From paper to practice: Sexuality education policies and their implementation in Ghana.

Type Working Paper
Title From paper to practice: Sexuality education policies and their implementation in Ghana.
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2017
Sexual and reproductive health (SRH) education is a key component in a multifaceted
approach to address the sexual and reproductive health needs of adolescents.
■ In senior high schools, SRH education topics are integrated into two core and two
elective subjects, but those in the core subjects are limited in scope, and the overall
approach emphasizes abstinence.
■ Three-fourths of students were exposed to at least one topic in five key categories
related to SRH education; only 8% of students reported learning about all of the topics
that constitute a comprehensive curriculum according to international guidelines.
■ Nearly all students had learned about abstinence, HIV, reproductive physiology and
SRH rights in their classes; fewer than half had learned about contraceptive methods
and practical skills, such as communicating in relationships, where to access HIV or STI
services, how to use contraceptives or where to get them.
■ Teachers reported challenges to teaching SRH topics effectively, including lack of time,
lack of appropriate skills and inadequate teaching materials.
■ Overall, schools in Ghana are implementing an advanced program compared with
programs in other countries in the region. Yet broadening the range of topics to reflect
international guidelines and promoting practical skills related to contraceptive use would
improve the comprehensiveness and impact of the program, and better integrating
topics into core subjects would standardize the information that all students receive.
■ Improving and systematizing teacher training, and diversifying teaching approaches
to encourage active student participation and promote practical skills, confidence and
agency, are essential if SRH education is to be delivered accurately and effectively.
■ Further steps should be taken to demystify and desensationalize sexuality among
adolescents, and continued sensitization of the community, teachers and school heads is
needed to ensure that adolescents are supported in learning SRH-related skills.

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