allowed an opportunity to air views on the content of the sex curriculum.
In her response, Motshekga said since the introduction of sexuality education in 2000, the department had held continuous consultative engagements with education stakeholders.
“The views of parents are represented by School Governing Body associations, who form part of the national consultative forum of the Department of Basic Education,” she said.
Motshekga added: “The views of religious groups and relevant non-governmental organisations are represented through the South African National Aids Council, which is the official co-ordinating structure of the country’s response to HIV, and the relationship between the government, civil society organisations and the religious sector, among others.”
Asked what actions would be taken against teachers who were opposed to the sexuality education, Motshekga said the curriculum was provided as part of life skills and life orientation.
“Teachers are required to deliver the curriculum as set out in the Caps. The Basic Education Department ensures that teachers are supported on seamless delivery of comprehensive sexuality education lessons in life orientation,” she said.
House chairperson of committees Cedric Frolick on Monday said he was still attending to a DA request to intervene, after its request for a committee meeting on the sex curriculum was turned down by the basic education portfolio committee chairperson.
The DA wrote to Frolick last week asking him to communicate with basic education committee chairperson Bongiwe Mbinqo-Gigaba on the importance of allowing public participation in the national legislature.
“I received the letter. First, I must interact with the committee secretary and chairperson before I deal with it further,” Frolick said, adding that he couldn’t rush to conclude the matter without obtaining the facts.
He also said he had received a representation from the ACDP’s Steve Swart on the matter.