Little did Ghana’s President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo know that the inclusion of the Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) in the 2019 budget statement by his Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta would create problem for the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the end.
Early this year, some Ghanaians were alarmed following the launch of the CSE by the then Deputy Minister for Education and Member of Parliament for Cape Coast North Constituency, Ms Barbara Asher Ayisi to commence the implementation of the policy.
In August, basic school teachers were introduced to a new school curriculum which included the CSE. Teachers begun to teach pupils on CSE which some voices of teachers and questions asked by pupils regarding sex went viral on the social media which attracted public condemnation.
Expert in CSE like renowned Lawyer Moses Foh Amoani stood up and criticized President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo for introducing lesbianism, homosexual and transgender values into that country.
But the Information Minister, Kwadwo Oppong Nkrumah refuted that allegation and indicated that CSE has not been introduced in schools and that the policy was before cabinet for approval.
Pressure was mounted on the ruling government by civil society organizations, the Catholic Bishops Conference, Christian Council and Islamic Community who have all criticized the government for not telling them the truth about the CSE. What even angered the public is the colours of lesbians and homosexuals embossed on the CSE documents which was launched by the Education Ministry.
The pressure was so tense that President Nana Addo had to convene a meeting with the clergy and the Islamic leaders in Accra last week. In the meeting he assured them that his administration would withdraw the CSE policy with immediate effect. He urged Ghanaians not to politicize every issue of national interest but tone down when expressing opinion on national issues.
However, on Saturday, the clergy and the Islamic leaders have called on President Nana Addo to keep his word of withdrawing the CSE from the new Syllabus. The Presiding Bishop of Methodist Church Ghana, Right Rev. Dr, Paul Kwabena Boaful told Ghanaian Times that the Church was not against sex education but the inclusion of foreign materials in the Comprehensive Sexual Education was unacceptable.
The President of the Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council (GPCC) Rev. Frimpong Manso who vehemently opposed the introduction of the CSE in basic schools labelled the CSE as “Comprehensive Satanic Education.”
According to him, this CSE policy has the potential to erode the long-held traditional value system in the country. He has on several platforms called on Ghanaians to be alert and squarely fight the "monster" government wants to import into the country.
According to the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Ghana and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) launched the CSE programme this year in a bid to empower adolescents and young people to deepen their scope of existing activities to attain a Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE).
NDC National Youth Organiser Sammy Gyamfi said that the policy was launched under the banner “Our right, Our lives, Our Future,” and that the CSE is supported by the governments of Sweden and Ireland.
CSE is alleged to be implemented in Ghana, Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe for effective delivery of quality comprehensive sexuality programmes.
The NDC National Youth Organiser was quoted in the media a saying that the Nana Akufo Addo’s administration has not made any efforts to completely withdraw CSE documents from the educational system.
He indicated that “the CSE Program Implementation Officer who was recently recruited to be the focal person for CSE implementation in Ghana is still at post and busy functioning from his UNESCO Ghana office”.
Only time will tell if President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo’s ruling NPP government would succumb to mounting public pressure to withdraw the CSE from the basic education system.