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A three-day capacity building workshop organized by UNFPA and UNESCO and held between 4 and 6 July in Bishoftu Town deliberated on integrating life skills based Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) into the school curriculum in a culturally sensitive and legally appropriate manner. The workshop which involved technical experts from various stakeholders sought to create common understanding on international standards pertaining to CSE and the accountability framework of the East and Southern Africa Commitment to scale up CSE and Sexual and Reproductive Health.  

Making remarks at the workshop, Dr. Awoke Tassew, Assistant Representative of UNFPA, highlighted the importance of CSE to effectively address the SRH needs of young people. He expressed the commitment of UNFPA to support the designing and implementation of the integration of CSE into school curriculum.

The experience and status of other countries with regard to the integration of CSE into their curriculum was discussed at length during the workshop along possible implementation modalities to be pursued taking into account the country’s contexts.  

Participants underlined the need to capitalize on the current engagement of the Ministry of Education of Ethiopia on curriculum revision as an ideal opportunity to advocate for the integration of CSE – comprehensive life skills education as they agreed to call it – into the school curriculum. The Ministry of Education expressed on the occasion its willingness to work with partners during curriculum development so that issues of CSE can effectively be integrated.

The Ministries of Education and Health will be working together to further consolidate evidence and chart the way forward on integration of CSE into school curriculum. Recommendations were made at the workshop for consecutive discussions to be held at all levels to get the buy-in from Regional Bureaus of Education, parents and other stakeholders.

UNFPA and UNESCO will be engaging partners to organize consecutive consultations to generate evidence and build consensus among stakeholders.

Following the Eastern and Southern African Ministerial commitment on the Comprehensive Sexuality Education, designing CSE curriculums was among the various activities the counties of the region have been engaged in to realize the commitment and improve the wellbeing of young people.    

Participants drawn from government offices, UN agencies and civil society organizations took part in the capacity building workshop.