ARUA. The Prime Minister of the Lugbara Kari (Lugbara chiefdom/cultural institution) has suggested that the role of teaching sexuality in schools in the chiefdom be entrusted to cultural leaders so as to preserve the norms and morals of the young people.
According to Mr Ismail Tuku, they have discussed the issue and carried out research whose findings are not in favour of teaching sex education to children schools.
“We have discussed as Lugbara Kari that sex education which is taught in schools to us, is not extremely very good for the simple reason that when you begin teaching children issues to do with sex, they will always want to know more from where you stop and they take things very practical to know their sexual desires,” the Prime Minister stated.
He requested that the Ministry of Education and sports withdraw the planned introduction of the teaching of sex education in schools and shift the role back to cultural institutions especially the paternal aunties whom he said are socially accepted to play the role with wisdom.
Tuku said clan leaders will know how to give sex education based on Lugbara cultural norms.
“We believe strongly here that culturally, it’s a taboo to mention the names of those parts of the body and so when children begin to give respect to that, that is when they will know it’s not something to sing or to be talked about anywhere,” Mr Tuku added.
He was speaking during a partnership meeting between officials from the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development and Lugbara cultural and community development officials in Arua town on Thursday.
The ministry partnered with the cultural institution in the four thematic areas of HIV/Aids, gender-based violence, maternal health care and family planning.
It is believed that there are some cultural myths and norms that exacerbate domestic violence and the spread of HIV/AIDs among married couples like the inheritance of widows where clan leaders can play a part.
Arua district Education officer Mr Marino Acia welcomed the suggestion, saying all stakeholders will be consulted before the plan is implemented.
“This is yet to be rolled out but all the necessary stakeholders like the headteachers, cultural and religious leaders will be retooled before it is finally introduced but the ministry will announce that,” Acia said.
Acia also confessed that as a Biology teacher and having been brought up in an environment which fears to mention body parts, he welcomes the cultural institution to partner with them.
But the interim Ayivu cultural Chief Mr Manasseh Yuma dismissed the idea, saying cultural leaders playing part in the education of their grandchildren yet senior women and men teachers are well placed to do so is not a good idea.
Lugbara Kari led by a Paramount Chief called Agofe/Obimo existed in Uganda and West Nile from colonial time up to 1961. In 1962, the Lugbara elected Mr Marko Boroa as the Agofe.
The 1961 Constitution with which Uganda attained her independence was amended in 1967 in which all cultural institutions were banned.
The 1995 constitution later re-instated all those cultural institutions which existed before 9th October 1962.