The Department of Basic Education has strongly rejected what it calls a misrepresentation of facts about some of the topics it will be covering in the Life Orientation subject.
It said it was concerned that certain organisations continued misleading the public by publishing false information which resulted in an unnecessary panic amongst the public.
The department shared these sentiments following reports that the new Life Orientation textbooks, to be rolled out next year, will teach pupils as young as nine-years-old about musterbation.
Clement Manyathela on the Xolani Gwala Show speaks to the departments' spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga to give clarity on the matter.
Mhlanga says there is nothing new in the new curriculum.
All that is done is to develop scripted lesson plans for teachers who teach this subject. What we are doing is improving the way we have been teaching Life Orientation.— Elijah Mhlanga, Spokesperson - Department of Basic Education
The content is designed in such a way that it is appropriate for each age and is being talked about by some organisations is not entirely true. They take things out of context and creating panic and anxiety among parents.— Elijah Mhlanga, Spokesperson - Department of Basic Education
He says the department wants pupils to be taught about things that are readily available on social media.
Our position is that someone needs to teach them that pornography is a business, what you see is not real. There is nothing wrong with telling pupils that they need to know if someone is inappropriately approaching them. We want them to be able to report inappropriate behaviour.— Elijah Mhlanga, Spokesperson - Department of Basic Education
Listen below to the full conversation: