Establishing the Implementation of Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) in Selected Primary Schools of Zambia from 2014 – 2018

  • Remmy Mukonka University of Lusaka
  • Christine Mushibwe UNICAF University
  • David Sani Mwanza The University of Zambia
Keywords: sexuality, education, implementation, adolescent, pregnancy, health, leaners, teachers, schools, training


Despite the full-scale implementation of Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) in Zambia’s primary schools, behavioural related health problems among adolescents persist which include early and unprotected sex, sexual abuse, early marriages and teenage pregnancies. This study aimed at examining the implementation of CSE in selected primary schools of Kabwe, Lusaka and Choma districts. The study utilised mixed method design with a pupil population drawn from 15 selected primary schools. The sample size of the study was 700 adolescents (aged 12 – 17 years) and 42 key informants among educationists (i.e. headteachers, teachers, guidance and counseling teachers, and Ministry of Education and health senior officials). Simple random sampling was utilised to select pupils while purposive sampling was employed to select key informants. Interview guides, questionnaires and focus group discussions were employed to collect statistical and narrative data. Data was analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) and thematic analysis. Findings of the study demonstrated statistical evidence of the implementation of CSE in the selected primary schools. There was above a 90% extent of the implementation of CSE in the selected schools and average frequency of 71.8% of it being taught predominantly in classroom environments. The study indicated a commencement period of grade five with teachers being trained and oriented in the integration of CSE in carrier subjects. The finding revealed that dominant topics in CSE were puberty, reproduction, HIV and AIDS. The study further identified challenges in the implementation of CSE in primary schools which included limited materials on CSE, religious indoctrination and cultural barriers, CSE being a low impact programme and a lack of inclusion of school gender-based violence in the taught lessons. With these challenges, the study noted that in spite of CSE being implemented, there is a continuation of sexual maladies that distract adolescents from attaining an education. The study therefore recommends more capacity building in the pedagogy, teacher training, production of CSE teaching and learning materials and resources. It is further recommended that effective integration of CSE should be coordinated within the Ministry of Education in collaboration with the Ministry of Health.