Life skills education, relationship and sexuality education, family life education, or HIV education. Countries use many different names, but the objective remains the same, providing all young people with evidence-based, age-appropriate information to help them develop the skills and values they need to grow up healthy and happily.
To help those designing or reviewing such programmes, UNESCO has developed an online toolkit. It brings together and distils evidence on effective CSE programmes, and points to relevant resources to refer to for different stages of CSE programme design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation. The toolkit provides information that is useful for designing a CSE programme at a national level as well as at local or school level including how to get started, what program design, management and assessment should look like, the kind of teacher training and support that needs to be in place, and what community engagement looks like.
Comprehensive sexuality education (CSE), as it’s called at a global level, is central to health and well-being. Good quality CSE includes education about human rights, human sexuality, gender equality, puberty, relationships and sexual and reproductive health.
It is essential for young people to be able to protect themselves from unwanted pregnancy, HIV and sexually transmitted infections, to promote values of tolerance, mutual respect and non-violence in relationships, and to support a safe transition into adulthood.
“The importance of comprehensive sexuality education to a young person’s development cannot be underestimated. It improves knowledge and positive self-image, increases awareness and appreciation of gender equity and sexual rights and builds self-efficacy and agency. It has a positive impact on healthy values about bodies, puberty, relationships, sex and family life,” said Arushi Singh, Programme Specialist in the UNESCO section of Health and Education.
“This toolkit supports the creation of a good quality comprehensive sexuality education program, while not ignoring the critical step of involving the whole school community in its development, management and monitoring, as well as the training and support that teachers need to deliver it.”
The toolkit is hosted on the newly revamped website of the UNESCO Health and Education Resource Centre. Maintained by UNESCO’s International Institute for Educational Planning, this online library provides access to more than 6,000 downloadable resources: research papers, evaluations, tools and guidance to support ministries and other stakeholders to develop effective education policies and programmes to promote better health and wellbeing for all children and young people.