A Knowledge, Attitude and Practice (KAP) survey conducted by Savana Signatures, a non-governmental organisadtion, on what students, aged between 12 and 15 and their teachers know about Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) in some selected districts in the northern region showed relevance of sexuality education in schools.
The survey was conducted in 10 Junior High Schools in 6 districts with a sample 812 students out of a population of 1,050 and a total of 33 teachers. The districts were the Tamale Metropolis, the Savelugu-Nanton Municipality, Sagnarigu district, Mion district and Central Gonja district.
The SRHR survey was conduct for “The World Starts With Me”, a computer-based, rights-based, comprehensive sexuality education programme for in- and out-of-school youth in the age bracket of 12-19 years. WSWM was developed in 2003 by Rutgers WPF in collaboration with Butterfly Works and is now being used by numerous schools and youth clubs in a number of countries in Africa and Asia.
The survey revealed that teachers in the selected districts affirmed the relevance of sexuality education and recommended that it should be thought in schools. They thought that young people were capable of using the information provided them about their sexuality to enhance development. Few of teachers (27%0, however, believed that young people were not capable of taking decisions on their own sexuality, hence their decisions should be made for them by adults.
On sex education, 94% of the teachers held the view that it was better for young people to have limited access to sexuality information, particularly, when they were not ready for it.
On contraceptives, the overall perception of teachers was that young people should be allowed to use them. Sixty seven per cent accepted the use of oral pills and 84% on the use of condoms. However, 24% disagreed with use of contraceptives by young people while 9% was indifferent.
However, the survey found out that students accessed of SRHR information was limited. Information on SRHR was accessed from Environmental Studies, Natural Science and Social Studies. Additional information was received from School Help Programmes (SHEP) coordinators who occasionally organized programmes for school children.
Students’ knowledge on sexual transmitted disease was limited as the students included chicken pox, diarrhea, malaria and infertility among STIs. However, majority of the students (98%) showed knowledge of what homosexuality was but thought it was far from their communities.
The survey also found that young people (42%) appeared to fear pregnancy more that HIV. Only 27% feared HIV more than pregnancy.
Majority of the students (57.5%) chose the ideal age for sexual intercourse to be 20 years and beyond. Forty per cent chose between 16 and 20 years. Fifty eight per cent did not think that type of dressing among female was susceptible to rape, 29% associated dressing with rape.