I find the decision of the National Democratic Congress’ Parliamentary Minority to either stall or ensure that the decision by the Ministry of Education to implement the Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) is effectively or totally scrapped to be tantamount to the sort of “cultural and moral terrorism” that the Minority Leader, Mr. Haruna Iddrisu, has rather obtusely accused the Akufo-Addo-led government of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) of being most guilty of (See “CSE Brouhaha: Akufo-Addo Guilty of ‘Moral and Cultural Terrorism’ – Minority” Modernghana.com 10/4/19). The Parliamentary Minority’s protest is very pathetic and inexcusably asinine, to speak much less about the patently unenlightened, because such protest facilely presumes that the rather infantile decision by the National Democratic Congress’ leadership to literally bury their heads in the sand, like the proverbial peacock, would, somehow, make the problem go away.
You see, the morally and philosophically myopic enforcement of ignorance will more seriously endanger the lives of our youths than the Haruna Iddrisu Gang supposes. But, perhaps, what is even more significant to underscore on this subject is the fact that the cynical enforcement of ignorance will not benefit anybody but these double-salary-drawing robber-baron politicians themselves, that is, in the short term at the polls. Examined more critically and progressively, this move is likely to expose the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of these leaders – across the political and ideological divide – in the offing. On the latter score, of course, the reference is equally to the apparently pusillanimous decision by the Parliamentary Majority to fall in line with the patently desperate political expediency of the Parliamentary Minority.
Ultimately, the real loser here is the intellectual and cultural development of the country. You see, the facile presumption that, somehow, not prohibiting or allowing the teaching of the Comprehensive Sexuality Education to pupils in our Basic School System would be tantamount to the propagation of a “Comprehensive Satanic Engagement,” as the President of the Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council, the Rev.-Prof. Paul Frimpong-Manso, has been widely quoted by the media to have said, is rather inexcusably absurd. Indeed, it goes without saying that the greatest danger facing our youths today is an abject lack of knowledge of the activities and cultures of the greater world around them. It has often been said that: “What you do not know about will not hurt you.” In this case, however, the real issue is about the nocent or harmful and even deadly effects of what an entire society unwisely refuses to self-protectively learn, if it is to survive well into the future of a fast-changing world.
Put more succinctly, in a world of the massive explosion of computer technology and the Internet which, for the most part, is uncensored and unregulated, at least not here in the West and Ghana as well, it is simply rather naïve for any adult citizen in the country, politician or religious leader, to suppose that our children and grandchildren are daily exposed to strictly only that which we, adults or parents and guardians, expose or make available to them. For the information of our evidently willfully ignorant politicians and religious leaders, the cyber-culture-exposed average 8-to-10-year-old girl/boy knows at least five to ten times the volume of knowledge of those of us whose births precede the Internet Age and/or Revolution.
You see, the one priceless advantage of having a Comprehensive Sexuality Education integrated into our Basic School Curriculum is that it will healthily enable our children and grandchildren to freely and democratically bring up some of these issues into the classroom or pedagogical setting where trained specialists will be able to constructively discuss the same with them, long before any predatory or sexually perverted adult mischief-makers get to them. It is also obvious that a critical part of the rampant kidnapping of our youths, most especially our young women, may have a lot to do with the abject lack of healthy knowledge about their sexuality and how to effectively take control of their sexual urges and thereby be well protected against the wiles and mischievous activities of adult sex predators, including many of our politicians and so-called religious leaders.
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By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York