To deliver accurate, rights-based and good quality CSE programmes that provide knowledge, attitudes and skills essential for safer behaviours, reduced adolescent pregnancy, and gender equality
The O3 programme supports delivery of CSE that aims to equip children and young people with knowledge, skills, attitudes and values that will empower them to realize their health, well-being and dignity, and develop respectful social and sexual relationships; consider how their choices affect their own wellbeing and that of others; and understand and ensure the protection of their rights throughout their lives.
There is distinct focus to ensure that the CSE delivered is gender transformative, through addressing unequal or harmful gender norms, questioning gender stereotypes, and preparing children to face gender-based violence both inside and outside of schools. To realize this, gender sensitive tools and capacity building resources such as SERAT, teachers’ guides or lessons plans are utilized. These tools are designed to question prevalent gender norms while drawing learners’ attention to their link with Gender Based Violence (GBV) such as Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and health issues.
To ensure the delivery of good quality comprehensive sexuality education in the classroom in both primary and secondary schools, UNESCO advocates for institutionalisation of CSE across all levels of education including the tertiary level, which remains an underserved area with enormous need. Support is provided towards building capacity of curriculum experts to support the development of CSE curricula that is life skills-based and addresses HIV and sexual risk behaviours of young people in an evidence-informed, gender-transformative, and age- and culturally-appropriate way; and building capacity of pre- and in-service teachers to deliver comprehensive sexuality education that responds to the specific needs of girls, boys, young women and men. Supervision and mentorship is provided to teachers through systematic professional support focusing on the development of teaching skills, strategies, and techniques for CSE delivery; development of the necessary values and attitudes without which the delivery of good quality CSE has been previously hampered; and development of innovative teaching and learning approaches that stimulate learner-centred approaches to the delivery of CSE.
UNESCO adopted the Save the Children’s Person Oriented Approach (POA) methodology which is a unique teacher training methodology that recognises the way in which teachers teach sexuality education is influenced by their own personal attitudes, beliefs and values. Teachers are therefore taken through values clarification exercises that encourage them to examine their own attitudes and values to issues relating to sex, sexuality, gender and relationships to consider how these might influence their delivery of CSE and to reflect on their responsibility to deliver information that is technically accurate, non-judgemental and unbiased.
UNESCO makes use of simple methods to improve the cultural relevance of programmes and reduce opposition. For instance, curriculum experts are supported to draw on a variety of sources to include culturally relevant content in the curriculum. Training of teachers requires them to think about appropriate examples, words and topics that are relevant for the specific settings in which they will teach, which is particularly useful to adapt to the many cultural variations within countries. Lesson plans and classroom activities increasingly include direct instructions to adapt the content to local cultural and religious variations, or to young people’s concerns and priorities in their own communities.