Fake news is threatening the implementation of Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE). The department has urged parents to ignore such misinformation.
The spread of fake news is hurting the debate about the CSE component of the Life Orientation curriculum. This is according to department spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga who was disappointed by events leading up to some parents opposing the implementation of changes in CSE.
Elijah said that some media houses had taken upon themselves to print out fake news with an ulterior motive. He also noted that social media also contributed to the spread of fake news through sharing wrong information either knowingly or otherwise.
The spread of fake news
He continued by saying,
The department, therefore, wishes to distance itself from a series of images that have been circulating on social media in recent weeks. These images are not part of the books produced by the department.
Images of sexually implicit content were shared as being part of the new CSE changes that were being implemented. The African Christian Democratic Party was spreading this information and shared by FOR SA.
This is disappointing and as the department noted, the distribution of this content was not accurate. The people who were sharing it were not doing it in good faith. They also indicated that they were aware that the department was under attack from people who did not approve of their work because of their agenda.
The department lamented the use of social media to spread this misinformation. Some of the information that was being circulated on social media showed adults in bed with explicit details. Some of the fake news also said that the department would be spreading condoms in schools, something the department has rejected.
The department indicated that the primary purpose of CSE was to spread information about sexually transmitted diseases, sexual abuse, teenage pregnancy, peer pressure and bullying.
Elijah said that the department would continue consulting the public on these changes and finally implement them. He was, however, optimistic about the effect this education will have on these children.
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